The Tea Break Gardener

My Gardening Week – Six on Saturday – 05.05.18

My Gardening Week – Six on Saturday – 05.05.18

The burning bush

BerBerberis darwinnii flower cluster

Berberis flower cluster

This Berberis has been on fire all this week and was emitting a smouldering glow to light up the dreary days before the sun came out again.  Judging by it’s size It’s obviously a fairly old specimen and I think it must be Berberis darwinni.

Orange is fairly unusual in the garden anyway, but especially in Springtime when shrubs are usually yellow, pink or white.

Berberis in full orange glow

Berberis in full orange glow

This Berberis is beautifully placed framing my garden bench.  Most of the year it’s tiny, spiky glossy green leaves are rather uneventful and occasionally my family have queried it’s worth.  This week, I’ve been extolling it’s virtues so it’s existence in the garden remains assured.

The bees also love it, it’s been covered in bumbles and honeybees this week but I’ve failed to capture them.  – STOP PRESS – whilst I was writing this my daughter nipped out and caught this shot.  Maybe I should outsource my photography.

Berberis and bee

Berberis and bee

Anemone Blanda seed head

Anemone blanda - immature seed head

Anemone blanda – immature seed head

This is the first year that I have grown Anemone blanda in a pot and it’s been a lovely focal point on the terrace.  This week it’s seed heads caught me eye.  Up close they look a bit like an acid green raspberry but are pretty much spherical.  I’m interested to see how they develop and hope to collect some seed.

Pulsatilla seed head

Pulsatilla vulgaris - immature seedhead

Pulsatilla vulgaris – immature seedhead

In a terracotta pan next to the Anemone is a delightful Pulsatilla vulgaris, which has been beautiful but is now going over.  Some of the seed heads are already beginning to rattle so I’ll be collecting them soon.

This seed head is still immature but it’s twisted but uniform shape is really lovely.

Apple stepovers

Apple stepover smothered in blossom

Apple stepover smothered in blossom

Up in my vegetable patch, I was pleased to see blossom on my apple stepovers.  I planted four to replace two larger trees which were old and unproductive and needed to make way for a new shed.

These apple stepovers are new (well two years old) and unproductive but I have big hopes for this year having seen this blossom.  A benefit of the late blossom is that frost is now fairly unlikely.

Stepovers are small plants, trained in a t-shape along wires and grafted onto stock to remain a foot tall.  The idea is that you can use them to edge paths or beds but can step over them.  I rather like them but will like the better if I get some fruit!

Wild Garlic everywhere

Large patch of wild garlic

Large patch of wild garlic – new recipes required

This corner of the garden is smelling rather pungent at the moment.  It’s a shady path that runs alongside a wild area where I’m still planning to construct a wood chip woodland path.

I love the flowers of wild garlic to eat as well as the oniony leaves.  This year I may also try wild garlic pesto – it’s a popular foragers’ dish I hear.  Any recipes gratefully received.

Bluebells everywhere

Beech and bluebell wood

Beech and bluebell wood

I do have some native bluebells in my garden but this massed group is in the woods over the road.  It’s mostly beech woodland and the bluebells look amazing with the emerging lime green foliage overhead.

When I lived in London, I would look at the annual bluebell pictures in the newspapers and wonder where I needed to go to see them. Now an app or the internet will tell you but in those days I didn’t take time to do the research.

And now, here they are, minutes from my house. Not everyone is lucky to live so close to a wondrous sight such as this so every year I make the most of getting out there are counting my blessings.

Six on Saturday is a weekly meme – take a look at the comments at the base of host The Propagator to see more ‘sixes’ from other keen gardeners from all over the world.


  1. Mala S. Burt May 5, 2018 at 11:11 am - Reply

    The bluebells in the beech wood are lovely. You are lucky to live close by.

    • Katharine May 8, 2018 at 4:34 pm - Reply

      Mala, they are just glorious and have a delightful scent too. Just going over now sadly but it’s something to look forward to every year.

  2. fred May 5, 2018 at 12:32 pm - Reply

    Great pictures! (even that of your daughter who succeeded in taking a bumblebee picture in this beautiful Berberis!)

    • Katharine May 8, 2018 at 4:36 pm - Reply

      Thanks Fred – Bee shot pretty good. My daughter says she’s scared of bees and bugs so when I said I’d give her £10 if she got a good photo of a bee on the Berberis I thought it was a safe bet. She took the challenge though!

  3. Ali, The Mindful Gardener May 5, 2018 at 2:36 pm - Reply

    Gah! Accidentally lost the comment that took about 10 mins to write. Don’t you just hate that? Hope I’m not reduplicating!
    Anemone blanda self-seeds readily here. Your pic looks like a multi-eyed alien. I love the swoosh of your pulsatilla! And I’m glad you’re in the English Bluebell club! I feel like we need a campaign to educate people about the Spanish ones.

    • Katharine May 8, 2018 at 4:38 pm - Reply

      Always lovely to hear from you Ali and no duplication. Yes the Spanish bluebells are a pain. There is a huge patch of them not 50 metres from where these pics were taken. I feel like going up there with scissors and gutting off the heads to prevent hybridisation but I think I’d be accosted by people who don’t know the difference!

  4. Chris Mousseau May 5, 2018 at 7:44 pm - Reply

    I’ve always loved orange flowers. I know a lot of folks don’t. The Berberis is gorgeous!

    • Katharine May 8, 2018 at 4:39 pm - Reply

      Thanks Chris – I love hot colours in the garden so this Berberis is more than welcome!

  5. @cavershamjj May 5, 2018 at 8:25 pm - Reply

    Great pics, I like the idea of an apple stepover.

    • Katharine May 8, 2018 at 4:39 pm - Reply

      Yes, I saw the stepovers on Gardener’s World in Titchmarsh’s day. They’re pretty cute.

  6. Paul Foreman May 6, 2018 at 3:35 pm - Reply

    I love the smell of wild garlic there is a bank of it on the A697 in Northumberland and you know that summer is on the way when you smell that.

    • Katharine May 8, 2018 at 4:41 pm - Reply

      Yes, they’ve a very strong smell haven’t they. The flowers are also very pretty. I think I’ll nip out and pick some for a vase…

  7. Paul Foreman May 12, 2018 at 8:52 pm - Reply

    I find the Pulsitilla Seed heads fascinating. Got some in my garden/..really pretty

Leave A Comment