New Year’s Six on Saturday

Am just emerging from the fuzziness of illness and finally feel like I have some energy again. It’s a good feeling, and the sun has finally come out, and it’s New Year’s day, so it’s high time for another horticultural delve into Six on Saturday.

1 Hellebore. A Christmas rose, a well-chosen Christmas gift from my son. About the only thing looking good on my patio collection of pots right now.

2 Alfalfa sprouts. I do miss my freshly-grown salads, so this is the best substitute for winter. It’s quite fun to grow these and they have such a crunchy, fresh taste – perfect in a cheese sandwich. I use the jar method. It’s as simple as putting a couple of tablespoons of suitable seeds in a jar, covering with muslin cloth, soaking for a few hours, then rinsing them twice daily for a few days, until the seeds germinate and you see the first leaves.

3 Seed stocktaking. New Year feels like the right time to chuck out the old and plan for the new, so an opportune moment to check and rationalise the seed boxes in the shed. A cheeky little mouse managed to get in and nibble into the envelopes – luckily this was a cardboard box of quite old seeds so no great loss, and a little mouse needs to eat. The seeds kept in the wooden wine boxes were fine, much better for storage. I’ve resolved not to buy new seeds this year and use what I have. I expect this will go the way of most New Year’s resolutions!

4 Sarcacocca confusa. The sweet box smells lovely at this time of year, or so I remember. The trouble is, during my Covid-like cold, I lost my sense of smell and it’s only just coming back. So I hope to be able to appreciate this in the coming days! It’s planted along the front path, offering multiple sniffing opportunities.

5 Corylus avellana. The hazel catkins are lengthening and gradually turning from lime green to soft yellow. This is the tree that keeps on giving, from nuts, to catkins, to incredibly useful rods to use in the garden for staking, and also good timber for the stove.

6 Blue-leaved trees. A painting I’ve been working on while recovering. These blue-leaved trees, native to my imagination, would look great contrasted with some oranges and yellows for a vibrant colour scheme. However, they are rarely to be found at local garden centres!

Wishing you all a Happy New Year! And thanks to The Propagator for hosting Six on Saturday.

26 thoughts on “New Year’s Six on Saturday

  1. Your son chose this white hellebore well, it’s very pretty. I have to redo the micro greens, it’s very easy in winter when there is a lack of raw vegetables: easy to make , easy to eat and tasty you’re right. Nice painting! I wonder who is in the background on the right …

  2. Interesting six and I enjoyed reading about your seed sorting, and your snacking mouse. Hope your pea seedlings if you grow any remain secure. Happy New Year.

  3. That’s a lovely painting. I wish I was talented in the drawing and painting field, but sadly not. Your catkins are lovely, my twisted/contorted hazel only has tiny catkins and no nuts 😪 Hope you continue to feel better and regain your sense of smell – so this wasn’t covid?

    1. Thanks, re the painting I don’t think I would have dared a few years ago but it’s amazing what a few art classes can do! I felt more confident after them. The tests I did that came up negative may have be wrong 🤷‍♀️I hadn’t been ill like this for years!

  4. Your Helleborus is beautiful and the seeds are full of life now 😉 They will taste good. I saw the Corylus catkins today in the park and they were starting to blossom… No wonder with temperatures like the ones we have now.

  5. I do like the painting as it is interesting reading to state of being lv the white plant from Alex he has chosen v well happy new healthy year

  6. Lovely hellebore. I’d never thought of planting them in containers but it’s a good way of adding interest to the winter patio. Will you plant it in the ground later in the year ? Happy New year to you and your family.

    1. My hellebores in the ground don’t look too happy, and one’s got the Black Death or whatever terrible disease hellebores sometimes succumb to. So I feel it’s safer in the pot for now! Happy New Year!

  7. Happy New Year. I’m glad you’re on the mend. Loss of smell and taste was an odd experience of Covid – it made me appreciate the fragrance of flowers (and the taste of food) more. I’m going to have to inspect my Sweet Box tomorrow but I have a feeling yours is way ahead of mine. We used to grow seed sprouts years ago, including Alfalfa sprouts. I’d completely forgotten such things until reading this. Lovely painting.

    1. Seed sprouts were very fashionable when I was a teenager, I remember, and they are going through something of a revival now. They’re healthy and fun but don’t quite replace a home grown lettuce!

  8. As others before me have commented, it’s a lovely painting. My eye is drawn up through the deep blues to the orange sky. I hope you and yours have a Happy – and healthy – New Year.

  9. So pleased to hear that you are on the mend,and most importantly that your sense of smell is returning! The pot of Hellebores is lovely! Lovely painting! You are a lady of many talents! Happy New Year to you.

  10. Happy New Year Sel. Hope you are getting back to normal now. Nice reminder to get some sprouts started… I always forget about them, but do sometimes grow cress too.

  11. I hope you are feeling much better now. The painting is wonderful, so dramatic. I’m liking everything you feature, my
    sarcacocca needs an encouraging word or two I think! Sending you best wishes for a return to health.

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