Buff-Tailed Bumblebee Enjoys The Mahonia #SixOnSaturday @cavershamjj

This week in Hampshire we’ve had lots of frosty mornings and some sunny afternoons. I was very excited to spot a Buff-tailed bumblebee enjoying the Mahonia. I had only recently discovered that this species is now staying active all year. British bees are one of my new addictions after reading Dancing With Bees by Brigit Strawbridge Howard. If this interests you, my review of her book can be read here. Brigit is also on Twitter and has a fantastic feed for nature enthusiasts. @B_Strawbridge

So first photo goes to this lovely Buff-tailed bumblebee which I chased all around my Mahonia to get the photo! With more bees likely to acclimatise to global warming and staying active all year a Mahonia is a good choice of winter flowering plant for them.

My second photo is Japonica (I think?) or spotted laurel also called Japanese laurel, Japanese aucuba or gold dust plant. This one’s berries are just starting to turn red.

Third spot this week goes to a favourite of mine this ‘old fashioned’ Marigold. I bought these seeds years ago after a day at Weald And Downland Living Museum. I’m not sure what variety they are but they keep growing each year. Last year I took a couple of cuttings; they are slow to take but I was very pleased to be able to plant them out. There’s even a new bud showing in January!

My fourth photo is of the first new bud on this cyclamen. I learnt something new when I was researching details about this plant. It is also called sow bread because the corms can look like small loaves and were thought to have been favoured by pigs in the wild.

Fifth place goes to what I hope is Viburnum Tinus also known as laurustinus, laurustine or laurestine. It comes from the Mediterranean area of Europe and North Africa and later it has tiny blue/black berries. This one’s only a small shrub, when we moved to this house it was struggling to thrive when surrounded by ground elder.

Lastly, another yellow flowered plant, I didn’t realise how many yellows were in my garden! I think it is a Primrose rather than a Polyanthus, but I have both, so I’m hedging my bets that this one is a Primrose.

Thank you for joining me for this #SixOnSaturday post. I hope that you enjoyed it. If you would like to know more about this hashtag, read founder Mr Propagator’s post here also find him on Twitter here.

Have a great gardening week,


Pot Plants Are Flowering Well For #SixOnSaturday

I’ve been following The #SixOnSaturday hashtag on Twitter for a while and this week I was inspired to write my own blog post for it. I’m going to try and get the plant scientific names right, but please don’t judge me if I’m not perfect.

My first plant is a red Kalanchoe blossfeldiana also known as flaming Katy, Christmas kalanchoe, florist kalanchoe and Madagascar widow’s-thrill. This one has been grown from a cutting which I was given back in June. A tropical, succulent they are a perennial flowering plant from the Crassulaceae family.

My second plant is a variegated Tradescantia fluminensis lilac. I bought this last August from a garden centre as a tiny specimen. It has enjoyed living with me and I have taken several cuttings, growing them on so that now I have four pots of these plants.

My third plant is an African Violet or Saintpaulia. This one is purple and grown from a cutting. I also have some pale pink ones. I have grown several cuttings which I have given away as living gifts to family and friends.

Fourth plant today is this Christmas Flowering Cactus or Schlumbergera. Other names are Christmas cactus, Thanksgiving cactus, crab cactus and holiday cactus. I was fascinated to learn that in Brazil, the genus is referred to as Flor de Maio (May flower), which reflects the season that it flowers in the southern hemisphere.

The fifth plant is this pretty Begonia Heracleifolia or star begonia which is just coming into flower. It is from the Begoniaceae family, and I have discovered that it is native to Mexico and northern Central America. This is another one that I have grown from a cutting which I took last summer.

My sixth flower for today took me outside to the Winter Flowering Jasmine or Jasminum nudiflorum, a plant which is native to China. This one shares space with a summer flowering variety.

Thank you for joining me for my very first #SixOnSaturday post. I hope that you enjoyed it. If you would like to know more about this hashtag, read founder Mr Propagator’s post here also find him on Twitter here.