Six on Saturday: Stormy weather

Some much needed rain last night in the form of a dramatic but short-lived thunderstorm. At last the garden has had a watering. I was weeding in amongst the alliums yesterday and noticed they had gone all floppy. I tend not to water my garden even in dry spells except for new plants and pots, so that only plants which can cope with our free-draining chalk survive.

Each week The Propagator invites us to feature six things from our garden. Here are my six, snapped in between breaking up fights between my offspring and running a 24/7 café from our kitchen.

  1. Dutch Iris ‘Pretty in Blue’

I am growing a few of these irises from Peter Nyssen under our little apple tree. They are absolutely glorious although they should perhaps be called ‘Pretty in Blue – and Yellow’.

2. Apple blossom

We have two apple trees. The biggest, with the darkest pink blossom, was leaning dangerously this winter, but our lovely tree surgeons staked it up and now it is happily flowering away, hopefully a sign of a fruitful year.

The second is a dwarf apple which went bananas last year (if an apple can go bananas) with the most fruit I have ever seen. It has less blossom this year, but it deserves a year off.

3. Purple flowering broccoli seedlings

The other day I potted up lots of summer purple flowering broccoli. I haven’t dared check yet this morning as I left them outside and am hoping they haven’t been too battered by last night’s storm.

4. Tulips

When it comes to tulips in the bed just outside our French windows, I have gone for bold and brilliant colours. These are Queen of the Night, Curly Sue and Ballerina. They have been in for 3 years now – we are lucky they come back on our free draining chalk – but after the wet winter I thought I might have to replace a few and sure enough there is so far only one of the beautiful ballerinas, so I will have to order more next autumn.

5. Southover Grange Gardens, Lewes

With three children, we have found it easier to take them out by themselves or in pairs with just one of us in terms of social distancing when exercising. The other morning my little one really needed to let off steam so we went on a blissful walk through our local gardens which are still open. We had them almost to ourselves to enjoy the Spring bedding displays in glorious sunshine.

6. Up the garden path

Our front garden comes into its own in Spring, with lots of tulips and narcissi as well as self-sown comfrey and bluebells and the first shoots of bronze fennel.

Stay safe and let your gardens keep you sane. X

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Writer and garden blogger.


  1. Oh my! All that pampas grass at the Southover Grange Garden! It is the Cortaderia jubata that is such a seriously aggressively invasive exotic here. It grows wild, but I have never seen it actually planted into a landscape. It must not naturalize there. It is an interesting choice. Even where it is not a problem, I would expect Cortaderis selloana to be more popular. It is sometimes planted here, not just because it is so striking, but also because the cultivars are sterile, so do not naturalize.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, it would not be popular if it were a weed. Weirdly, I actually like it. I grew up with . . . although not in a good way. I still like the vertical tan blooms. There is something homey about them.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. How lovely that you can still walk in the gardens, I do wish the NT would open their parks and gardens, I can’t see that it would be difficult to restrict numbers in the car park and I have never been in one of their places and found it crowded. I think most people are sensible enough to keep their distance. Love the up the garden path pictures too. Spring is my favourite season in my garden, everything is so fresh.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m waiting for rain, and I’m waiting for my crab apple to bloom. The rich pink of the buds on your apple blossom is so pretty, I’m glad that you’ve managed to have it staked.

    I can’t recall the number of times I’ve left plants outdoors when there’s been heavy rain – or worse, a frost! Your seedlings look good – I hope they are still fine. The tulips are lovely, just a pity that the lovely T. ‘Ballerina’ hasn’t come back up.

    What a happy little face, smiling for the camera – in such a lovely setting! Your own garden borders are also a joyful sight.

    Liked by 1 person

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