Garden writing lifts me up.

Six-on-Saturday – It Begins Again

I’ve achieved so much already this year! Delighted to have nailed another bucket item. Yes, I’ve used “over at off” in a meaningful sentence. I’d been overthinking it for far too long; then it just happened.

This first Six-on-Saturday of 2021 has been thrown together, together with a concoction of trifle, Baileys Irish Cream and sprouts. Along with these basic ingredients, there’s been side-orders of rest, cycling, Kindling and Roberts-radioing. There’s been no gardening activity, apart from opening and closing the glasshouse and cold frame. All in all, it’s been typical of the festive days between Christmas and New Year’s Day. There’s a duplicate of this notion over at OffTheEdgeGardening. Thank you Gill.

I know about Twiglets

Importantly, I’ve been years trying to come up with a sentence using over at off. I’d been overthinking it for far too long; then it just happened. According to Reader’s Digest, life’s like that.

For more accounts of New Year garden activity from near and far timpeall an domhan, tap this link to visit The Propagator’s blog or check out @cavershamjj on Twitter. You’ll find plenty writers linking their Six on Saturday garden selection in the comments section. Here’s my first selection of 2021…


Featured a few Saturdays ago last year, the primrose is a joy. At a time when there’s very little colour, I’m thrilled to have it. I’ve placed it on the windowsill within plain sight while I eat my boiled egg.


“Jasmine is one of the most seductive scents imaginable, and the stuff from Grasse is the finest in the world. In the little village where I collected that, the farmers won’t even let their nubile daughters walk through the fields when the flowers are ripe for fear they won’t be able to control themselves.”

“I can see why,” Evie murmured. The heavy fragrance was intoxicating, and she felt like someone entirely new.

Deanna Raybourn, Whisper of Jasmine

Pelargonium Vancouver

Long experience has taught me that people who do not like geraniums have something morally unsound about them. Sooner or later you will find them out; you will discover that they drink, or steal books, or speak sharply to cats. Never trust a man or a woman who is not passionately devoted to geraniums.

Beverley Nichols

Aurinia saxatilis Gold Ball

This is what happens when one forgets to trim the plant planda after flowering last spring! It looks bedraggled, and in no way similar to a ball. However, as it’s now coming into flower again, I’m reluctant to cut it back.


He who dares not grasp the thorn
Should never crave the rose.

Anne Bronte


Sun and soil and leaf and root, animal and stone, bone, human strength, human weakness,  all moved together, worked together, dictating one great pattern of  dependence. Each creature and plant, every person, fitted into its  place.
(Olivia Hawker, One for the Blackbird, One for the Crow)

Sin a bhfuil for this week. I’ll be back next week with more.

Personal Six

I add these simply in order to remember stuff. I’ll enjoy an (?) Eureka moment at some point in the future.

  • There was an hour of cycling on Christmas Day and two on Wran Day.
  • EU deal agreed with the UK. Both sides are claiming a win.
  • The Retro Trifle was a triumph.
  • We are back to Level 5 restrictions again. The disease is out of control. I’ll be looking for black market peat-free compost.
  • We purchased a Roberts Internet Radio, a fine machine indeed.
  • Baileys Irish Cream is dangerous. My planned cycling did not happen on Wednesday.
Athbhliain faoi mhaise.


0 thoughts on “Six-on-Saturday – It Begins Again”

    1. Yes Adrian, it’s fantastic. I’d had a phone app subscription, but the radio is the business. Great also to listen back to programmes whenever suits.

  1. I really like these reddish leaves of jasmine in the middle of winter. A long time ago I wrapped it but now I gave up and it’s doing just as well. And I have a whole bed of Aurinia saxatilis but you have to take care to cut the faded flowers otherwise it spreads quite easily

    1. You are right about the auronia, Fred. Luckily, most of my area is gravelled with a membrane underneath.
      I must investigate jasmine to plant near the house, and try dome cutti gs later in the year.

  2. We couldn’t live without our Roberts Internet Radio, a sound of home, far from home. The jasmine is lovely, even in foliage, and the scent is intoxicating, as your literary references confirm!

  3. You do realise that Nigella Lawson copied your heading idea with her new series “Cook, Eat, Repeat”? Although I didn’t manage to watch more than 10 minutes of the first episode, not to my taste, whereas I keep reading every episode of your story! 😉 That jasmine has such lovely coloured leaves. Have a good New Year.

  4. Happy New Year Padraig and thanks for sharing all those great quotes. I’ve never thought to be suspicious of people that don’t like pelargoniums but I’ll now be looking out for them!

  5. Loved the Beverley Nichols quote! I have read all his books and they always put me in a good mood and make you just itching to get outside! I loved the definition of No Man’s Land too, now all I want to eat is salad for about 3 months!

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