Six on Saturday. 2nd March.

I am joining in this popular meme today, Six on Saturday hosted by The Propagator, although being constrained by only six items is a problem for me once I get going.

Number one, I just noticed today that Magnolia ‘Black Tulip’ is very unwisely casting off its furry overcoat. It usually blooms in April so I am a little anxious for it. It is a glorious flower, not black, but dark burgundy and goblet -shaped.

Magnolia ‘Black tulip’

Catkins have been amazing this year and I am very fond of the long jade green ones on the Garrya elliptica ‘James Roof’. I don’t know who James Roof was but this is the garrya with the longest catkins.

Garrya elliptica ‘James Roof’

Of course, when we talk about catkins we have to include Pussy Willow. I have three favourites. One is the pink Salix gracilistyla ‘Mount Aso’.

Salix gracilistyla ‘Mount Aso’

The second has black catkins ending in little cats’ claws and is very dramatic.

Salix gracilistyla ‘Melanostachys’

The third has very delicate little pussy Willows on an elegant shrub and is called Salix purpurea ‘Nancy Saunders’, but you have to take my word for the beauty of this one because I forgot to take a photo and now it’s getting too dark, but it seems churlish to leave it out when it is so pretty.

I don’t usually have a fruit harvest in late winter but this year my lemon tree has excelled itself and so I am going to make lemon possets for my guests tomorrow. Some of them are rather an odd shape but never mind.

This lemon tree spends  the winter in my summer house and lately I have been taking my coffee down there because it is a nice place to sit in February.


I am very grateful for this lovely pile of manure which is going to be a delicious treat for my roses. Special thanks to my lovely Pianist who  went up the road and got it for me, a labour of love indeed. The Pianist always says he believes in the dignity of labour, but not his labour. So shovelling excrement is not his favourite occupation. Thanks also to Pickle the horse who is owed an extra nice carrot.

I would like more than this really but I think I’d be pushing my luck to suggest it.

Now how many is that? I must finish with some some shots of my winter garden which is delighting me this year as it is nicely mature at last.


Winter garden

The little Japanese Apricot, Prunus mume ‘Omoi-na mama’ lights up this part of the garden. I believe it means ‘As I reflect’ in English.

Many thanks to our host, The Propagator, do go and look at the other Six on Saturdayers, it is quite a party.

Each month I write about my top ten blooms and ask you to join in and share yours too. Up to now it has been rather a movable feast depending when I could be bothered. I have decided that it is unreasonable to ask you to join in when the date depends on my whim so I am going to fix it at the 23rd of each month. I hope this will make it easier for people to join in and share their favourite seasonal blooms.


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58 Responses to Six on Saturday. 2nd March.

  1. One Man And His Garden Trowel says:

    Your winter garden looks lovely. You can’t beat a lemon posset, particularly if it comes with a bit of shortbread or perhaps a ginger biscuit!

  2. susurrus says:

    I saw pink salix for the first time this month at Harlow Carr. It’s an amazing plant. Great choices!

  3. Your summer house looks really wonderful, especially with a pitcher of Forsythia in bloom and sun streaming in over the sofa!

  4. I’m worried for all the magnolias too! Mine isn’t quite there yet luckily but with Storm Freya on the way I’m worried about my greenhouse too!

    • Chloris says:

      I agree, the magnolias can get ruined if they emerge too soon. I hate these storms, listening to the wind roaring and worrying about greenhouses, trees and fences. Let’s hope Freya won’t be too malevolent.

  5. bcparkison says:

    Never knew lemons could be so strange looking. My lemon ,which out did it’s self a year or so ago, almost died for the third time. It is back. Not in bloom yet but I can hope. The year after my husband passed i must have had 7 doz. fruit the size of small grapefruit. I’m hopeing it was a sign he is safe and sound and everythng is going to be ok.
    A Summer house sounds delightful. Do you have a screen porch and ceiing fans. Thats what I would want and a swing/ bed for naps.

    • Chloris says:

      Wow, that’s a lot of fruit. My tree is looking a bit exhausted after producing all this fruit, I should have picked it ages ago but it looked lovely hanging on the tree.
      No screenporches or ceiling fans in my summerhouse but we don’t really need them in this climate. If it is hot we put our hammocks up under the mulberry tree.

  6. March Picker says:

    The color of that early magnolia bud is wonderful, Chloris. One of my favorite colors — almost magenta! One can never have too much manure at this time of year. You should be very proud of that winter garden.

    • Chloris says:

      It is a fabulous magnolia both in colour and shape. I will show it when the flowers open properly.
      I wish I had more manure but unless I go and get it myself it’s not going to happen. Anyway at least I have enough for the roses.
      The winter garden is taking shape now and with plenty of bulbs it looks good in spring too.

  7. Such a lovely garden! The color of that bud is glorious. 🌷🌱

  8. Kris P says:

    Your summer house looks like a great place to hang out year-round, Chloris, and your winter garden is lovely. (Is that a Phormium I see in the 3rd shot?). I was admiring that very Magnolia just this morning in an advertisement sent me by a US grower and wondering where in heck I could possibly put it. My own Garrya ‘James Roof’ has been in the ground for slightly more than 3 years now and, while definitely not dead, has failed to gain any stature at all – I haven’t decided whether to give it more time in its current spot or to try moving it, assuming I can find a suitable placement option.

    • Chloris says:

      Yes, it is a phormium, I shall probably regret putting it there when it gets too big for its boots.
      Black Tulip is a great magnolia, I can recommend it.
      My Garrya elliptica ‘James Roof’ is quite new. I have another huge one planted by a previous owner which is not ‘James Roof’ and it has much smaller tassels. It’s always difficult to know whether to be ruthless when a plant struggles. I used to keep things as long as they had a sign of life, nowadays I tell them firmly to pull their socks up or they are out.

  9. Sheryl says:

    The flowers are beautiful. It’s still snowy here. I can hardly wait for spring!

  10. What a lovely six – your magnolia is divine, great selection of catkins and your summer house looks quite dreamy.

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you, yes, it is a fabulous magnolia but then I am a big magnolia fan and I have several different ones and I love them all. I love catkins too at this time of the and they are great in vases.

  11. The Potter says:

    Love your garden and especially the summerhouse. We have the same plate (the yellow one with an owl). Mine was a gift from my daughter.

  12. Oh that magnolia is such a fabulous colour Chloris. It seems that a good few plants are casting off their overcoats early this year. I have just treated myself to Salix gracilistyla ‘Mount Aso’. In fact it only arrived yesterday and it was a case of love at first sight 🙂 I had only seen photos of it in magazines and websites and had not come across it in the flesh. The translation for the little Japanese apricot seems most fitting.

    • Chloris says:

      Mount Aso is a plant that matches up to its photographs and descriptions in catalogues. It is gorgeous. Mine was called ‘Red Cats’ but I think it was a name given by the supplier. By the way, the book I was reading in the summerhouse is one recommended by you and I love it.

  13. homeslip says:

    What a super six. I miss ready access to horse manure since moving away from my allotment but I am making up for it by composting everything! I have three heaps on the go and while turning the oldest one last weekend extracted two barrows of delicious compost. We visited Wakehurst yesterday to see the frankly disappointing new winter garden – not a patch on yours. The saving grace was the Daphne-lined walk down through the Loder valley to the lake and back up through the New World northern hemisphere arboretum where I hoped to catch sight of an Acer Saccharinum, the beautiful tree I’ve inherited in my new garden wth its carpet cf C. tommasianus. Loved reading your greenhouse post just now too. My greenhouse smells of dessicated lemon verbena leaves, the plant is looking very dead but I am confident like Fuchsia she will re-emerge. Talking of roses and muck I intuitively bought two R. Penny Lane for the pergola last year. I liked the name and they looked healthy and only cost me £5 each from Apuldram Roses. You can imagine my delight when I discovered that she was Rose of the Year in 1998 and one of her parents is R. New Dawn. I’ll be putting horse muck on my list of things to ask my new woolly spinning friends tomorrow. Your summerhouse looks so squishy and inviting. I am the custodian of my mother’s collection of handmade plates from places she has been and I am mostly using them as terracotta plant pot stands. I think I will remedy that and hang them on the wall instead. My mother had them on a balcony wall leading out from her bedroom and siting there with her with a coffee always made me feel like I was in Greece or Italy or the South of France!

    • Chloris says:

      You can’t beat home made compost, I need to sort mine out. My two heaps have become one huge one which is going to need a lot of sorting out and excavating to get to the good stuff.
      I love the idea of a daphne lined path, it’s a pity they are so expensive.
      Penny Lane is such a pretty rose, I had it in my previous garden and loved it.
      None of my plates are rare or expensive but it is a cheap and cheerful way to decorate my summerhouse wall. Eventually I am hoping my lovely daughter in law will paint a mural for me.

  14. Oh my goodness – what a stunning selection of shrubs you have – so much interest at this time of year. Catkins a go go!

    • Chloris says:

      Yes, I planted this area specially for winter. I like to corall all my colour together for maximum impact at this time of the year. I love all the different catkins dancing away just now, it has been a fabulous year for them.

  15. Heyjude says:

    ‘Mount Aso’ is a beauty, much nicer than my Pussy Willow. And ‘Melanostachys’ is very unusual. Am most envious of your summer house. I have always dreamed of a summerhouse, but will have to make do with the conservatory/orangery although it is still too cold to sit inside until April at least. Is your summer house heated? Just wondering if lemon trees require winter heat.

  16. I am very keen on getting Salix Nancy Saunders once the bog garden is completed. I love your Melanostachys too.

  17. Chloris says:

    No I have no heating in the summer house. I find that citrus gets such terrible scale insect if kept in the warm in winter. If we get a really bad winter I tuck some fleeces round the pots.

  18. Magnolia ‘Black Tulip’ is my favourite. Those buds just look delicious.

    Thank you so much for the hellebore seedlings! I have potted them up and look forward to seeing what they do!

    • Chloris says:

      Black Tulip is a stunner but I love all magnolias, in my previous garden I had 23 different ones but then I had lots of space.
      I’m so glad the hellebores arrived safely. I dug them up from different parts of the garden in the hopes that you would get different flowers.

  19. cavershamjj says:

    Love a magnolia. I have a dwarf stellata in the front garden, white flowers.

  20. tonytomeo says:

    Garrya elliptica is a native here. It seems odd that it is grown in gardens elsewhere.

    • Chloris says:

      We grow it for its lovely, long, silky tassels.

      • tonytomeo says:

        They are certainly pretty in bloom, but are not much to look at when they finish. It is not such an easy plant to work with when it gets big. I sort of like them pruned upward like a small tree, but they are more often planted into situations where they can not get so big.

  21. Christina says:

    I’m glad you showed your winter garden, I was wondering how it was developing. The summerhouse looks so comfortable for a morning coffee. Great selection as usual. Good idea to fix a date for your 10 plants of the month.

  22. fredgardener says:

    This magnolia is full of promise ! I love it. Fingers crossed that a cold wave doesn’t kill it too soon …

  23. n20gardener says:

    So envious of all your lemons. My lemon tree is still sheltering in the greenhouse and still on its journey recovering from last year’s cold temperatures here. I hope I get a lemon or two this summer. Absolutely love the Magnolia – fingers crossed for it.

    • Chloris says:

      I love lemon trees they are so rewarding with blossom and fruit. I have two, one is ‘Meyers’ but I am not sure which variety this one is with such pointy fruit.

  24. Island Time says:

    Lovely! Pretty winter garden. Lovely to see thst spring is springing somewhere in the northern hemisphere at least!! Lovely lemons and everyhting else too! Thank you.

  25. Looking fab of course Chloris. Your summer house is looking very inviting. I love your salix really pretty colour.

  26. Your Garrya look quite intriguing, but I’m not sure how I feel about pink Salix. Overall things are starting to look quite springy by you. Love the Japanese apricot.

  27. I am sooooooo late on parade, has everyone gone home? Love the cat claw willow, scary and beautiful at the same time. It is wonderful when magnolias break out of their buds, that one is going to be a beauty. 🙂

  28. snowbird says:

    Your winter garden is delightful. What a beautiful magnolia bud, goodness, that is early! I did enjoy all your catkins and am most envious of all those lemons as my lemon tree died last year despite being fleeced, damn that Beast from the East! How cozy and inviting your summer house looks, I be spending a lot of time in there

  29. Pingback: Six on Saturday – Watches – Off The Edge Gardening

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