SoS 24/7/21

I haven’t been around for awhile. It’s not that I haven’t been in the gardens, not at all. It’s just that my writerly work requires long hours at the screen and I couldn’t face blogging. It’s also difficult to load things where we live on the coast,  as our internet has slowed dramatically and mostly, I have to work off my phone. But happy with progress on the latest manuscript, and with a hot chocolate drink seasoned with marshmallows and Lindt chocolate shavings, I feel revived enough to post about the gardens.

There’s always plenty to do as we skid downhill to spring. Today, I’ve been pruning madly in the berry house while husband mowed the almost-acre of lawns. Last week, I pruned my beloved Madame Alfred Carriere with my heart in my mouth, but it’s budding, so all’s well. Last week we also took the bull by the horns and chainsawed the thuggish white C. Montana – which I have grown to hate – right to the ground. I have no doubt it will sprout again and when it does, I swear I shall hit it with glyphosate. Then again, it might be like Japanese Windflowers and Acanthus, and be completely impervious to poisoning.

Anyway, here’s my Six on Saturday, except in my case it’s five…

Firstly the willow. It always buds and the leaves begin to unfurl MONTHS before spring.

So do the freesias. Buds everywhere.

And then my first effort at having a pot of bulbs mixed together. I’ve been charmed by Monty Don’s  tubs of bulbs and wanted that same orchestrated look. I had a tub of mauve Iris Reticulata and some toning mauve spring crocus George. But I think I’m destined never to see everything flower together. My bulbs dance to their own tune and it’s never in orchestrated harmony!

There’s also a tub of white I.Reticulata with white Crocus Pickwick (I think). But then in the white tub, up pops a mauve crocus, so a dose of inattention on my part, and also the fact that the labels in the mail order package had got wet on the back of the mail bike and it was an uneducated guess as to what was what. Oh, and by the way, the chicken wire is to stop the possums digging up the bulbs for an appetiser!

My fifth is from our tiny city garden. We were beset by a week of frosts and I had purchased the most attractive variegated Agave Attenuata. ( mentioned in a previous SoS, I think). The frosts hit it hard as you can see. I purchased a frost cloth but I think it was too late. It’s even worse now- grey and slimy and the wonderful top growth has faded to white and is limp.

Can I save it do you think? And if so, how. I walk the suburb with our dog when we’re in the Big Smoke and there’s common Agave Attenuata in many gardens with no frost damage at all.

And that’s my lot. Please pop across to The Propagator for the regular Saturday round-up of all things bright and beautiful.