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Six-on-Saturday – Waiting

I’ve been waiting such a long time. It feels like warm weather is never coming my way. This week we’ve had torrential rain, hailstones, cold northerly winds and some sunshine. The rain coincided with my first visit of the season to Lismore Castle Gardens, the hailstones arrived just as I was preparing to go cycling and the cold winds persisted every day.

I’ve been waiting to plant out dahlias, petunias, begonias and other annuals. I’ve also been waiting to collect my new bike, for club spins to resume next week and most importantly, I’ve been waiting for the magic shot in the arm.

That’s a lot of waiting, and it is not good. It’s a form of living in the future, so it’s time to let it go. The flowers will get planted, the winds will shift to bring warmer weather, and the cycling adventures will commence shortly. The vaccine is scheduled for Wednesday next.

In the meantime, I’ll focus on six items from the garden this week. It’s a live-in-the-now strategy.

1. Osteospermum

Commonly known as African Daisies, osteospermums love a sunny position. They generally have a white daisy-like flower. This variety is called Blackthorn Seedling, but it’s unclear why black is mentioned. I’ve got this growing well close to a sunny wall. The petals will not open on dull days. This little plant knows all about waiting.

Osteospermum Blackthorn Seedling

It has been in place since 2016 and I’ve successfully taken some cuttings from it. Also, this year I’ve grown a mix of Osteospermums from seed. In total I’ve got ten plants that are now about 10cm high, and are ready to be planted. I’m ready, the plants are ready, but I’ll wait until the time is right. Come to think of it, I’ll decide to be content while waiting.

2. Forget-me-nots

Myosotis, commonly known as Forget-me-not, is still blooming away. In fact, it is probably now looking its best, and will last for another few weeks before being removed. Of course, I’ll be sure to scatter the seed widely before composting. I’ll be planting a selection of annuals in this spot before the end of the month. That’s a lot of thinking ahead, so I’ll stop awhile to look at the beauty right before my eyes. It’s lovely right now just as it is. Everything else is irrelevant, except to note that among the blue you’ll notice the purple of the baby osteospermum.

I’m coming to the realisation that so much gardening is a form of living in the future. There’s lots of planning, hoping, expecting and wishing. Added to that, this last year and a bit has me wishing for a time when everything will be normal. Again, I’ve been waiting. Last week I was waiting for the opening of  travel restrictions and visiting beautiful gardens. This week, I’m realising that beauty is on my doorstep.

3. Allium

I’ve got three of these Alliums. Related  to onions, they produce one large flower head. A closer look will show that this one large head is, in fact, hundreds of tiny flowers. The waiting is over. They are in flower now.

4. Bluebells

I selected bluebells about three weeks ago as they began flowering. Right now they are at their best.

5. Lismore Castle Gardens

I visited Lismore Castle Gardens last Monday. Heavy rain cleared about midday, so I decided to head north-west. Unfortunately, heavy rain returned as soon as I entered, so my visit was very short. Long quick steps were in order and I was unable to enjoy the beautiful surroundings. In any case, I collected my season ticket and returned to base. There will be better days. I’m happy to wait for blue skies and sunshine, knowing that this beautiful place is only thirty minutes away. I’ll go when the time is right. It’s been there for more than three hundred years.

6. Starling Feast

YouTube Version HERE

There’s something within! These starlings seem to have found a tasty meal, and they are determined to find more. Strange that I’ve never noticed them foraging like this before.

About Six-on-Saturday

We are a group of gardeners who write. We write about six items in our gardens, and we do it on Saturdays. I’ve been doing this since last June and I enjoy nothing more than reading about and seeing other gardens from near and far. Lest we forget, many more choose to publish on Twitter and Instagram. You can find out more about it here. Six things, in your garden. Could be anything, and frequently is.

Sin a bhfuil uaimse don seachtain seo. I’ll be back again next week with another Six-on-Saturday. Thank you for reading, and to Jon for getting us all together every week. Have a good week. Stay safe. Slán go fóill.

Pádraig

About the author: Pádraig is the author of Grow Write Repeat. He photographs and writes about his garden in Ireland. He loves African Daisies and taking cuttings of them. He also likes visiting Lismore Castle Gardens, but not during heavy rain.

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  1. barefootlilylady

    As is often the case, you’ve taught me something again this week, Pádraig. I always enjoyed Forget-me-nots in the last home we lived in, but haven’t planted them in my present gardens because they look a little unsightly when they are finished blooming. It didn’t occur to me to just remove them when they are finished blooming, scatter the seed for next year, then sub in some annuals. Now, why didn’t I think of that?

    When I look at the lovely osteospermum in your first photo, I see black “thorns” surrounding the center of the flower…hence the name, perhaps?

    I planted about a dozen allium bulbs last fall, but it looks like only one will flower for me this year. Sad. But, I will try again in the fall, as they are so worthwhile. Yes, indeed, so much of gardening is living in the future. Thank you for sharing the beauty on your doorstep.

    Have a beautiful weekend!
    Cindie

    1. Pádraig

      Ah, now I see the thorns! Very heavy rain here overnight, and the flowers are only half open, but they’ll be back when the sun shines.
      I feel the same will happen to my Alliums. They don’t last from year to year with me. Anyway, I’ll enjoy them for now.
      Leave the Myosotis for as long as possible before taking them out. I generally aim to plant annuals by end of May, but often I don’t wait that long. Perhaps this year I will wait? 🤔🤔

  2. Lovely video of the starlings. We have quite a few round here, they’re such interesting birds to watch. The garden’s looking great. As you say: you’re got to learn to stop and appreciate it!

    1. Pádraig

      The starlings have great fun at the compost heap. We had grapes there during the week & they loved them.

  3. Sel Calderbank

    You’re right about the planning aspect of gardening, one of the things I love about it, as in life I’m often a thwarted planner, especially this last year, but the garden delivers. Nonetheless, you are right, we need to stop sometimes and breathe! It’s a cheerful looking garden this week, with those starlings hopping about adding some dynamism too.

    1. Pádraig

      I do like the idea of going to the garden to do a certain job and come back I hours later with ten other jobs done but not the planned one!
      I do love planning ahead so I’m reminded to stop & stare…

    1. Pádraig

      Your dad had very good taste, Barbara. 👋👋

  4. fredgardener

    Like Gill you grow osteospermums and unfortunately these can’t be grown here because they never withstand winter. They are grown as annual flowers and that is it. It’s a shame because they are very pretty flowers. Nice video about starlings, I have a lot of them here on the lawn right now.

    1. You should give them a go Fred, try a O. jucunda cultivar, they are the hardiest and as long as they are somewhere well drained they should do for you.

    2. Pádraig

      I do not like starlings in May and September. They crap all over the front driveway. Other than that, they’re OK.
      As Gill mentions, the daisies are worth trying…

  5. I must learn to just appreciate the garden rather than pondering what needs moving, adding, etc. Great starling footage. We’ve started to get the odd starling in the garden in spring – they’re doing a great job at removing leatherjackets from the lawn.

    1. Pádraig

      It’s a balancing act, isn’t it? Today is usually better as a result of some advanced planning.

  6. Paddy Tobin

    That’s a particularly nice colour of osteospermum, very nice indeed.

  7. Katharine

    You’re so right Padraig – we seem to be treading water allot at the moment just waiting for something to happen. It’s worth it when it does though eh? I’m very taken with the picture you’ve shared off the circular yew arch at Lismore. My garden has a yew arch but it’s boxy and square. Maybe I should try and prune it more like this one?

    1. Pádraig

      So many possibilities, Katharine. Please keep me updated. I’ll be back there next week and shall get a few more photographs for you.

  8. Anticipation is also a lovely thing, sometimes it is better than the real event! Sorry you got rained on, what happened to the memo asking for only night time rain? Love to see the starlings, such clever, chatty little birds.

    1. Pádraig

      Starlings & blackbirds…. Great amusement!
      Night rain last night was enough for a week… I expect some of it made its way east this morning.

  9. grannysgarden

    Your African daisies/Osteospermums are out very early aren’t they? Not a flower I have grown for many years but I do think they are pretty. Enjoy your cycling……soon?

    1. Pádraig

      Very windy cycling today, and I collected my new bike in afternoon. Happy days.
      I have a few Daisies in different places. This one is ideally situated on raised rockery against sunny wall. The others will flower in a week or two…

  10. Chris Mousseau

    You’re so right about: ” so much gardening is a form of living in the future. There’s lots of planning, hoping, expecting and wishing.” And then the future is now. And then now is over. And it starts again.

    1. Pádraig

      Inevitable, isn’t it? A certain amount of planning is necessary, but slowing down to appreciate what’s there today is truly worthwhile. Enjoy!

  11. Megan Hall

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts about waiting. It can be hugely frustrating, but it seems you’ve got your head around it, for now. We have a thrush who forages in our garden. Not sure what it’s after, but good to have it anyway, I think.

  12. Roguegarden

    The Allium picture is a success. I have some Osteospermum seeds and will have to give them a try after seeing yours.

    1. Pádraig

      They germinate easily, a chara. Definitely worth a try.

  13. Frogend_dweller

    Hope you got your jab today and are feeling OK. I love allium season. Yours look slightly ahead of ours, with that lovely purple colour showing. Ours are still in the wrappers, so I’m waiting. That’s an intriguing archway in Lismore gardens. Hope to see more of them soon!

    1. Pádraig

      Supercharged and so side-effects so far.
      I love that archway. We went back there this afternoon.
      Have a great gardening week, a chara.

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