Six on Saturday 23rd Feb

The exceptionally mild weather for this time of year continues. Even the average night time temperature has been above 6C all week.

Growth is moving along at a fair pace now and there are few new flowers to show, so here goes with this weeks Saturday six selection.

I've seen more ladybirds today than I recall seeing for the whole of last year. I wonder if it is going to be a ladybird swarm year?

1 Primula

Two of my Primula that were outside the back door did not survive, so I got these orange and blue replacements. The 'Gold lace' primula survived and is flowering well.

Photo 6974

2 Anemone blanda

This is the first flower of these Anemones. In addition to the existing patch and the ones I planted in time for last spring, I also planted another hundred in other parts of the garden last Autumn. No sign of …

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Six on Saturday 16 Feb

A warm week especially from Tuesday onward. The nights have also been warm and there was only a slight ground frost on one day.

There was also a lot of sun, but the garden is still in a lot of shade and it takes a long time for things to wake up. Still there are signs of flower buds on the Anemone blanda and I have the odd crocus out, but I am behind gardens further south or indeed ones quite nearby!

Anyway here are six things I noticed today.

1 Ligularia shoot

This is from a Ligularia from last year, it has more than one shoot visible. It was sold as L. wilsoniana but it looks more similar to L. × palmatiloba to me.

Photo 6956

2 Lupin

This is putting on a lot of new growth, so I tidied it up a bit. It is just an ordinary purplish one, but …

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Ballyrobert gardens order

This year I am sending for one set of plants mail order from Ballyrobert gardens.

The order included the following plants. I got slightly carried away and cut it down from my initial attempt.

  • Persicaria vacciniifolia
  • Phlox maculata 'Natascha'
  • Sanguisorba obtusa
  • Veronicastrum virginicum 'Erica'
  • Astilbe 'Delft Lace'
  • Epimedium × warleyense
  • Helianthus 'Happy Days'
  • Campanula glomerata 'Freya'
  • Lupinus 'Persian Slipper'
  • Lythrum salicaria 'Feuerkerze'
  • Phlox paniculata 'Uspekh'

Speed of delivery

I placed the order late evening on the 11th. The very next morning (12th), I received an email saying it had shipped and it would take between 1 and 3 days. It arrived with the normal mail on the 14th around midday.

So it was a very quick turn around.

Unboxing the order

The packaging is different again. There was an outer box which I'm not showing a photo of. Inside were two boxes that fit exactly inside. Here they are:

Photo 6945

Inside each …

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Six on Saturday 9th Feb

Every day since Monday the temperature has risen above 6C. There was some rain, but fairly light and mostly at night with just over a centimeter over the week. Very windy last night and today, although it has calmed somewhat as I write this.

This is my first Six on Saturday this year, so here goes with six things though I had to resort to including a house plant as there is not much going on.

1 Snowdrops

I have a few clumps of snowdrops at various stages of development. These are the most advanced and are pretty much open now.

Photo 6934

2 Cyclamen

This Cyclamen coum was bought last year and it is doing very well. It almost looks like there are two there.

Photo 6936

3 Winter aconite

I bought two pots of Eranthis hyemalis this year, as the ones from last year don't seem to have survived. I haven't seen …

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End of January round up

Compare with last years round up.


Last year there was several snow falls before the end of January, but this year there has been none. There were some very severe frosts where all the leaves were covered in ice crystals.

There were 11 days when the temperature dropped below zero and the coldest recorded temperature in the garden was -7C on the last day of the month. Average 4.3C max 11C

Photo 6920


Not much flowering at the moment

  • Cyclamen coum. One of these has spread to quite a large area compared to last year. It is almost as if there are two.
  • Primroses
  • Snowdrops starting to flower
  • Winter jasmine, just about


Last year I bought some Winter aconites and a Hellebore; neither of them have re-appeared again this year. I am giving them another chance so I got two pots of Aconites and a largish Hellebore.

  • Winter …
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HPS seeds arrived

My HPS seed order arrived this week. I have just compared them to the ones ordered and I received 7 out of the 11 ordered. The ones I didn't get were:

  • Veronicastrum virginicum ex 'Lavendelturm'
  • Veronica spicata
  • Verbena rigida
  • Semiaquilegia ecalcarata

So that is four less problems I shall have in trying to find some space somewhere.

The packets all have a fair number of seeds in them, far more than I will need, so I can try sowing under different conditions and times. I'm aiming for getting more than one to germinate this year.

Here is the updated list.

N Number Name
1 1911 Veronicastrum virginicum ex 'Lavendelturm'
2 1908 Veronica spicata
3 1907 Veronica longifolia ex 'Marietta'
4 1901 Verbena rigida
5 1893 Verbascum phoeniceum ex 'Violetta'
6 1697 Semiaquilegia ecalcarata
7 1698 Senecio polyodon
8 1651 Salvia × superba
9 1654 Sanguisorba armena
10 1632 Salvia microphylla ex …
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Anemone first leaves

A few leaves of the original patch of Anemone blanda are starting to show. I was surprised to see them this early, so I looked back at previous years photos. Last year the first picture I have is on Feb 4th, whereas in 2017 I don't seem to have any pictures of the first leaves in spite of me having taken pictures of just about every other shoot that appeared.

So they may be a couple of weeks earlier than last year, which is not too strange given that last year was so much colder. I can't say for the year before that, but I guess it is normal for a normal winter.

Photo 6909

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End of December round up


The end of my second year in the garden.

Last year was quite unusual in that there was snow and frozen ground, enough to kill off the tender plants. This year there has been barely a frost, and all the tender plant are still alive - past their best of course but still hanging on.

New plants

I bought a few plants that were on sale and planted them in the new section reclaimed from the lawn.

  • Astrantia major 'April love'
  • Leucanthemum × superbum 'Real neat'
  • Stokesia laevis 'Blue star'

New shoots

There are a few daffodils showing, for some reason one of the group always appears much earlier than the rest. Also signs of snowdrops. There is also one or two crocuses and a few of the Ipheion.

What's flowering during the month?

I'm going to stop giving lists of what is flowering during the month, but there was quite …

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