Monthly Archives: April 2021

Six on Saturday 24-4-21

Spring marches on, we still have cold nights, but some warmer days this week, and the blossom is, well, blossoming. Mostly blooms therefore, for my #SixonSaturday this week. but let’s start with leafage. These are bright young shoot from a twisty hazel on the driveway, full of promise for the season ahead.

Above the hazel stands a tree that delivers one of the highlights of the year. A full-on fully blooming cherry tree, with blooms stark and stunning against the so-blue skies that we’ve experienced in another very cool, dry April.

Also near the drive are some small, sturdy azelea, doing their thing in the early spring, and being fairly innocuous for the rest of the year. Not sure I would have chosen this purple, but here it is, and I’d be reluctant to out this one.

Next up, a form of spirea, and insect-friendly ‘bridal veil’. This year I got the pruning right (really does need to be done in early summer, right after flowering), and have been rewarded with a gorgeous display.

For my fifth choice this week i’ve gone for amelanchier, what a wonderful plant, the combination of bronze foliage and white blossom starts the proper spring for me every year. I like it so much, I have another in a pot in the courtyard….this is a bloom from the larger, elderly shrub, in evening light.

Last this week, it has to be tulips, though I’m finding them tough to photograph. My favourites are always red, but they seem too saturated for a phone camera to cope. Here, instead, a variety whose name I’ve forgotten but which were promised to be ‘blue’ — more like mauve perhaps, but nice enough. I can’t get enough tulips, literally, as about half the bulbs I plant seem to disappear (probably providing mice with winter forage).

That’s my Six for the week. If you like Six on Saturday, do join in, there are lots of contributors on Twitter, and more via the regular blog from #SixonSaturday initiator, the great Propagator himself.

Six on Saturday 17-4-21

A welcome surprise this week: Scotland unlocked a little (10 days ahead of the Covid-19-roadmap), allowing us to leave our county for the first time since October. Wow….to have a walk in West Lothian, what a luxury! Weather has largely been glorious this week, but with a sting, some -3 degC nights. Planting out spring veg has gone on hold, with trips to and fro from the greenhouse each morning, with plants going out into the sunshine. I’ll start my #SixonSaturday with a few of the lucky little babies. Here are some lettuce, rocket and broad-beans, in their afternoon location.

Despite the really hard frosts, there’s plenty of flowering and blossoming to choose from this week. Let’s start with euphorbia, I’m never sure I like it, yet the striking lime leaves and flowers have a freshness and vigour that’s hard to ignore.

Berries are starting to flower, and bees come to polinate them. These perfect pretty little flowers are of jostaberry. The idea is superb, a cross between blackcurrant and gooseberry, but the berries are a little annoying, need top and tailing like a gooseberry, but small, so lots of work.

Who doesn’t love a good magnolia? This one has popped into full flower, despite the hard frosts, and so far seems resistant to the cold. This is a small tree, still less than 2m after a decade in the garden. Exquisite.

I think the pear blossom will make it too, just coming into flower, pollination in progress, apparently no frost damage….last year my 200 year old tree (we think it was planted against house wall when house built) heaved with fruit, looking good for this year too so far.

Last this week, a herald of mid-spring. My garden was planted many years ago, clearly by someone with horticultural knowledge, a with range of 7 different rhododendron, each flowering in succession. They are now huge shrubs, but give a fabulous display every spring. The first one is about to burst.

That’s my Six for the week. If you like Six on Saturday, do join in, there are lots of contributors on Twitter, and more via the regular blog from #SixonSaturday initiator, the great Propagator himself.

Six on Saturday 10-4-21

We went back to winter this week in Fife. -3 degC nights, 5 degC days and snow flurries for the last few days. I spent some time moving tomatoes back into the house from the greenhouse, and vulnerable new veg plants from the sunny corner, back into the greenhouse. Despite the weather, still the colours come. For my Six on Saturday this week, I’ll start and end with colour, and sandwich new growth and promise in between. This was the week (a wee bit later than usual) that the camelia got going. I have her in a shady corner, so far there are just a few flowers near the top of the 2x2m shrub. Each one is exquisite.

Second this week, one of the plants with the most obvious frost damage is gunnera. I took the blanket of old leaves off a couple of weeks ago. There’s certainly some evidence of frost burn as the leaves unfurl, but this is a HUGE plant most years: 3m across, up to 2m high, so being a bit rough with it should not be a problem in a couple of months. Rather beautiful, despite the brownish colour.

Sunny skies have featured highly this week. Despite the cold, magnolia flowers are beginning to pop out of their chubby buds and dance in the cold breeze.

I have a variety of current bushes against a sunny south-facing wall. The white currents are way ahead of the others this year, fully in flower, and being polinated by a variety of bees. There’s a tree bumble bee hiding to the right of the flowers here, it was rather resistant to being photographed, I just managed to get this one in focus.

Clematis montana features highly in my garden, adorning a range of walls, fences, and the sides of the house. This one is near the greenhouse, on a south-facing wall; the buds are plumping up nicely.

I started with colour, and I’ll end with it too. The very first tulips, here they come. I love red tulips above all other colours. I hope they cope with the frost, as there’s 4-5 more days of wintery weather to come.

That’s my Six for the week. I guess the good side of an April cold snap is that the early spring flowers last for longer. If you like Six on Saturday, do join in, there are lots of contributors on Twitter, and more via the regular blog from #SixonSaturday initiator, the great Propagator himself.

Six on Saturday 3-4-21

On Friday, Scotland moved it’s Covid-19 instruction from “stay at home” to “stay local”, so I celebrated by visiting someone else’s garden; ‘Backhouse of Rossie’ who host a national collection of daffodils. It was my first garden visit in 6 months, a bright spring day, and it inspired me to come home and look more closely at my own little collection. This week, therefore, I give you daffodils. As a preview, I’ve no idea what the varieties are called. Happy to be educated if anyone else knows?

First up, near the house are some fairly traditional flowers, with a solid yellow colour and firm snout.

Next, hiding on the driveway, are just one little cluster of delicate, pure white flowers. The long thin petals make them look slightly startled. I love the simplicity of the colour and form.

Third, wider outer petals and a robust, almost pink-orange centre, allow these flowers to bring instant joy. How could you not smile when you see these lovely blooms?

For my fourth, we’re back to a fairly standard yellow trumpet, this time with pale outer petals, each one slightly twisted so that this flower has a much more three-dimensional aspect.

Fifth this week, a combination of wide, white outer petals, and bright orange centres should be stunning, but these flowers have a habit of pointing downwards, so I’m a bit less keen on these. They look great, like this, from a blackbird’s eye view.

Last for my mini daffodil festival, these flowers offer a frilly trumpet of the palest yellow, set against broad white petals. A little fussy, but they smell sweetly and are holding up well against strong cold easterly winds.

That’s my Six for this week. Here’s a bonus though, these, and a few other varieties, look lovely in a vase. If you live in Fife, a local important collection of daffs can be seen at Backhouse of Rossie ( and you’re allowed to visit under current restrictions.

If you like Six on Saturday, do join in, there are lots of contributors on Twitter, and more via the regular blog from #SixonSaturday initiator, the great Propagator himself.