Six on Saturday: Doomsday gardening

The gardening year has really got going for me this week and not just because of the unseasonably warm weather we have enjoyed (in a party before the end of the world sort of way).

So I am bending the rules slightly with this week’s six, including not just things happening in my own garden, but also gardening things that have happened to me.

Thanks as ever to The Propagator for hosting this meme. You can guarantee that even when the Apocalypse does come, he will still be here of a Saturday, propagating away.

  1. Charleston Primulas

It was wonderful to be back volunteering in the garden at Charleston Farmhouse near us in East Sussex this week after a few months off. Who would have thought I would be gardening there in a T-shirt in February? Together with another volunteer, I was weeding and tidying up a bed which includes these dazzling red and yellow primulas, a variety that fits in with the 1930s and 40s feel of the garden.

2. Garden Gerbera

This brand new plant was a giveaway from the BBC Gardener’s World Live stand at the Garden Press Event, which I was lucky enough to attend at the Business Design Centre in Islington, London, this week. It was my first time at the press event and I had warned to take a shopping trolley for all the freebies. I tried to be restrained as I had to carry everything back on the train, but I was chuffed with this ‘Sweet Sunset’ Gerbera which is not available anywhere else yet.

3. Sowing sweet peas and broad beans

Do you remember I promised you highly amateur video footage earlier in the year. Well, never one to under-deliver, here it is. No laughing at the back there please. It would have been even more amateur were it not for the expert editing skills of my 10-year-old.

4. Grape hyacinths

Last week Jim from Garden Ruminations commented on the appearance of Muscari foliage. Now we have flowers too. Only a few so far. These line our garden path and hopefully will soon form a nice edging of blue.

5. Damaged lawn

Last April, we had our lawn returfed, which was incredibly poor timing, as it then didn’t rain for weeks and the edges curled up and went brown. To add insult to injury, in this spot the Buddleia and Kniphofia both grew over the grass and killed what was left of it. It now looks even worse than it did to begin with. Fortunately, at the Garden Press Event I met a nice man from Johnson’s Lawn Seed who told me that it is too early to sow lawn seed yet, despite the deceptively mild weather, and that when I do in April, I should make sure to rake the seed back into the grass that is still growing, to make it look more of a match. He recommended Johnson’s Quick Lawn Seed, which matches best with turf.

6. Top heavy rose arch

I have yet to prune our rose arch, but I gleaned some useful tips on pruning rambling and climbing roses from Fiona Dennis, the head gardener at Charleston. I need to take out the old wood and then cut what is left back by a third. This sounds rather brutal, and I am worried about losing the rose altogether, so maybe I will come up with a half-way house solution, as I want to keep a rose arch here and you can’t plant a new rose where there has been a rose before.

That’s my six for this week. Hope you have a great weekend in the garden and look forward to catching up with all your posts!

20 Comments Add yours

  1. Helen says:

    The Charleston Primulas really caught my eye!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Heyjude says:

    That looks like one wayward rose! Good luck with the pruning. And what a lovely Gerbera. I look forward to seeing that on a SoS in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Keith says:

    I know how you feel about the weather. Much as I really appreciate the sunlight I can’t really bring myself to enjoy the warmth when it just feels as if something terribly wrong is happening. Perhaps as a gardener you are more in tune than most about the ‘normal’ flow of nature and how aberrant this is.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think that’s true – I get worried when plants appear/ flower too early.


  4. One Man And His Garden Trowel says:

    Drat, I just sowed grass seed! I never have luck sowing grass seed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well you might be ok given the way the weather is.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you for sharing. I love Charleston and visited many times before I moved. How lucky to be volunteering there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am. It’s a lovely spot.


  6. fredgardener says:

    An interesting video and listening to you is a new exercise for me because I have more ease to read compared to listen. To renew.
    Pretty Six and these primulas are lovely!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. March Picker says:

    I’m interested to see your rose after pruning. I need some instruction on my climbers and thought one couldn’t cut back the main stems at all. Hmmm. Muscari-lined pathways are always a delight. Enjoy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s not done yet but I think you can take out any old wood as long as you have main stems left.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Lisa says:

    That is a gorgeous primula! I never see any that brilliant.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh that arch looks like it will be nice during the summer. Nice Primula as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I loved seeing your video clip Ciar. I have a few amateur vids on my youtube channel. I was initially thinking it was important for a polished performance and a good edit but in the end I decided that anyone wanting to know about the gardening topic in question probably won’t worry about that. Nothing to do with the fact that I lack the skills for a editing – no not at all!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you – I am hoping to learn as I go along!


  11. cavershamjj says:

    Pretty hard to fatally damage a rose, be brutal! Besides, you can plant a rose in the same spot, you just need to replace the soil from a couple of feet around.

    Enjoyed the video.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Apparently roses deliberately send out some sort of toxins to put off competition from other roses!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. tonytomeo says:

    The main problem that I encounter with roses is that they do not get pruned aggressively enough. The more you prune away, the more they will want to grow back.

    Liked by 1 person

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