Three out of Seven!

Waterford, south-east Ireland. Saturday, 13th March, 2021

It was the Brave Little Tailor who boasted of “seven at one blow”, a misinterpreted statement which lead him to many adventures defeating giants, capturing a ferocious unicorn, marrying a princess and ruling half of the kingdom. I don’t think my “three out of seven” will bring even proportionate rewards but it was how the week went and we can only take what we get and make the most of it. We had three days in which we could work in the garden this week and were held indoors by bad weather on the others. Tuesday and Wednesday, Friday and Saturday were not days for the garden with a mid-week storm and cold rain in a cutting wind on the other days. Today, Saturday, at least has the compensation of two rugby games on the television in the afternoon!

Nonetheless, we did manage to keep the spring spurt which started in the garden last week going. Mary, The Head Gardener, tackled the front garden, pruning roses, cutting back penstemons and the usual general tidying up of weeding and refreshing the beds. Box hedging separates the two areas of the front garden, The Circular Lawn and The Square Lawn – the capital letters give them a little sense of importance, I think! – and it has suffered a little with box blight over the past few years. Being so low-lying and close to the river regularly gives conditions which suit the spread of blight and we have treated them in the last few years with “Buxus”, a combined feed and treatment for the box. However, good air circulation is probably of more importance and a thick hedge is more prone to the blight than a thin one. This prompted Mary to have me cut it in half, to reduce its thickness by half and also to drop its height a little. She went on to cut the two front lawns as much to pick up the debris of the work as anything and I edged them with the strimmer so it is all looking neat and tidy and ready for the new growth which is just beginning – I notice that paeonies are all showing new growth, beautiful plants which add so much to the garden, and a order of new plants arrived from Kilmurry Nurseries to add new interest.

Mary’s workplace during the week
The box hedge running between the two areas of the front garden. It is now lower and thinner to allow in more air and, hopefully, to combat box blight.

My time was spent in the Ash Bed with the same general tidying up and refreshing – we seem to follow, without any deliberate decision to do so, that old garden quip that couples who garden together should have separate beds! I lifted and split a few snowdrop clumps and, an investment of effort which will bring results in a few years time, I planted 85 young Trillium albidum plants, seedlings from another bed nearby. This trillium does very well here, increasing vigorously and self-seeding generously and I hope to see these young plants in flower in a few years. They will be underplanted by a low-growing geranium, Geranium cantabrigense ‘Karmina’, which is already in place and fronted by snowdrops which will have gone out of flower by the time the trilliums are in flower — we go on and on making our plans and visualising the future, looking forward and imagining beautiful beds and borders full of gorgeous flowers! It is good to dream – but better to get on with it and plant that future!

The first trillium of the year to come into flower, Trillium chloropetalum, and prompted me to plant more closeby.

As a round-up of other gardening activity this past week: there was further spreading of garden compost on some beds, the rose bed got a generous amount; all that material from the cut-down box hedges and other material from around the garden was shredded and piled onto the compost bin while a timber panel, part of the surround of the compost area, had to be repaired and re-fixed in the aftermath of Wednesday’s storm.

Now, on to a pictorial round-up of what caught the camera lens during this past week:

The flowers of Anemone blanda respond so very quickly to sun, opening when it is shining and closing when the day is dull. These are growing in gravel under a crabapple, Malus floribunda.

Malus floribunda, underplanted with Anemona blanda and Anemone nemerosa, surrounded by a box hedge and backed by rhododendrons and azaleas.

Cardamine quincefolia has an inclination to become a weed as it spreads about so very easily. However, it is very pretty and, if it does become a nuisance, it really is not too big a bother to remove it – the roots are white and very easily spotted, so easy to find and remove. It is one of those flowers which announces the garden is moving along from the dormancy of winter and that spring is well and truly under full sail.

Corydalis, mainly Corydalis solida cultivars, have come into flower and give spots of pretty flower and colour around the garden:

Corylopsis pauciflorum gives a splash of sunshine in the lane at this time of year. It is a colour which appeals to me very much, a soft gentle yellow, primrose yellow, which looks especially beautiful when caught by a shaft of sunlight.

Daffodils have suddenly make an impact on the garden, bursting into flower in the past week and coming as a welcome replacement to the snowdrops which are now on their last legs.

On one of the bad days during the week I made a dash outdoors and collected a selection of daffodils which I then photographed in the comfort of the house to give a series of flower portraits. Click here to see the results: Yellow on Black.

Finally, for this week, and finally for the snowdrops, for I reckon their season is over at this stage. There are a few of the later cultivars going but the stragglers after the main show are never as appealing to me as those which come early and are appreciated for their novelty and precociousness.

I’m sharing this blog with a group of fellow bloggers who contribute to a “Six on Saturday” theme which is hosted by “The Propagator” on his blog site. To read more contributions to the Six on Saturday theme go to The Propagator’s entry for today, scroll down to the comments and you will find other bloggers have posted links to their Saturday entries there. Lots to read!

The local authorities, Waterford City and County Council, decided to decorate my garden sculpture with green lighting to mark St. Patrick’s Day. It was lit up for the first time last night.

21 thoughts on “Three out of Seven!

    1. I have found several purchased trilliums slow to get going, simply lingering on year to year with a single growing stem and, perhaps, a single flower. When this happens, I find a move to another position in the garden is beneficial. Other trilliums, from friends’ gardens, have generally romped away and self-seeded.


  1. 85 trilliums! That is a plantation. I have been collecting leafmould and have finally made the first woodland bed and have two trilliums to plant – seems rather mean! I am amazed, as always, at how far ahead you are compared to here.

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  2. Cardamine is new to me. I like it and, as usual, remain undeterred by warnings of weedy self-seeding. Interested to hear about the measures taken to limit disease in your box hedge. Air flow does seem to be critical. Trilliums are among my favorites and I am pleased to hear that you are expanding your collection. I discovered a patch growing in the back at our place, which may or may not have survived the demolition work. Several more from native plant sale were scattered about.

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    1. T. albidum, T. chloropetalum and T. kurabayashi are the best performers here. Ts. grandiflorum, cuneatum, flixipes, lutea are just OK but never grow with the ease of the others. My favourite is a yellow-flowered T. chloropetalum, from a friend’s garden and named for him: T. chloropetalum ‘Bob Gordon’ , a real treasure – two flowers last year!


  3. I’ve not ventured into trilliums yet, and I’ll make sure I make a note of your best performers for when I do, I was surprised to see the Malus in flower so early. You haven’t sneaked in a photo from last year have you?😊
    They are a nice selection of daffodils. It’s interesting to see photos of the different varieties. Your photo of tete a tete is lovely – no wonder it’s such a widely grown flower.

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  4. This photo of trillium is superb! I don’t grow them yet but seeing them makes me want to. Anyway, I think they need a place in the shade, don’t they? (which I don’t have much here …)
    Surprised too to see this Malus in bloom…

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  5. I’m completely with you about Capital Letters. It does add an air of importance – I do it all the time. AA Milne is probably the expert when it comes to capitals!

    Back to the garden – it looks very colourful and spring-like. Corydalis cheilanthifolia already in full flower!

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  6. It’s good to see your Malus floribunda in all its glory, particularly after your comments on my tree post earlier this week. The box hedging around it looks very smart, and together with the anemones underneath makes a lovey picture. I actually went to the GC to see if they had any crab apples but they were out of them, apart from Pomzai, which is far too tiny. My anemones are doing a bit better now too. Waiting for a sunny day to photograph them though!

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