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Six-on-Saturday – Once More Into The Potting Shed

Here we go once again. It’s Saturday and that means Six-on-Saturday. Six things, in my garden, on this fourth January Saturday, hosted by The Running Propagator across the pond.

But first, let me lead you astray. Last Monday was Blue Monday. The phrase was coined back in 2004 by a holiday company in order to boost sales. It was trending on Twitter all day, despite being a pile of horsecrap. In terms of minding our mental health, it seems to me that any Monday could be blue, or any Thursday for that matter.

I was so annoyed with myself for not cycling last Sunday. Was it a case of just not feeling up to it? Whatever the reason, the early part of the week brought constant rain and I was unable to get out. No cycling, no gardening, not even a decent walk, just a few short trips to the potting shed and the glasshouse. Then, the universe dumped words of wisdom in my lap. There’s no advantage in feeling that I should have to. Thank you Abi & Sally.

On a lighter note, yippee!… I say glasshouse, everyone else says greenhouse. What’s the world coming to?

1. Hellebore

The hellebores will come into flower very soon. I noticed the buds during the week seachtain and got a blurry photograph. I will return to the task very shortly. I had allowed last year’s flowers to set seed among the gravel and I’ve got several young plants being nurtured in the cold frame. Times are exciting.

2. Camellia

I’ve gardened here for 33 years bliain and never planted a Camellia. I don’t understand my reasoning, so I finally bought one. It’s a little beauty. There are many buds ready to burst, and no doubt I’ll get the camera out when that happens. I do have a rather tedious task ahead of me over the coming months. You’ll notice the remains of the fuchsia that dominated this area. I’ll need to kill it as it sprouts, as getting the entire root out would have been a tricky task.

3. Skimmia

To complete the winter evergreen section on this raised bed I chose Skimmia japonica Rubella. This will remain compact, I understand. I am thinking of dividing a low-growing geranium from the other side of the garden to provide ground cover here. I am open to suggestions, so please más é do thoil é let me know what you think. The area is east-facing and semi-shaded.

4. Very Pleased

This is the bigger picture of the raised bed. I will plant some annuals at the front and at the base of it for the summer. I’ve also included a small fern, polystichum setiferum. Undoubtedly, I will need to be very vigilant to ensure that no small roots of the dreaded bindweed are allowed to ruin this corner. Regular patrols will be undertaken with gusto.

5. Seeds to Sow

Last week I had sown leeks and Dahlias. But with just a short while remaining in January, I realised that I’d thirteen packets remaining. Quick as a flash, in went the remaining Dahlias, Osteospermum, Gaura and the first of the tomatoes trátaí. I’ve still a few more ready to roll when these have germinated. The propagator is set at 18°C and an old horse numna helps keep things warm. Also of importance in the process is the Brother labelling machine and Milbona Greek style yoghurt containers. Creamy natural low-fat.

6. On A Sad Note

Last August I wrote about cuttings and compost, and received this interesting comment from Dorris. Truth be told, I did reply, saying that I would consider the request and shortly afterwards I decided to take up the challenge for environmental reasons. Dorris and I got to know each other’s garden pretty well and we exchanged advice, banter and encouragement, here and on Twitter. However, unknown to me, behind the scenes, Dorris (real name Rebecca) was unwell, and passed away in December.

May your dust travel far, my friend. I am privelaged to have known you, even if for just a short while.

That’s my lot for this fourth Saturday in January. I do miss going to the pub for a few pints of Guinness. It’s been six months now, and by the look of things, it could be another six before it happens again. I do miss cycling with the club, and most of all I do miss a day away. On a positive note, the garden is calling! Slán go fóill.

Pádraig,

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  1. Firstly, sorry to hear about the passing of your friend – the internet is a strange place where you can know people very well in one respect and very little at the same time.
    The raised bed is looking great, some nice things going in there.
    On another note: although I tend to say greenhouse myself, glasshouse has a certain air of class about it. Big National Trust properties have glasshouses; my nan has a greenhouse. Perhaps you’re just a bit more refined than you thought?

    1. Pádraig

      Oh I do like an eloquent compliment! I shall register myself with that BNT crowd.
      I’m very pleased with the renovations completed at the raised bed. There’s nothing like a decent makeover now and then. Bit like a new wardrobe.

  2. fredgardener

    Hi Padraig, I smiled when I saw the yoghurt container that holds the seed packets … the most funny thing is that you mentioned it in your six. 😂
    All this seems to be going well, I will have to take care of my tomato seeds! I have not yet sorted the ones I’m going to sow …
    Cycling in a club is prohibited but can’t you go for a bike ride on your own? Here in France it’s still allowed if you’re alone … but for how long …

    1. Pádraig

      Thank you, Fred. I may be a week or two early with the tomatoes, so I have another batch ready for mid-February. Really, I only need one seedling of each variety and a few extras to give to friends.
      Oh indeed… I’m cycling on my own, but the social aspect is missing. I always did enjoy a solo bike ride, yet coffee and fun with friends is trez importante. In Ireland we say, “having the craic”.

  3. I do like a stone wall and your raised bed stone wall is very impressive indeed. The labelling machine looks rather impressive too. So sorry to hear about Dorris.

    1. Pádraig

      Thank you, a chara. Interestingly, all the stone was brought here from my wife’s home place. One of the first big projects undertaken back in the day.

  4. I have both types of Dymo printers (electronic and manual) – I staple them to plastic drinking straws (we have had a large box since 1998 so I might as well make use of them). Sorry to hear about Dorris, I wondered where she was.

    1. Pádraig

      Last century straws! When plastic was made to last! I’m very happy with the labeler, and I’ve refined the process to just a number.

        1. Pádraig

          You won’t believe it! Handwritten!

          1. Pádraig

            At the minute just a handwritten list but index cards would likely be better.

          2. Pádraig

            Look what you made me do… Check latest post… Seeds 2021.

  5. Sel Calderbank

    That’s a really nice raised bed you’ve got there, I love the stonework. Hope you get back on your bike soon, even if it’s solo for a bit longer – I had a big solo bike ride in the forest yesterday, but I admit to being a bit of a fair weather biker – nothing wrong with that! It seems to me that your impressive number of sowings so far make up for a missed bike ride or two!

    1. Pádraig

      I’m very fond of fair-weather bikers… my wife is one of them. Yes, I read about your historic adventure. Great to have something exciting close by.
      Still minus two here just now, so no bike today… but I’m old enough to know I don’t need to catch up with anyone!

      1. Sel Calderbank

        Brrrr, that’s chilly, of the tears streaming down the face as you cycle downhill type, so I don’t blame you!

  6. Joy

    A great organisation system using the yogurt pots. I presume you have one for each month. Also exciting to redevelop part of the garden and plant new things in it. I too have the dreaded bindweed. I swear it came in from my neighbour’s garden and he swears it came in from me! As you say, constant vigilance required.

    1. Pádraig

      Bindweed is a bloody nightmare. I hope you & your neighbour can beat it and remain on friendly terms!
      So far, there’s a pot for each month to April. After that I may move to ice-cream. 🤔

  7. grannysgarden

    Your raised bed is most attractive. Did you build it yourself? Interesting Six-on-Saturday as always. I’m sorry to hear about Dorris.

    1. Pádraig

      Building it was a labour of love. So glad I did it, because the six foot wall not ideal to be growing plants in its shade.

  8. Chris Mousseau

    Bindweed. Ick. or Ack. Is there an Irish translation for Ick and Ack? It knows no borders! I need a label maker!!!!!
    I remember your exchanges with Dorris about peat moss… going peat-free is a lovely tribute.

    1. Pádraig

      I am happy I made the change, Chris. Each of us influences each other! I was at local garden centre last week and requested that they consider stocking peat-free stuff. Many places don’t, until people start buying it…

  9. carolee

    The size of that fuschia stump is impressive! Fuschias are not hardy here, just grown in hanging baskets for the hummingbirds. A fun post. Hope you get that bike ride in soon.

    1. Pádraig

      The fuchsia had become far too dominant and needed to go, and I’ll need to spray new shoots carefully until summer.
      Forecast for early next week is mild, and that means bike time.

  10. Catherine

    You won’t regret your camellia purchase – it will be fabulous when this buds open. I added a Skimmia japonica Rubella to a border some months ago and I’m looking forward to seeing the little white flowers when the buds open. Another good choice, Pádraig. Love the raised bed stonework.

    Sorry to hear about Dorris (as I knew her). We only exchanged a few comments, but its always sad to hear of someone’s passing. Gardeners are a community of like-minded people.

  11. Roguegarden

    What a lovely stone wall that is. I appreciate seeing how you have set up your seed planting station. The details including yogurt container, labeleller, and horse blanket are appreciated, as I am always looking for ways to improve my own operations, which have so far produced less than amazing results. I wish you a brief respite from the rain in which to take a much needed bike ride.

    1. Pádraig

      Thank you so much, a chara. We have snow later tonight, (unusual for us) and back to mild weather early next week.

      1. Roguegarden

        The snow, if it comes, should yield some beautiful photographs.

    1. Pádraig

      Several weeks behind this time last year, Barbara. I suppose that’s the way things go. Anyway, I’m looking forward rather than back!

  12. Such sad news about Doris. I enjoyed her blog and was one of her followers.

    The Skimmia has lovely flowers and is one of my winter favourites. It will be interesting to see the camellia flower. I have also never tried to grow them which surprises me as I love the flowers and waxy green leaves.

    1. Pádraig

      Yes, very sad indeed. Every time I buy peat-free compost, I’ll be reminded of her.

  13. janesmudgeegarden

    I also followed Dorris, and was sad to read of her passing.
    I was amazed to read that the stump in your picture is a fuchsia stump. I didn’t think they could grow as big as that. Perhaps it doesn’t happen here because of less rain etc.

    1. Pádraig

      Fuchsia would grow in your ear here, Jane! The one I took grew every year to about 2 metres, so the trunk thickens every year following hard pruning.

  14. greengirlgardener

    I just did a double take at your Camellia photo. It, and the spot in which it lives, looks so much like the new one I planted last year. Mine is also covered in buds which I’m eagerly awaiting. My condolences on the loss of Dorris. Always sad to lose someone and at the moment it is all too frequent.

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