I thought it was time to put our gardening feet up till the spring? I seem to be busier now than I was at the height of summer. So many jobs to do! Anyway, time for Six on Saturday. Six things, in the garden, on a Saturday. Could be anything – a beastie, a disaster, a triumph, winter interest, a plan, a rare plant or flower, anything at all. Join in, all the best people do!

Here are my Six.

1. Compost bins.  Essential kit in any good garden. I have three bays, enclosed at the sides and front, but open to the elements at the top.  I use one for completed compost, it doesn’t stay full for very long. One of the other two is normally in various states of full, work-in-progress compost, the third bay is for turning the second into every couple of weeks or so.  Normally. Just now I have so much material from clearing the borders, pots etc that both are pressed into service and nearly full.  I’ll worry about turning them in a couple of months, they can just brew away for now.


2. Training the climbing rose. Now is a good time, things are bare enough to see what I’m doing. This year I just have one climbing rose, a decent sized ‘danse de feu’ and it has got a bit unruly.  I’ve already pruned it back, cutting a couple of stems right down to the base, and any side shoots back to the main stems. I have tied in the remaining two long stems so that they are more or less horizontal, one to the left, one to the right. The hope is that new stems will break from these horizontals, and of course I should get new stems from the base of the plant. I plan to train those a little lower than the other two so I get flowers lower down. We shall see. There is a third main stem, which I could bend down to a more horizontal orientation, but it has grown long, weaving through the trellis. Not sure I can do much about that other than prune it back and start again. Next year I should have lots of roses to prune and train, some from cuttings, some new to me. More on that another time.

3. The heated bench.  Have I mentioned this before in a Six post? Not sure.  Anyhow, here it is. I built it early this year.  It comes into its own at this time of year as the conditions get colder. I have a few things overwintering in here, including the begonoias from last week, as well as early seed starts and the inevitable cuttings.

4. Chilli ‘prairie fire’. I’ve grown two varieties of chillie this year. These are usually grown for their ornamental value, rather than their taste or firepower, something I realised long after the seeds were growing away. I think I shall retain one plant and try to overwinter it for an even better crop next year.  If it lives I’ll stick it in a pot on the patio for the colours.

5. First daffodils. I’ve only just finished planting the bulbs (until the next batch arrives) but already some established daffodils are poking the very tips of their noses out.  Seems early to me, but I didn’t keep any records in previous years, so I could be imagining it.

6. Grassy inflorescences.  I don’t think we’re supposed to call them flowers.  These are not yet fully formed, but already looking graceful atop the zebra grass from whence they emerged.

That’s my Six for this week, what are yours? We are steadily adding to our roster of contributors, it is simplicity itself to join in. Just write your post, add a comment to this post with a link to yours. See the brief Participants’ Guide for more details.  We’d love to have a nose round your garden – go on, you know you want to!

Have a great weekend, don’t forget to check back in as more Six posts are added by our crack squad of international gardening ninjas.

I’ll be back next Saturday with another Six.