I had to dash round to take the photos for this Six, it was really cold. Relatively speaking. Down about freezing with a notable wind chill. Felt pretty chilly to this soft southerner!  Still, plenty going on in the garden. Mostly acts preparatory to next year but that’s OK, it’s what winter is for.  I should add that today is this blog’s first birthday. Happy Birthday to me! Totes emosh.

Anyhow, time for Six on Saturday. Six things, in the garden, on a Saturday. Could be anything – a plan, a pest, a success, a failure, a flower (if you have any…), some winter interest – anything at all. Join in!

Here are my Six.

1. Plant labels.  Your standard issue white plastic plant labels are all well and good for small plant pots but they tend to get dislodged or buried very easily when used in open ground, in the borders say. I decided to knock up some more robust labels using pallet rails. I found I can get 30 from one rail if cut reasonably thin. This lot should keep me going for a while. They are painted with 1 coat primer, 1 coat blackboard paint. Once written on, I’m spraying them with a clear lacquer which should keep the rain off. The shiny ones are lacquered thus, but I ran out, must buy another can. Not sure how long they’ll last once in the ground, but should be a while, the pallet rails are pressure treated hard-wood.


2. Cotinus leaves. Finally this floppy excuse for a shrub is doing something useful, the leaves are turning a very lovely burnished shade of bronzey coppery pinky red.  I’ll enjoy it while it lasts. Today probably – Storm Caroline will see most of them off, I expect.

3. Virginia creeper. I planted this about 18 months ago then forgot about it. It is stuffed between the dwarf magnolia and the front of the house. My intention was to have it cover the wall where some dodgy plastering has made the render look untidy. It has grown quite high in that time, maybe 15 feet, but has not spread much. I need to do some research. Perhaps I need to prune it back a bit to encourage some branching.  It’s normally a dark green colour with a little varigation, it has begun turn.

4. Phlox, cut back. As I opined recently in the November Border Patrol, I do enjoy a bit of late season border tidying. Here is a recently decapitated phlox clump, ready to endure the winter with 6 inches or so of stem left on. I’ll chop it right back to the ground in March.


5. Manure. Yes, more manure! I collected another 10 bags last weekend and have now mulched the long border. I have more to do. It neatens things up nicely, but is also good food for the soil. Come on worms, dig in! I’ve enough left to mulch Borders 4 and 6, both relatively small. I might pop back and get another load before Christmas.


6. Onion sets.  Part of my renewed focus on the veg patch, I have got a head start on next year’s onion crop. I could probably have put these ‘Electric’ sets straight in the ground, but as its a bit late to be starting these off, I decided to mollycoddle them a bit. They are in modules, in the greenhouse.  I’ll plant them out in early March.

Those are mine, what are yours? Join in, oh say you will? We’d love a nose round your garden, especially so if you are in the southern hemisphere – we could do with a dose of summer up here! Just write your post, add a comment below that includes a link to your post, and maybe a link back to this blog in yours. If you are contemplating it but aren’t sure how, or what to do exactly, see the brief participants’ guide for more details.

Have a great weekend, and don’t forget to check back in during the next day or two as more links are added.

I’ll be back next Saturday with another Six.