Six on Saturday: The quiet ones

For this post, you are going to have to use your imagination a little bit.   You are going to have to project into the future.  The photos are going to be distinctly underwhelming.

But isn’t that life sometimes?  It’s not all tulips, peonies, roses, dahlias!  Sometimes it’s moss, lichen, stones, drizzle.

We have to keep the faith and wait patiently.  And appreciate what we do have.

So here are my six.  The ‘Six on Saturday’ meme is hosted by The Propagator, where we are invited to share six photos of what is happening in our garden, or a garden near us, on Saturday.

First off, the hellebores.  I have a few rather humdrum hellebores of unknown origin, which I inherited with the garden.  They are nothing like the beauties in this post by The Chatty Gardener.  Every year I wonder if I should add some speckled and freckled apricot or yellow hellebores to the mix, or maybe a sultry slate, or a pure white.  And every year I get distracted, because the tulips arrive and I forget everything, including my own name.

I do like the dew-drops clinging to the outside of the petals, and the cream-coloured anthers inside.  Hellebores are a little bit trying in the way they look at their feet, but like many quiet characters, they have hidden depths.

Next up is a trio of spring flowers.  Deep purple Iris reticulata (which has a new name I have yet to adopt), Primula vulgaris (common primrose) and an unknown dark purple crocus.  This wonderful crocus crops up all over my garden: I remember splitting it a couple of years ago, but I don’t remember putting it here, or here, or here.  Either I have a very bad memory, or nature is just incredibly kind and generous.

These are all dainty little flowers, unlike shouty old daffodils, so seem more suited to this diminutive post.

My next one may need a magnifying glass.  These are the developing flower-buds of Muscari, grape hyacinths.  These little bulbs are easily taken for granted.  They thrive on poor soils, so if I have a horrible dry or gravelly area, I split the bulbs and relocate them.  In rich soils you get a lot of foliage, and they have a tendency to take over.  Muscari don’t have the most showy or the most delicate flowers: you might even call them stumpy.  But I noticed this morning that in bud you get these tiny white stars on the fused flower-buds.  Enlarge the photo, if you can – can you see it?  This was my Little Pop of Wonder for the day.

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The next one is just as wondrous, but considered a weed.  The purple dead-nettle.  This is one of my favourite weeds, along with purple toadflax and purple loosestrife.  Do you see a theme here?  The purple dead-nettle grows under Stevie’s vines, and I keep hopping across it on my way to the compost heap.  It is one of the prettiest things in the garden right now.

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So those were the shy, under-stated little things.

Now for the great thrusting beef-cakes.  Here is my first peony shoot:

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Looks like a hand waiting to grab you, like a Dr Who monster, doesn’t it?  From now until May I will be a peony-shoot stalker.  I keep them under constant surveillance.  I have about twenty different peonies in the garden, but ‘Coral Charm’ is the earliest.  I will visit this shoot with increasing regularity, so that by mid-April I will have worn a path between back door and flower-bed.  I love peonies.

And finally, another thruster.  Rhubarb.  This one likes to wear satin knickers.

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So the message this week is: there is nothing amazing in the garden.  There are no drama queens, no Oscar winners, no showstoppers.

There are just strong little characters, doing their thing, asking for nothing in return.  A shoot full of promise.  And a dark horse wearing good underwear.

Sometimes life is like this.  No bells and whistles.  No siren-calls.  Life is “ho hum” rather than “whoop whoop!”

So on humdrum days, look for the hidden stars in your life.  And let them know you care.

31 Comments Add yours

  1. fredgardener says:

    Nice thought of the week with these simple and ordinary things… the purple dead nettle weed is also one of my favorites because it isn’t annoying to get rid of when we have too much! …😁

    Like

    1. Ali says:

      Yes, some weeds are very obliging and just let go, don’t they?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. cavershamjj says:

    I dunno, i always think that new growth is pretty amazing!

    Like

    1. Ali says:

      It is amazing, you’re right. And speeding up by the day.

      Like

  3. Lora Hughes says:

    I’m w/Jon on this one. This time of year is a frenzy of excitement. And grape hyacinth? Just adore it. Gardeners are like that, tho, aren’t we/

    Like

    1. Ali says:

      Easily pleased? Yes!

      Like

  4. Rhubarb in satin knickers – love it!

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  5. Lucid Gypsy says:

    There’s nothing underwhelming here, apart from the very dark hellebore, yours are my favourite colour and the other flowers are what I long to see after winter.

    Like

    1. Ali says:

      Ah, good. Pleased you liked it.

      Like

  6. The first signs of spring are always amazing – not at all underwhelming!

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    1. Ali says:

      Thank you! It must have been me feeling ho him and nothing to do with the garden!

      Like

  7. Your pictures are wonderful and make these simple pleasures look like showstoppers!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ali says:

      Aw, thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. That’s some impressive rhubarb (mine is still only just showing signs of growth starting again), and the colour of the Hellebores is stunning!

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    1. Ali says:

      Thank you. I do love the dark hellebore.

      Like

  9. bcparkison says:

    Please keep us posted on the peony. My fav. too along with a dozen more.

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    1. Ali says:

      Will do! Yes, all 20 of my peonies are my favourites. They are lush, aren’t they?

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I love the tone of your blog. I love the idea of hellebores looking at their feet, and my goodness I can’t believe you didn’t paint those tiny stars yourself on the muscari. I would never have seen them if you hadn’t shown us. A lovely blog post making very important points about the loveliness of ordinary things.

    Like

    1. Ali says:

      Thank you for such a lovely comment!

      Like

  11. janesmudgeegarden says:

    So enjoyed reading your post: satin knickers! thrusting hands! White stars! Not humdrum at all!

    Like

    1. Ali says:

      Thanks Jane, I’m glad you enjoyed it!

      Like

  12. Anonymous says:

    Humdrum Hellebores is there such a thing? Nice SOS

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  13. 20 peonies is impressive. I am a little jealous. I am also excited waiting to see my muscari flower next to their friends the dwarf narcissi. 🌼

    Like

    1. Ali says:

      I started with one at my old house, then three here, and then I keep having little buying accidents.

      Like

  14. Watching the garden come alive in the spring is fun! Your garden sounds incredibly beautiful! I love your blue irises. Happy Gardening!

    Like

    1. Ali says:

      The irises are my current favourites!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. My Peonies are coming up too. Now I will always think of the first shoots as little hands!
    Beautiful Hellebores!
    Thanks for your visit and comment on my blog

    Like

    1. Ali says:

      Hope that doesn’t give to nightmares, Lea!

      Like

  16. Andrea says:

    I am amased at all the purples and blues I see from most of the posts and yours too. These colors are the contrast of what we normally have here inthe hot tropics.

    Like

    1. Ali says:

      Ah, that’s interesting! Now you say so, I do associate hot colours with tropical plants. Spring is full of purples and blues, and also yellow, which is nice because theycontrast with one another beautifully. I think my ‘Six on Saturday’ this week will be on that theme!

      Like

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