I suspect that #SixOnSaturday is going to be overwhelmed by clematis montana for the ext couple of weeks! Mine’s been in bud for a while and just this week has erupted into a wall of soft pink.

Excitingly, after two years of prolific foliage, peony ‘Sarah Bernhardt’ has flower buds on it for the first time!

My pulmonaria (lungwort, on account of the markings on its leaves) was an acquisition from a friend’s garden last spring and it’s quietly establishing itself. Not much interest from the bees so far…

Clematis ‘Westerplatte’ is also looking really healthy again this year and has a good handful of buds so far. It’s usually fairly prolific at this time of year and sometimes has another, smaller, flush of its dark pink flowers towards the end of the summer.

For the last couple of years I’ve bought my daffodil and tulip bulbs from Sarah Raven. This is narcissus ‘Pueblo’, one of three daffodils new to me this year; the other two,’Geranium’ and ‘Silver Chimes’, featured in last week’s #SixOnSaturday.

The tulips have also started to emerge. This one is part of the Super Perennial Tulip Collection; I suspect it’s ‘Artist’s but it could be ‘Groenland’. I’m starting to have a bit of a panic that they’re all going to come out in the next ten days while I’m away – I have a trip to my parents’ sandwiched between two stints at Waddesdon – but hopefully I’m being overly pessimistic…

Head to The Propagtor‘s blog to see what’s going on in other gardens in the UK and beyond!

This week at Waddesdon

I made it through week two of my internship at Waddesdon Manor unscathed!

Each day this week I spent at least part of my time working on the pheasant! A living sculpture is probably the most useful way to describe it; a mesh framework is filled with compost and then planted up, this year with succulents.

It doesn’t go on display until September but there’s a HUGE amount of work that goes into ‘building’ it and my job this week was to do a significant part of the stuffing! Although I spent quite a lot if my time sitting down – one of very few gardening jobs for which that’s allowed!! – it was still surprisingly physical, mainly because the compost needs to be densely compacted into the structure to stop it all falling out again!

I suspect there will be news of more pheasant-stuffing next weekend too! In the meantime, you can read about the whole mad scheme here (scroll to the bottom of the page).

I also helped move some lovely containers of daffs into position for the National Trust’s annual Easter egg hunts, did some weeding on a slope – well, I stood on the path and hoed while my more mountain goat-like colleagues braved the incline – pruned a shrub and raked up grass clippings.

A combination of more painkillers and less physically strenuous tasks means I’m definitely less sore this weekend! And I think we’ve solved the issue of work trousers with the help of the garden manager (i.e. head gardener) who is also a middle-aged lady who’s not a size 10!

Long overdue allotment update

One of the added bonuses of not being quite so exhausted / sore when I got back to Leicester was that heading up to the allotment – for the first time in at least three weeks – wasn’t quite the chore it might have been.

Things that have been in the ground a while, like my raspberries and the pollinator under-planting of cerinthe and borage, plus the well-established strawberries were all doing fine. The first of my first early spuds – planted a little under a month ago – are starting to peep through the ground, and the perennial bed is just quietly getting on with things.

A lot of the plants in pots that I’d taken up to just get them out of the garden were definitely suffering. Some needed a bit of TLC back at home, some are already reviving after a good drink and some have probably kicked the bucket. Hey ho!

I did manage to crack on with the cut flower section today, planting out my first row of sweet peas, a mixture of very leggy plants that I’d started in January and seeds that I direct-sowed.

When I took on the allotment I was told I was lucky because the plot has good soil. I mean, some of it’s not completely dreadful, but the section I’ve earmarked for flowers really is. So before I could plant I had to almost chisel out a trench, then fill it with a bag each of farmyard manure (currently four 50l bags for a tenner from Homebase, just FYI…) and a bag of peat-free compost.

Then I had to build a slightly Heath Robinson netting structure for the sweet peas to scramble up. I was pretty happy with it, but I have everything crossed that there’s no wind before the plants have a chance to get established. I’m also slightly worried about birds as the netting’s black and quite fine and I’m concerned they won’t see it…

And finally, I dug up some more of Jeff’s leeks and parsnips and took them round to some friends for their Easter Sunday lunch!

Next week I’m heading straight from Waddesdon to my parents’ so with any luck next Saturday you’ll get the first glimpse of their garden for #SixOnSaturday!

Happy gardening, and happy Easter!


Twitter and Instagram: @MySecretGard

7 thoughts on “#SixOnSaturday

  1. Wow, do you have time for anything else apart from gardening? This sounds like a full on week, well done. The pheasant is fun, I shall look forward to more updates about it.


    1. Haha! Let’s put it this way: there’s plenty more I could be doing both in the garden and on the allotment that just doesn’t get done. But tomorrow – which I do have off – is earmarked for watering. Lots and lots of watering.


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