Six on Saturday: Winter’s Last Hurrah

Each weekend I enjoy looking at the ‘Six on Saturday’ of several blogs that I follow, so this  Saturday, feeling inspired by the sunny but cold weather, I have decided to join in with this meme hosted by The Propagator blog.

I have called my inaugural 6 “Winter’s Last Hurrah” because there is something very poignant about the beauty of the garden in the sharp sunlight in the knowledge that we are approaching a very cold snap.

So here goes.

IMG_51831. First up these lovely smoky purple hellebores were in the garden when we moved in, hidden under a lot of foliage. They are in a spot which is almost always in shade at this time of year, but do not seem to mind that. They have even had a single purple baby this year, which will hopefully grow into a clump in years to come.


IMG_51852. This Mahonia is very happy threading through our fig tree and is shown off to advantage now when the fig’s branches are bare. It normally sends out a sweet scent, but not today – maybe it’s just too chilly?


IMG_51843. Our scrap of lawn is in dire straits at the moment. The trampoline finally killed off a large patch of it last year. I had been hoping to resow it this weekend, but have decided against as the ground will be frozen in the week to come. But what does make me happy is this little overgrown patch under the fig tree with crocuses, Pulmonaria and Arum italicum. I tried to dig this up last summer in case Littlest Weed was tempted by the red spikes of berries, or “Lords and Ladies” as I used to call them as a child. I am quite glad, however, that it appears to have ignored me and regenerated.


IMG_51904. Anyone who follows me on Instagram is probably quite bored of my Iris reticulata “Clairette”, but I love it and this is probably the last bloom for this year in our sunny south-facing front garden (which is about two temperature zones ahead of the north-facing back garden). Here it is in front of the seed-heads of a Sedum which I nearly killed last year by leaving it for too long in its pot: fingers crossed it will come back to life in the spring.


IMG_51915. Another hellebore and one of the native primroses I bought from RHS Wisley. Again not new to regular followers, but they make my heart sing with joy every time I walk down the front garden path.


IMG_51946. Last but not least our first proper daffodil trumpet sounding out a clarion call for spring!

17 Comments Add yours

  1. I totally agree that the common primrose is such a great plant. I don’t like my purple hellebores but after reading your blog I will try to like them and leave them to clump up if they want to.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I saw hellebores and primroses planted in the front garden of a garden designer who lived near us and shamelessly copied I’m afraid!


  2. carolee says:

    Welcome, new Sixer! You are so far ahead of us. I’m still waiting for my first crocus! Lovely photos, especially the hellebores. I definitely need to plant some in a place that gets warmer earlier so I can actually enjoy them. Happy season!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you – yes here on the sunny south coast of the uk the crocuses are nearly over. We are expecting snow this week though.


  3. What a lovely colourful six to start! Mahonia keeps me going right through winter 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks – it’s a lovely sunny plant 🙂


  4. Ali says:

    I can’t get enough of Iris reticulate, and I love your dark hellebore!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Nice Blog…Always good to see your first daffodil open…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. cavershamjj says:

    Always a joy to see a debut Six post, welcome. I have helebores growing from seed this year and I nearly bought one at Wisley today but they were so expensive. I will have to be patient and wait for my seeds to germinate, grow on, and eventually flower and form clumps. Might take a while….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I saw those hellebores too when we visited Wisley last week but had to be satisfied with less expensive primroses.


  7. Lora Hughes says:

    Your fig has some age on it. Grand looking trunk, that. I love all the flower photos & wonder what’s growing w/the purple hellebore at the top. Crocosmia? No, too early. Iris of some sort? Nice idea for ongoing planting. Will have to steal it, definitely.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The fig was one of the things that sold our house to me – the kids love climbing it. Well spotted that is Crocosmia around the hellebores – rather too much of it, am planning to dig some of it up this year.


      1. Lora Hughes says:

        Wow, your crocosmia is well ahead of mine. Maybe mine’s died . . . will have to run out tomorrow & check.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Love a Primula vulgaris. I really want to collect seed from mine this year, but it is hard to do, I heard. Maybe best just to let it seed and round up the seedlings in early Summer?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I actually asked Fergus Garrett at Great Dixter this week if you could lift and divide native primroses. He said better to grow them from seed – so I think your seedling idea might work.


  9. John Kingdon says:

    I usually say “welcome to the gang” but I think we’re now more than a gang of SoSers; we’re becoming a riot I think! My hellebores are just starting to open, but they’re late flowering varieties. Conversely, Mahonia’s long gone over and I’m waiting for the berries along with the blackbirds. If you’re oversowing a lawn (or even sowing a fresh one) I’d suggest you hang on until at least the end of March, better a bit into April. As things get warmer, you’ll get much better germination rates; at the moment you’ll get hardly any.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sage advice – I think I am over eager to get it seeded and would be better off preparing the ground ie getting rid of all the creeping buttercup which has taken over – then sow at the end of March (we are usually quite ahead down here in Sussex). And thank you for the welcome to the riot.


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