Six on Saturday: 9th December 2017

Six snapshots in the garden to chart the changing seasons

Last weeks Six on Saturday went quite well so I’ve decided to give it another go this week. I’m away from the house so it’s another cheat week from me. The weather has turned chilly and we’re staying at the in-laws’ house in Surrey. The frost in the garden here was too much of a novelty for me so I thought I’d share.

The Six on Saturday meme was started by The Propagator so go and take a look at his weekly post. Also look through the comments to find more blogs joining in.


This Winter Jasmine putting in a good show this time of year but I doubt I’ll ever covet it for my own garden. I find the growth habit odd and for most of the year it’s just wiry stems.


Seed heads of Japanese Anemone. This is a lesson in not clearing away your perennials once they’ve gone to sleep for winter – look what you’ll miss out on!


The same goes for Hydrangeas. Leaving the spent flower heads is supposed to provide some cover against frost but more importantly it keeps interest into the depths of winter.


Frost covered acorns and their husks.


This Azalea is another plant that I probably won’t plant myself but the foliage at this time of year has great colour and the frosting looks great.


Well it is nearly Christmas! I’m getting more interested in conifers and the like. The pale blue needles on this Pine match the chilly morning air. After my morning promenade around the garden my coffee had gone cold and my fingers had chilled. Enjoy the frosty weekend.

MyPottingBench: Signing Off.

Hyacinths forcing over winter
Hyacinths forcing over winter

Times are a-changing for MPB.

As my Hyacinths are being forced over winter it’s time to consider the changes coming next year. My wife and I are moving to Australia in the new year for some adventures Down Under. For the first time in our lives we are at a point where all our professional training is over and we are working independently. As of August this year I have been self-employed and looking forward to the next stage of our lives. What this means is that we are leaving behind our lovely cottage in Devon for at least a few years.

It’s odd gardening in a garden you know you won’t be in come spring. I have hyacinths, daffodils and tulips going in but anything later in the season has been cancelled. I’ve given my seeds to my mum for next year and put the potting bench to bed.

Looking back on the blog

I’m really glad I started the blog last year. Looking back on the projects, posts and changes in the garden is quite nostalgic and I wouldn’t have this record of the year without the blog. I’ve also been in contact with lots of readers and bloggers and it’s been thoroughly enjoyable. I’ve also enjoyed following your progress over the year and I’ll continue to do that.

Over recent months the blog has been second place to ‘real life’. This year I’ve completed my training, set myself up in business and married my beautiful partner of 10 years. One regret I have is not posting as often as intended at the outset.

I’m starting a blog charting the process we go through to get ourselves to Australia and into work. I’m not sure what form gardening will take in Oz but there’s always the option of a MyPottingBench: Down Under!

Hyacinths forcing over winter
Hyacinths forcing over winter

Monday is the first anniversary of my MPB blog and it seems a good time to be coming to an end.


UPDATE: MyPottingBench: Down Under did indeed spring in to life, followed by some overseas adventures before returning to Devon in the Spring of 2017.

Storm Damage : The repair

A quick repair to the damaged fence

Calling in reinforcements

The story so far

Storm Damage!

A short-term fix

With the help of a handy family member – someone with some competence in DIY (unlike myself) and equipped with some appropriate tools – I’ve spent the day putting the garden back together. This is a temporary fix to re-secure the boundaries pending a more permanent fix.

He also cut the massive hedge that makes the rear border of our garden. We came up with a bartering system (or skills-share as is the more popular term currently) whereby I agreed to prune his old and neglected apple tree and he would prune my hedge.

UPDATE: See how the repair looked

Storm Damage: Recovery

Planning for better times

Looking forward to summer, I’ve potted up some bare-root hardy geraniums. These were an offer from Thompson & Morgan where they were free if you pay the postage (worked out about £1 per plant which seemed acceptable to me).

Hardy geraniums arrive bare root and ready to be resurrected
Hardy geraniums arrive bare root and ready to be resurrected

Storm Damage!

Destruction in the garden as a storm knocks over the neighbours fence

Thought we were getting off light this winter until we woke up to this. Fortunately there’s not much up and through the soil yet so it could have been worse.

Destruction in the garden as a storm knocks over the neighbours fence
Destruction in the garden as a storm knocks over the neighbours fence

We’ll do more exploration tomorrow so assess the damage.

UPDATE: See how the recovery progressed

Storm Damage: The repair

Storm Damage: Recovery

Squelching Mulching Fun part 2

Daffodils emerging in terracotta pot

Finally a bright and sunny day!


After yesterdays rain delay I can finally show you some sunny winter garden shots.

Since it was sunny I thought I’d share the results of yesterday morning’s labours. Also, looks like my Narcissi are starting to poke through. Spring is coming!

View through the gate to the top garden
The top garden has a fresh pile of manure and the sun has come out

Squelching Mulching Fun

daffodils in a vase


Time to get mulching

We finally got round to mulching the beds today ( and just in time as the monsoon has started again in Devon). With thanks to a friend of ours and more so to her hoofed companion. This morning the fiancée and I vigorously filled bag after bag of muck – no need to go to the gym today for me.


I’ve prioritised the roses, the new apple tree we put in last Autumn and the areas where the flood cleared the topsoil away. Since the sight of a pile of horse muck only appeals to an unusual subset of society I’ve put in a picture of some daffs instead to brighten a drizzly January Saturday. (These aren’t just any daffs, these are British grown daffs purchased at a well known food and clothing chain)