Six on Saturday 27th March

Well it’s that time again: Six photos of plant-related things on a Saturday. You can, of course, find many more Six on Saturday posts by visiting The Propagator. After last week’s Corydalis-fest, this week I’m featuring a couple of non-Corydalis highlights from the garden, before heading out to the allotment. We’ve had some pretty nice weather at times this week, and the plants have responded in kind. Spring is certainly in in the air!

1. Symphytum grandiflorum

Six on Saturday symphytum

This one’s a bit of a thug, but I have a couple of clumps of it for the reason shown above: I can’t get enough of the spiralling red buds that open into white-with-blue-trim, pendant flowers. Somehow it defies logic to have red and blue on the same plant. It also handily provides evergreen ground cover. Every year after it has flowered, I chop it in half and chuck one half; without this brutal treatment, it would surely take over the border!

2. Daffodils

We’re right in the thick of daffodil season now, and here’s a selection of some that are looking good this week. I’m note sure of the names of the top two, the bottom two (left to right) are Rip van Winkle and the ubiquitous Tête-à-tête. Whatever it’s name is, I’m particularly keen on the variety on the top right.

Now to the allotment:

3. Hops

Six on Saturday hops

The hops are showing signs of life. I have a mutual arrangement with my brother-in-law: I grow the hops, he brews the beer, we both drink the results. It’s a bit weedy in the photo, but they’ve now been weeded and mulched. The bit of wood is a stake which I tie the string to. There’s a wire at about 7 or 8 foot high and the hops twine their way up the string to the wire at the top. I grow two varieties, both dwarf (I don’t have the facilities to grow the 20 foot commercial varieties on my humble allotment)!

4. Blackthorn


The back of the allotment is a bit scrubby, with a bramble infested railway embankment behind, so I’ve planted a few Blackthorn (for sloes) and Damsons along the fence to act as a rough hedge. The Blackthorn now in full flower, brightening up an otherwise rather dilapidated spot.

5. Purple Sprouting Broccoli

Six on Saturday purple sprouting

Caged for it’s own protection (from the pigeons)! You can see where the foliage has been ripped apart where it pokes through the netting. Thankfully there’s plenty underneath the netting – we had our first harvest this week. Om nom!

6. Winter Cauliflower

winter cauliflower

This is the first time I’ve tried overwintering cauliflower (Cauliflower Walcheren Winter 3), and it’s been a great success. You can see the old growth looks pretty ratty, but there’s now a nice bit of fresh growth and a lovely little cauliflower! They always seem to appear overnight; just when you’re wondering if anything is going to happen, a fully formed vegetable magically appears.

Well there we go: all done. If you’d like more Six on Saturday posts, The Prop will provide you with more than you could possibly desire. Until next time!

25 thoughts on “Six on Saturday 27th March”

  1. The Symphytum look lovely. Reminds my of a little ground cover used to have. Same idea but with blue & purple flower. Soldiers & sailors commonly nicknamed.

  2. Beautiful Symphytum photo !
    I also like the 4 daffs and you’re right the top right is lovely. I also have one that looks like this one; small and cute flowers but unfortunately no label…

  3. Lots of great photos – especially the Symphytum and the Blackthorn. You’ve reminded me I had a self-seeded Golden Hops growing near the bird table last year that I intended to dig up and give away. I must investigate later.

  4. Great to see your allotment and to have an idea of what home grown veg you will be having. The Blackthorn blossom is always a joy.

  5. Blackthorn is not a good idea as an edging to my small front garden, as I discovered many years ago. Yours looks lovely. Beautiful selection of daffodils and I am suffering from a bad case of broccoli envy – the cabbage whites enjoyed mine and left nothing.

    1. Yes, it’s bit spiky and unruly at times. It has a bit of room to be left to it’s own devices at the end of the allotment.

      I haven’t had much in the way of cabbage white this/last year – I usually do, but they left me alone for once!

  6. Your allotment visit was very interesting. The cauliflower and broccoli are looking very tasty, but the idea of planting blackthorn and damson in the scrubby area was a great one. The daffodil on the top right would be my pick too.

    1. Thanks!

      It’s been suggested that the daffodil in question might be Jack Snipe – it looks right to me. I think it has a strong habit, but the flowers are also quite subtle, which makes for a nice combination.

  7. The Symphytum photograph is quite a success. I agree that the blue adds a strange quality to the flowers – almost like blood vessels running under the skin. Your hops look a bit like asparagus. I am still waiting for the root purchased late winter and buried next to the fence to spring into life. Your growing-brewing exchange is enviable.

  8. Lovely photos all round this week. The symphytum is so elegant in flower! Do you use the leaves to make liquid feed? The purple sprouting broccoli also looks most tempting, when’s the best time of year to sow it? Would like to try it, so far I’ve only tried Calabrese which I sowed a week or so ago.

    1. Thanks! I don’t use it to make liquid feed, but it all goes on the compost heap, so I suppose the nutrients find their way back onto the garden sooner or later!

      I tend to sow the purple sprouting at the end of spring/start of summer (when the main rush of seed sowing is over). There’s no great rush really – as long as it’s nice and established going into winter, it’ll do fine.

  9. A very enjoyable trip to your allotment and top marks for the cauliflower. I’ve only ever grown one and it was only little. Yours looks superb. Interesting about the hops too. I’m not a beer drinker or brewer but they’re quite attractive plants aren’t they? I’m putting in a request for some photos later in the season please…

    1. Thanks! I do quite well with cauliflower in the summer, so I thought I’d give a winter variety a go.

      I will surely oblige your request!

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