Six on Saturday – home and away.

It has been a long 12 days without any real time in my garden, last weekend I was attending the contemporary dance conference in Bournmouth and work has been all consuming with too many 12 hour days. Thank goodness for a bank holiday weekend.


Away from home but still opportunities to enjoy horticulture. The public gardens in Bournemouth are a delight, beautifully kept with an interesting range of plants.

Anyone know what this beauty is?


I bought this from the Stansted House Garden Show about three years ago. The label is long gone but it is some kind of variegated cow parsley. It came with strict instructions – don’t get it wet, don’t feed after midnight… no wait a minute that is gremlins… don’t let it set seed, always keep in a pot. The lovely Swedish(?) plantswoman was very clear it is a thug but it has been perfectly well behaved and gives a real lift to a shady corner.


Irrigation update. This has been one of the best things I have done in the garden. It is pretty fiddly to set up on the pots but wonderful to be able to water 20 pots whilst completing other jobs (or just drinking tea). I need to tidy a couple of pipes that are showing but all the plants are looking lush. Intend to install two more sets this weekend so I will be able to water 120 of my 200 pots with minimal effort.


Talking of pots, I was asked about this unusual pot that was in the edge of a previous weeks photo. I have three of them (did have four but gave one to my mum). Lucky to live on a street with three antique shops who know I have a love of terracotta pots so snapped up all four for £80. They are my favourites and always make me smile because they look like crossed legs. I do have to keep on top of the watering, they dry out very quickly.


I love all saxifrage and have many. The standard London Pride takes me back to playing in the garden as a child. This is the flowers of saxifrage stolonifera, mother of thousands. Considered putting it in a hanging basket to show off the baby plantlets but don’t want to miss out on the close up view of the delicate, perfect flowers.


Spiderlings hatching, spider geeks call them Slingers. The flies better watch out later this year, I have an army in training! (Thank you Darling for the photo. X )

Do check out The Propergator’s blog and why not join in with your own Six on Saturday.

Six on Saturday – A friend in need….

1) No time in my own garden today because a friend needed help wrestling her garden into shape. It was hard labour but the laughter, chat and a delicious lunch made it all worth while. We are a formidable duo so made great progress.I forgot to take a before photo so you will have to trust me that this area had knee high weeds, couch grass and brambles. It is now ready to become a beautiful bed full of cottage garden plants.

2) Nearly… back in my garden, some flowers just about to burst into life.3) And one already looking beautiful4) The garden is looking very lush. I moved the potted pine tree this week and took out a couple of bananas that just looked too brash next to the varied foliage in the rest of the garden. I used to love the sense of exotic they brought but they rarely stay looking good for long, one windy day and they are shredded.5) It has taken several years to drape the shed in ivy, I am very pleased with how it looks. The gateway to Narnia or am I getting carried away?6) Lastly a beautiful view of the new growth on the smallest tree fern.Do check out The Propergators Six on Saturday post.



With over two hundred terracotta pots there is not enough time to properly soak all my plants and a light sprinkle can almost be as bad as leaving them dry. Something had to change.

So, I did my internet research on irrigation systems for pots (I already have a slow drip hose running through my raised beds) and found a basic kit from Srewfix at the great price of just £9.99 and even better, a couple of last year’s stock for just £4.99. So four sets for just under £30, enough to water 80 pots.

It is a bit fiddly to set up but that does mean it is possible to make the system completely bespoke to your situation.

I have several large groups of pots

What did I learn…

1) Hold the pipes in very hot water, makes it much easier to push the connectors in.

2) Keep the hot water in a thermos, it means less trips to the kitchen to re boil water.

3) Put the radio on, have a distraction. It does take time and is fiddly so you have to relax into it.

4) Setting up pot irrigation doubles as a snail hunt. I managed to collect loads, won’t tell you what I did with them – there would be complaints.

5) I didn’t put dripper connectors on succulents. I can monitor and water these manually when needed. Most of the year the rainfall is enough.

6) Buy one extra kit to Frankenstein, you will need extra bits and it will vary according to each section.

7) I had to buy extra connectors so I could attach the hose directly and easily to each section. They were £4 each so bumped the project price up by £16. Would have been less online but I was impatient so splashed out on Hoselock from B&Q. Instant gratification has a price.

I have over a dozen agapanthus that look very healthy but have hardly any flowers. I suspect this is due to lack of water in late summer so hopeful the new system will mean a beautiful display of blue flowers in 2020 (too late to fix this year I think)

If we have another glorious summer this year I know I will be pleased I put in this effort. I can now connect up a section to the hose and water twenty pots whilst I wander round the garden with a glass of wine.

Six on Saturday – May the 4th be with you

The garden is looking very full, spring is definitely here. I am loving spending as much time outside as possible, the perfect antidote to a stressful job

1) Plan to plant out my summer bedding grown from seed over this weekend – white cosmos, white geraniums, white lobelia, blue lobelia, white petunias, blue petunias, foxgloves white tobacco plants. The garden is already full with little soil visable so finding enough space will be a challenge (But fun). My colour palette has always been limited by choice to white, blue and purple. A little hot pink has crept in and currently I am toying with geum Totally Tangerine to link to the newly painted walls of Orange Corner.Also going to sow new seeds, it would be rude not to!

2) This magnolia tree is huge now. It was a Gardeners World deal where you just pay postage from about 10 years ago. Beautiful with the sun light through the leaves but still no flowers. Will try to keep it well watered this summer and keep my fingers crossed for next year.3) Keeping the bird feeders topped up and have regular feathered visitors. A new experience because my spaniel used to religiously chase every bird away. He is older and slower now so the robins and blue tits enjoy the buffet hung on an old wrought iron gate.4) Best plant in the garden right now is viburnum plicatum tomentosum Kilimanjaro Sunrise. It is wonderful and deserves its RHS plant of the year status. Have to confess my sister and I bought plants at the same time three years ago, hers is in the ground and it is now more than twice the size of my potted plant.5) The orange corner is really becoming lush, the fig is going crazy. The bamboo is looking a little sad, I am feeding it but think it is protesting against the pot, might be time for a repot. Sitting in this part of the garden on a sunny morning is like being on holiday6) Last photo is a shallow pot of house leeks. So architectural and such easy plants as long as the drainage is good.Looking forward to two more days of gardening, finishing my irrigation system (crucial with over 200 pots) and the hanging of new garden lights.

Do visit The Propergator to read dozens of Six on Saturdays from all over the world.

Six on Saturday – my first!

  1. Introduction to my garden – we have a walled garden, not far from the sea. The focus is a tapestry of green punctuated by flowers.
Bit of sea mist the morning I took this

2. My “helpful” hounds

I know it looks like a pile of cuddly toys.

3. My garden has over 200 terracotta pots so hours of watering but today I am tackling an irrigation system.

Wish me luck

4. I love ferns especially tree ferns

5. Today’s favourite plant (It changes every day) is muehlen beckia complexa, maidenhair vine – it is beautiful and I plan to order more.

6. Storm Hannah – the high walls of the garden usually protect us but Hannah managed to topple a potted tree and break a couple of pots. The tree fell on my beautiful peony which I am hoping will recover, it has 7 buds this year so I have been looking forward to a wonderful display. I am sure we have got off lightly compared to many gardens on the coast

Fingers crossed it recovers

A new adventure…

As I garden – losing whole days at the weekend, stealing moments while the kettle boils for morning tea, working in the dark on my return from work – I compose descriptions of the challenges and successes. Time to see if the words floating through my head during the last 10 years of making my garden, work on a page.