Six-on-Saturday – She Walked Right In

Here’s Heucherella, related in some way to Heuchera, a bit like Cinders and Cinderella perhaps.

It’s been a busy week and I’m finally getting around to putting a few bits and pieces together on Sunday afternoon. Really, I should be napping after a very windy morning on the bike, but I’m keen to get this done first.

It’s been a great week here in Abbeyside, despite plenty winds from the wrong direction. The highlight was on Wednesday. As I sat reading in the conservatory the blackbird came right in, holding a few wriggling worms, casually looked around, looked at me, looked at the two dogs looking at her, stopped for about ten seconds and about turned again. I didn’t have time to grab the camera.

So, what’s on display here this week? Here we go…

A h-Aon:

It’s a very busy time of the year. All the seedlings that have been safely kept in the glasshouse are now out every day. It’s a bit of a chore, but I’m happy to get them outside. It’s beginning to get too warm in the glasshouse and it’ll only get warmer from now on. I’ll be aiming to start planting these after the middle of May. In the meantime, this out and in procedure will have to be kept up until then.

A Dó:

This small corner, mostly in shade, is a happy home to the Heather, Bluebells and the Hellebores. While the bluebells are now in their prime, hellebores are fading fast. There are three here, and if you look carefully there are dozens of small seedlings growing happily in the gravel. Even if you don’t look carefully, they’re happy where they are!

A Trí:

A closer look at the pretty Bluebell. Marion loves them and they bring happy memories of her childhood.

A Ceathar:

The Begonias are beginning to stir. I’m always amazed that these small corms can burst forth such beautiful foliage and flowers. They’ve been given a good feed and fresh new soil direct from last year’s compost heap. I’ll be sure to bring regular updates as they develop. I think there are twenty.

A Cúig:

On a recent visit to Ballinlough Garden Centre I came away with this fine specimen. It’s Osmanthus heterophyllus Tricolor, in lay-man’s language Holly Olive. Here’s what the RHS had to say about it. Click here. What I’ve got to say is this: I’m a sucker for evergreen variegated plants. What Marion has to say is that I need to be more selective about purchasing plants, i.e. operate at about 20%. In any case, I know exactly where I’m going to plant this. It’s not as if I bought it and don’t know where it’s going.

A Sé:

Finally, here’s Heucherella. I’m thinking that this is the same as Heuchera, just with a fancy ending. In Ireland, adding the suffix “-ín” denotes smaller. Buachaill is a boy, so buachaillín is a small boy. Teach is a house, whereas teachín is a cottage; bóthar is a road and botharín (aka boreen) is a narrow road. It’s the same with Heucherella I’m sure, similar to Cinders and Cinderella.

That’s it for this week, a cháirde. Until next week, I hope that all will be well in your world. Slán go fóill.

What’s this Six-on-Saturday? We are a group of gardeners who write. We write about six items in our gardens, and we do it on Saturdays. You can find out more about it here.


Six-on-Saturday – Missing In Action

There are plenty gaps appearing. This particular spot looked very bare so I bought these two small chrysanthemums.

9th October 2021.

It’s not unusual. The hand trowel is missing, but it usually turns up after a short while. I simply retrace my gardening steps and… voilà, there it is just where I left it. This time, it’s been missing for more than 72 hours. Marion reminds me regularly not to leave tools outside overnight. The thought of wanting to do the right thing but being unable to is devastating. The nights are cold, and the morning sun takes longer to get going. I do hope that my hand trowel will be found unharmed.

While searching in vain, I took a few photographs to reflect what’s happening this week. Here’s my selection…

A h-Aon:

There are plenty gaps appearing. This particular spot looked very bare so I bought these two small chrysanthemums. Likely they’ll flower away until the first frost, at which time I’ll cut them hard and plant them in the ground until it’s time for them to shine front-centre once again next year.

I should have bought a hand trowel while I was there.

I returned on Friday to buy two Skimmias for my sister. I’ll be planting them for her next week, but in the meantime, why not add them behind the chrysanthemums for contrast? I think they look good. The variety is called Temptation. Yes, wouldn’t you know? Hard to resist.

A Dó:

It’s beyond redemption! Growing strongly, but in all the wrong directions, I’m between two minds what to do. On the one hand, it’s too gorgeous to remove, yet it’s beginning to outgrow it’s space. There’s only one thing for it… Think long and hard. Yes, that’s the answer! I’ll do that.

By my reckoning Spring was about three weeks late this year. Now, it’s Autumn’s turn to be late for the party.

A Trí:

Some Begonias are more trouble than they’re worth. Some droop too much while others grow very spindly or flowers fall regularly. This one has no such problems. I’ll be keeping it! Others will be discarded. Definitely no hand trowel hidden here.

A Ceathar:

Yarrow is one of my favourite plants. Loved by insects, the fading flower-head is lasting a long time. It’s spreads quickly, and therefore I’ll likely cut out some of it to give away. I’ve got two other varieties to plant nearby. Not sure yet how or when to get it done, because I cannot find the you-know-what.

A Cúig:

Having mentioned bare spots earlier, this is an example of the opposite. I’ve had three pots of Nerines tucked away carefully among the rockery plants. They’ve been shaded from the sun during the warm weeks of summer and now there’s a bit of colour appearing. These are originally from mam’s garden.

A Sé:

Alyssum Gold Ball is a small perennial, and reliable too. It flowered in April and I gave it a hard cutting immediately afterwards. Now, it’s back for a second flush. Loved by slugs and snails, it seems to flourish despite being nibbled regularly.

That’s it for this week, a cháirde. Until next week, I hope that all will be well in your world. Slán go fóill.


Six-on-Saturday – No Time To Die

This little conifer doesn’t look right. I’ve a feeling there’s something wrong. In fact, I’d say there’s something happening underground that’s not helping matters.

2nd October 2021.

I can’t get my head around it. “Dry spots” doesn’t mean what it used to.

This week, the phrase is used to denote areas of the United Kingdom where there’s no petrol! Here in Ireland, there’s plenty petrol but not enough wind. Reports suggest that there may be blackouts over the coming winters because coal-powered generating stations are due to be shut down.

I’m just thankful that gardening continues regardless. Mostly, it’s been a really lovely week, with plenty dry spots and very little wind. Here’s my selection…

1. There’s no shortage of salad greens. Lettuce, spinach and scallions grow better in cool autumn conditions, I think. I’ve sown another batch this week. When it comes to November, it’ll likely be glasshouse lettuces, not as tasty but acceptable.

2. The bindweed is back, so I’ll need to move quickly. Thankfully, it hasn’t flowered. I do not photograph bindweed. That’s just way it is.

3. This little conifer doesn’t look right. I’ve a feeling there’s something wrong. In fact, I’d say there’s something happening underground that’s not helping matters. This has been one of the loveliest plants in my garden, in my mother-in-law’s stone pot. It’s no time to die. I’ll check the roots to see if it can be salvaged.

4. Begonias again! I’ve moved them closer together and put them on two levels. I’m smirking with satisfaction.

5. Autumn is fuchsia time. I did not prune them hard enough last year and therefore they’ve grown a bit beyond their space. However, what’s not to love?

6. A garden is not all about colour. This fern brings no flower yet the plant is a valuable addition to the rockery.

7. I’m including another because bindweed doesn’t really count. I bought a small shredder. It’s ideal for my little garden. Presently, it’s in the shed and it may just stay there permanently. The basket underneath is removeable and the shredded contents can be emptied easily to the nearby compost heaps. I may bring it with me around the garden when the fuchsias need to be pruned in November.


Six-on-Saturday – Could Be Anything

18th September 2021.

I knew it would happen sooner or later. On a scale of one to ten, this lame Six on Saturday blurb merits about one-point-five. Yet, in a strange way, it’s good to climb off the hamster wheel. I shall upgrade my vote to two-point-two.

I’ve been very very busy (trèz trèz ghnóthach) and the garden has been neglected, so I’m resorting to the theory that a garden in September can mind itself, mostly. It’s a theory I’ve just concocted. No research papers have been published.

If I get a few hours here and there over the next few weeks, everything will be hunky dory, known locally as maith-go-leor. If not, it’ll be a case of letting the Autumn decay accumulate and I’ll do a clear up later on. I’ll adapt to the situation.

So, what can I show-and-tell this week? I continually surprise myself. I refer to Jon’s mantra… Six things, in the garden, on a Saturday… Could be anything. In my head-scratching search for anything, I think I’ve found something, yet whether it be classified as something or anything is highly debatable. What is definitely self-evident is the effectiveness of prolonged head-scratching.

A h-Aon:

Does anyone else label pots? I’ve scratched my head and failed to recall even one Saturday Sixer who has labeled a pot, except myself that is. I am quick to clarify that it’s just the one pot. I didn’t lose the run of myself entirely. I have written somewhere what this means. 21B refers to bulbs planted this year. I know also that they’re lilies. 123 is obviously the variety, but until I find where it’s secretly stored, I’m unable to enlighten myself. Could be anything.

A Dó:

Molly & Becks

Our two Yorkies share the garden with us. Becks is older and waddles slowly around, while Molly keeps a vigilant eye for invaders. They’ve missed being under my feet this week.

If I were a dog, I’d be Becks.

A Trí:

I’m on the look out for unusual items, in particular, a milk churn, an old cart wheel and an old-fashioned water pump. In the meantime, I am very content with this. I’ve added a wooden frame. Right now, it’s propped up against a bare wall. I did have plans to mount it somewhere, but I like the notion that it can be moved from place to place. Dreams change too.

As this dream is merely leaning against the wall, is the wall bare, I’m wondering? It’s a small point.

A Ceathar:

Again, what self-respecting Saturday Sixer would dream of showing bins? Seriously, like! Grey, brown, green and blue, together with a smaller bin and bucket at ground level. Correction: all six are at ground level. It’s great to have a selection of colours that remain constant all year round. I’ve been thinking of swapping them around but permission is not forthcoming.

A Cúig:

I’m making it abundantly clear… A tonne of loose stone won’t ever go astray. This will be used for something or other sooner or later. Probably later. There will be head-scratching aplenty.

A Sé:

In all conscience, I couldn’t send this to my editor for publishing without including something that grows. Usually, a plant or two would spring to mind, but this week my mind is moving in different circles. Something that grows? Let me think… A combination of laziness and aesthetics leads me once more to hide behind a beard. I’ve been known to grow a féasóg from time to time, at intervals of about two years. Whenever I’m reminded that a beard doesn’t suit me, I’m inclined to mention Mr. Steinbeck.

“A man with a beard was always a little suspect anyway. You couldn’t say you wore a beard because you liked a beard. People didn’t like you for telling the truth. You had to say you had a scar so you couldn’t shave.”

John Steinbeck (Cannery Row)

Sin a bhfuil uaimse don seachtain seo. I’ll be back again next week with another Six-on-Saturday. Thank you for reading. Wherever you are, have a great week. Slán go fóill.


Six-on-Saturday – A Grand Oul Stretch

I’m noticing the grand oul stretch in the evening. There’s an extra one hour and forty minutes of daylight since the start of January, forty in the morning and a full hour at the other end. That’s why you don’t hear anyone saying there’s a grand oul stretch in the morning

6th February 2021.

Unofficially, it’s spring. The purists will be flabbergasted. They will troll me saying I am a conspiracy theorist.

It’s been a mixed week here. Tuesday was wet, Wednesday summery, yesterday was supposed to be Baltic, and all through these changing days I’m noticing The Grand Oul Stretch In The Evening. There’s an extra one hour and forty minutes of daylight since the start of January Eanair, forty in the morning and a full hour at the other end. That’s why you don’t hear anyone saying there’s a grand oul stretch in the morning.

All this extra daylight brings new life to the garden and gives me plenty time to select the customary Saturday Six. Be warned though, I’m not in any mood to be taking complaints afterwards!


Regular readers will be familiar with my Patio Potpourri. It’s been in place since early last year. The important thing about it is that I like to adjust it slightly every few weeks, but since the beginning of winter, there hasn’t been much. Therefore Dá bhrí sin, I felt that a major makeover was needed. I started by moving all pots to give me space to see what effect I wanted.

Several plants were cut back to ground level and put away out of sight. I’ve got two such corners near the vegetable beds. I am pleased sásta with the final reshaping, and I’ll have daffodils and some other spring pots to add in shortly.

I particularly like the old boiler flue, now moved to a more prominent position.


Clarenbridge Garden Centre are closed to the public but open for online orders. Here’s the delivery of two bags of potatoes, early and maincrop, together with another Camellia to accompany my recent purchase. Very cleverly, the packer used an oversized plastic pot to pack the potatoes, but the Camellia is upstanding. It shall feature very shortly, but first I’d better unwrap it and get it planted. I really do like the packing arrangement, so much so that I felt the package was worth photographing rather than the contents.

Chitting Early Potatoes

The Chitting Season has started.  Chitting allows me to plant potatoes earlier, and it appears that a stronger crop is assured. So, why wait? Start your chitting speedily, for stronger spud success.

Chitting is a personal affair. I use empty egg-cartons and I’m pleased to report that everything is ship-shape. But should chitters reveal their secrets? My friend Seán tells me his friend Jacques chits much later. Third week of February. Can you believe it? Sacre bleu! H-anam an diabhail!

Delivery Number Two

I ordered good-quality topsoil last week and ended up with several aches and multiple muscle pains after wheelbarrowing it through the garage to its place of rest on the vegetable beds.

By the way, anyone who has gone to Specsavers will clearly see the heated propagator in the background. It was was relocated, by kind permission, to the utility room, and featured prominently last week but was there a photograph? There is now. Snap two birds with one flash.

Powerhose Take One

Earlier in the week I powerhosed and wrote about powerhosing. Writing about it is just as interesting, but when I’m able to look back on this next year or further beyond, I shall do so with satisfaction. Here’s a previous version from 2019.

Finally, I want to include a short video featuring Bobby Blackbird. He joined with me while I rearranged the Patio Potpourri. Here’s the link to my YouTube channel.

Google says chitting means…

Sin a bhfuil uaimse don seachtain seo. I’ll be back again next week with another Six-on-Saturday. Thank you for reading. Have a good week. Stay safe. Slán go fóill.