Six on Saturday – 2019 Day One

On New Year’s Eve we had a few cm of snow on the ground, but it warmed up and rained that night and, by the first light of the first day of the new year, everything was green (and brown and grey) again. Not to worry – winter is still here! We had more snow Wednesday night and Thursday – which has almost all melted already as temperatures have soared into the low single digits. Another 10 cm or so is expected Monday. Followed by….rain!

Here are Six photos from my garden this week – all (except for the snowy one) taken in the balmy morning of that first day of 2019. For more garden sixes from around the world do take a peek at The Propagator’s site!

#1 – There were no reported injuries from the toppling of this old, repurposed, concrete fountain. I’ll need to give it a proper new base in the spring though. Heavy Machinery may be required!

#2 – Less heavy stone – if I go by the beach on my morning runs I may bring home a small flat stone. The pile frequently topples but I like to reconstruct it. I think I should add a few more this year.

#3 – The leader of my weeping white pine – so sad after the sawfly infestation last year (Click here to see pictures of the sawfly larvae munching away…). I’m thinking I should snip off the naked branch and let new ones come out – any advice out there???

Should I prune off this leader?

#4 – Two years ago I had one Larkspur (Delphinium sp) flower stalk pop up beside this little Rheingold cedar (Thuja occidentalis ‘Rheingold’).  Last year there were a dozen or so, displaying both blue and white flowers. I let them go to seed and next year, if these very hardy seedlings survive, it may provide a major show.

#5 – The leaves on this Kordes ‘Cinderella’ floribunda rose are still green! (Well, kinda green…)

#6 – I have a lot of red Osier dogwood shrubs (Cornus sericea, syn. C. stolonifera) growing naturally on the property, and I need to trim it back from driveways etc. This is not a bad thing, since it provides me with red twigs for outdoor urns and indoor vases, and also encourages new, brighter red, twigs to emerge in the spring.

That’s it for me – perhaps there will be snowy photos next week!


  1. A pile of flat stones is called a “cairn” here. Common in Brittany, it marks a place and can also give a certain mystical side. I like to see them near the sea (but I also saw them in the mountains in the Pyrenees, South of France).
    Beautiful color of the red dogwood

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  2. Yes I think they are called Cairns but only if they are built higher and they are meant for marking the way. Smaller ones are from people trying out the art of mindfulness and they sit and pile the stones whilst ‘being in the oresent’ It’s a way of meditating. I like them in your garden!

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  3. Yes, prune the sad weeping white pine. That part looks necrotic anyway. You might even prune of the viable part of the remaining top if it would help with the symmetry, without removing too much of the sustaining foliage.
    Is Cornus sericea the same as Cornus stolonifera? I thought that they were two different specie. The Cornus stolonifera is native here. I had always believed that the cultivars that are grown for red or yellow twigs were of a different species. I never investigated just because I never bothered to grow any.

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    1. Thanks for pine advice, I’ll prune it later this winter. Yellow twig dogwood is different, I believe (i have a few smallish bushed I bought because they don’t seem to be native around here) I’m told stolinifera is synonymous with sericea…aka red osier dogwood. No?

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  4. I love the very first photo where the birch trunks absolutely shine out of the other trees which are also interesting colours. In fact, there are many beautiful colours in your garden as the last photo also shows.

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  5. I had never really thought about planting red Osier dogwood until you described having to trim it out of your driveway and I saw that you also provided a secondary name for it with “stolonifera” as part of that name. That caught my attention and piqued my interest, as I’d like to plant something that would colonize a hill in my backyard (and perhaps compete with the privet that I’ve been fighting off from my neighbor’s yard). I’ve looked it up and think it might work well for my hill. Thanks!


    1. I agree – prune. I know it’s an entirely different plant but regularly drive past a monkey puzzle tree in a small front garden. Someone pruned out the leading branch and I was shocked. Months later two shoots have emerged, one either side and the whole tree looks brilliantly balanced and the right scale for the garden. Sometimes cruel to be kind is the way forward. Maybe the sawfly were sending you a message.

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