This week has seen a mix of sunshine and persistent rain, and even a couple of chilly nights although no late frosts here. I have begun to harden off the young plants raised in the greenhouse this year – the annual ritual of greenhouse hokey cokey. As normally happens I got bored with that after 4 or 5 days and resorted to just a fleece covering instead of carting them all back into the shelter of the greenhouse at night. My last frost date is usually mid-may and the forecast doesn’t show nighttime lows below 8 or 9°c. I think (hope) I’m safe now, I’ll just keep half an eye on the forecast for the next week or so. Time for Six on Saturday – six things, in the garden, on a Saturday. Could be anything, a flower, a pest, a disease, a critter, a harvest, anything at all. Join in!

Here are my Six for this week…

1 – Thalictrum x ‘black stockings’. It doesn’t seem like very long ago that I showed these as tightly furled bunches of future plant emerging from the cold soil. In two months they have grown into substantial plants. The flower heads aren’t open yet but the dark stems for which this cultivar is named are very evident. Like a lot of other plants in my garden, after a bit of rain the foliage is looking very lush. I like them, all the more so for having grown them from seed last year.

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2 – Geranium macorrhizum ‘Bevan’s variety’. I bought one or two of these last autumn in a bargain geranium frenzy. I promptly split them into plantlets which rooted nicely over the winter, then planted them on the north facing side of the alley. Bevan’s variety is one of the few geraniums that will not only tolerate but will be quite happy in full shade. I was a little underwhelmed by the flowers until I got close enough to take the photo. They are quite delicate, aren’t they?

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3 – Aquilegia x ‘greenapples’. I had the vaguest recollection that there was something bird related about these plants. Swans, I thought, they look like swans. Not quite – they look like doves, or at least they do according to whoever named them columbines, columbus being latin for dove. I grew these from seed a couple of years ago. Green in bud, they are pure white in flower. I have not seen any sign of the virus that is devastating aquilegias across the land. Long may that continue.

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4 – Pyracantha – brown leaf tips. A few weeks ago I noticed that many of the leaves on this plant were brown at the tips. I removed the affected leaves and tried to figure out what might be causing it. I feared fireblight to which pyracantha is susceptible, but now think it was just water stress. The container is in a dry spot under the eaves so doesn’t catch any rain to speak of. I neglected the watering over the winter and I think it was parched. After a few weeks of a weekly soaking, there are much less affected leaves, just a handful, and there is lots of new growth coming through and now also the beginnings of flowers.

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5 – Centaurea montana, perennial cornflower. Slowly bulking up, this plant was featured at this time last year as a tightly furled bud. The flowers are a bit bonkers, I think.

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6 – Dahlia, emerging. This one is ‘otto’s thrill’, an addition last year. I left all my tubers in the ground for the winter and as far as I can tell, all have lived to the tell the tale. I shan’t bother lifting for the winter again. If I can keep our slimy friends away I shall take a couple of cuttings.

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Those are my six, what are yours? If you’d like to join in, just publish your post and pop a link to it in the comments down below. If you also mention my blog in yours that would be splendid. For more information and otherways to participate, you can read the brief guide here.

Have a super gardening weekend, don’t forget to check back in as more links get added during the day.

I’ll be back next weekend with another #SixOnSaturday.

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