Tag Archives: six on saturday

Is it really December? Six on Saturday 1 December 2018

It’s the first day of Winter today according to the meteorological calendar. The older I get the quicker the time flies by and the more rubbish my memory becomes; this is one of the reasons I started a blog – to record what was happening around us, in the garden, days out and what adventures we got up to.  It’s certainly done that, I’ve rediscovered my love of photography.  It also gives me a chance to see how the garden changes from day to day and year to year.  But, I really do sound like a broken record mentioning often what odd weather we’ve had this year – it’s been very, very mild, temperatures often 10-15 degrees – and not getting anywhere freezing overnight.  Here beside the Bridgewater Canal, in Monton, in Salford, quite a few of my plants still haven’t realised it’s December. Usually, the garden in December would be looking rather leafless, bare sticks and trees, the odd evergreen plant and a basket or two of winter violas and pansies – with frost and cold, wet soil.  Instead, there a couple of plants flowering that really shouldn’t be…

1.Margarite – Argyranthemum Frutescens

five small yellow daisy like flowers - margarites

yellow margarite

I have three of these plants in pots, in the front garden, and they are still flowering – they’re proper sun lovers.  I love daisy style flowers, so I have many different plants – dahlias (Bishop styles), Leucanthemum, these and cute alpines. Continue reading

poppies in a wildflower meadow - using Lensbaby Trio 28 - twist

Firethorn, pansies, Remembrance Day poppy wreath, Six on Saturday – 10 November 2018

It’s been a windy and cold in Manchester this week. There’s still some summer flowers hanging on, but mostly it’s full-on autumn colours reds, orange and yellow. I’ve not been out in the garden to do any jobs as the weather has been foul.  Planting tulips in pots in the porch have been my main focus this week.  Also, I’ve been busy crafting felt poppies for my Remembrance Day Poppy Door Wreath.

There are many poppies too – as there should be at this time of year.  There are some stunning installations near Churches and memorials, in parks and in railway stations.  Our WI sent poppies to one of our sister groups out in a small village in Lancashire who was making felt and wool poppy wreaths for their war memorial – I made 16 felt poppies.

1. Viburnum

small white viburnum flowers on a branch with green privet bush in background
This is one of two standard viburnum trees that came as a wedding gift to us last year;  they were in full bloom for our wedding in September 2017. Since then – they’ve flowered at very random times – I think the very cold weather in March and boiling heat in June/July has confused the plants. They’ve been re-potted so I hope they survive the winter OK.
I don’t know the variety, as M and S didn’t admit it.  I’ll take some bud photos next time it’s sunny to help me identify it – no scent though.

    • Do my gardening pals have any ideas what variety it might be?

Continue reading

Manchester Urban Gardening – always unexpected – Six on Saturday 27 October 2019

We were out and about in Manchester City centre early on Saturday morning mostly running errands around the Northern Quarter. It was a bright, cold but sunny day – it’s been the first morning with frost in the air. My pals who live in the hills around Manchester said it was trying to snow… Winter is coming…

I thought I’d take some photos and tell some stories for my Six on Saturday.

  1. Silver Birch

    There are many Silver Birch trees dotted around the centre of the city – some mature and some, like this one, planted by new flats built a few years ago. There is no sign of the leaves turning yellow as Autumn has been mild until this week. Look at that blue sky though! #nofilter 

2. Special Acers

      These are two of the 22 dwarf

Acers in huge black iron containers in memory of the Arena attack victims placed around the city centre. In May 2018, they were covered in messages and hearts – the containers have bees on them too. The city council are planning a permanent memorial. 

I don’t think I need to tell you how much impact this terrible act had on our city and its people but we are resilient – #strongertogether

3. Urban re-use – Mackie Mayor, Swan Street, Manchester

The North part of Manchester city centre around Oldham Street and Great Ancoats Street is now called ‘Northern Quarter’ but in the 19th Century it was the market area of Manchester.

Only two of the market halls remain and are still in use.

Manchester Art and Design Centre

The Craft Centre was founded in 1982 and is run by Manchester City Council.  It was one of the first buildings to help the regeneration of this part of the city since the 1980s.  It had fallen on hard times, with seedy shops, red-light areas and a great deal of poverty.  It’s very different around the Northern Quarter now – trendy restaurants and bars, creative arts and designers, etc.

It is housed in the former retail fish market building (opened in 1873).   The Centre is home to many artists, crafters and jewellers – do visit if you’re looking for gifts. It has an excellent vegan cafe too.  

My Chap and I went last year to make our wedding rings with Charlotte Verity (www.charlotteverity.com). I need to write about this wonderful experience.

Mackie Mayor (2017 – )

Smithfield Market (the meat market) was opened in 1856 at the height of the city’s industrialisation and growth in the population, who all needed food.  It was a market until 1972, after which it was used as storage facility, a skateboard park but mostly shut despite it being Grade II listed.  Most people worried it would be knocked down or fall down.
It is named after the Mayor of Manchester who opened the building in 1856.
The refurbishment was done by the team behind Altrincham Market and Market House. It is a stunning building containing businesses selling coffee, burgers, fish, beer, pizza, oriental food. It’s a wonderful place.  Here is their ethos.

It seats 500, there are no reservations!  BTW It is closed on Mondays.
Do visit if you’re in the area 🙂

4. Urban plants

When you look closely plants are all around us in city centres – not just in window boxes.  At Mackie Mayor, these trolleys are packed with plants.

A stunning poppy, coreopsis and nasturtiums.

It was far too cold to sit outside but this area is heaving with people in the summer.

5. Bees are everywhere in Manchester

We do out bit for the bees too – there are hives on the roof of the Arndale Shopping Centre and Manchester Art Gallery. The worker bee is the symbol of Manchester – it was given to the city in the 19th century to reflect the ‘industriousness’ of its people and is part of our civic crest. There are bees in stonework, floors, windows, bins and plenty of stickers and street art.

We had an invasion of bee statues this summer – www.beeinthecitymcr.co.uk/

Halle St Bee-ter's A Chorus of Industry - No 3401

Halle St Bee-ter’s A Chorus of Industry – No 3401 – #beeinthecity

£1.1m was raised from auctioning off the bee statues to support We Love MCR Charity’s Stronger Communities Fund, which provides grants of up to £2000 for initiatives that bring communities together to celebrate diversity and build stronger relationships.

The bees inspire so much creativity – a story for another post.

Street Art in the City Centre

Stephenson Square is probably the centre of the Northern Quarter street art. The gable ends have ever-changing art overseen by #outhousemcr. Artists come from around the world to paint our street art. It often has sharp social commentary.  There are probably more than 30 street art paintings on buildings around the northern quarter.  I need to go on a sunny day and take more photos.

I take photos of this substation/building and the art every time I walk past – the art has been changing about every three months since 2010. It’s overseen by @outhousemcr.  Stephenson Square is also home to the ‘Northern Quarter Makers Market’ – 2nd Sunday of the month.

The green roof on the disused toilet block was planted by Manchester City of Trees a few years ago www.cityoftrees.org.uk. It has a mix of wildflowers but only the poppies are still flowering. City of Trees aim is to plant 3million trees around Greater Manchester – one for every person.

Stephenson Square was a tram terminus so it’s actually rectangular – it’s home to Fred Aldous art and craft shop (founded 1886).  Emmeline Pankhurst held rallies here in the Square for votes for women – she was born and lived in Manchester – founding the suffragette movement in her home on Nelson Street. This is now the Pankhurst Centre (which has a lovely garden too) – it has limited opening times (check the website).

I am proud that there will be a statue of Emmeline unveiled in the city in St Peter’s Square in December.  She’ll join Queen Victoria as the only other female statue in our city.  The statue will be unveiled on 14th December 2018 on the hundredth anniversary of the first election where ‘some’ women could vote.

I should do a post about the many paintings on this section – even the late, great David Bowie has featured.

6. Unexpected Surprises

Look out – There are monsters around Manchester… have you seen any?


As usual, I’ve joined in with the Propagator – www.propagatorblog.wordpress.com – Six things garden related on a Saturday – I hope mine count 😉


Have you seen anything unusual this week? Any monsters?  Have you got any street art near where you live?

Stay safe over Halloween,

Carpe Diem

Love Bec xxx xxx

hydrangea limelight white flower head with pink tinges

Summer hanging on – Six on Saturday – 20 October 2018

I’ve been away for the last three weekends, having fun on crafting adventures with the Women’s Institute and supporting my husband and pals running a half marathon for the motor neurone disease association. So I’ve not had much time for major work in the garden – I did manage to get out and photograph some of the plants. The weather is still rather odd in Manchester – warmer than it should be at this time of year so flowers are still going strong…Here’s my six on saturday choices.

1. Argyranthemum – Marguerite Daisy

marguerite – pale yellow

I have two of these daisies on my front porch in pots – I don’t know the specific variety as I think they were from B&Q with no tag. They’ve been very happy this year especially in the blazing sunshine and heat of June/July. Now to try and keep them alive over the winter. Continue reading

hollyhock, vines, bulbs, Abbeywood and lavender – Six on Saturday – 6 Oct 2018

Our small garden is enjoying the Autumn sunshine – the fuchsias are looking stunning, as are the salvias. It’s been windy in Manchester this week, but the temperature has been over 20degrees for most of the week – unusual.  It’s the jet stream apparently.  I’m noticing the light fading earlier though…we have stunning sunsets but the clocks change in two weeks…

I’m out and about this weekend with lots of activities planned so I’ve only written a quick overview for my Six on Saturday.

As usual, I’m joining in with The Propagator (Six on Saturday – 6 10 2018) and the gardening bloggers from around the world for Six on Saturday – six photos from around the garden – can be anything.   Find The Propagator on Twitter (@cavershamjj) on the hashtag on Twitter too – #sixonsaturday

1. Hollyhock – very early

hollyhock purple flower

hollyhock purple

This plant arrived from the last hour sell off at Tatton Park flower show in Jul. I can’t find the name tag though – it’s been happily growing but I was a bit surprised to see the flower as it’s a year early.

2. Cherry Tree – can’t decide

cherry blossom red leaves 6 10 2018

I was intrigued that a third of this tree’s leaves were still green. This tree has stunning blossom in the Spring. I must remember to photograph it. It grows at the end of my street – and lifts my mood every time I go past the blossom -there are some lovely cherry trees around our neighbourhood.

3. Virginia Creeper – still changing

virginia creeper red 6 10 2018

The side fence by my neighbour’s drive – blown away! But the remaining stalks are bright reds and yellows.

virginia creeper 6 10 2018 side fence

It’s been rather windy this weekend, so many of the leaves are swirling around the streets. Here’s a recap of how the leaves changed from bright green to red in just over a month. You can see a recap here:

4. Tulip and daffodil bulbs – forward planning

Forward planning for Spring, it’s part of the annual cycle of the garden – but it’s a part a particularly love.

tulips and daffodils in plastic bags in a cardboard box

tulips and daffodils in a box ready for planting

Go big – or go home when it comes to bulbs. We’ve got a small garden but I pack the Spring bulbs into pots, as well as any spare ground I can find. I’m going to do a cutting bed at the bottom of the garden, so let us see what that come out like in the Spring.

The selection above is about a quarter of what I’ve ordered/bought. I’ve got a bag of purple, pink and cream tulips somewhere in the house.  Some daffodils and crocuses have been planted already, but more will be going in over the next few weeks…

So much of gardening is looking to the future isn’t it?

5. Abbeywood Estate our wedding venue – looking back 😉

Abbeywood Cheshire red virginia creeper covering

Abbeywood Cheshire red Virginia Creeper covering the house October 2018

We were over near our wedding venue – Abbeywood, Cheshire  so nipped in for a cake and walk.  It was looking particularly lovely despite the gloomy weather.

6. Abbeywood Estate Glasshouse

Glasshouse white conservatory with Lavender border

Glasshouse Abbeywood

The weather was glorious for our wedding in September 2017, so we got married in the garden. We had our afternoon tea in the glasshouse – completely ringed by lavender and a beautiful garden – it was the perfect place. The roses are having a late flourish too.  I wrote about our wedding, flowers, my dress, lavender and love 🙂

Just like last year when we got married, the lavender is still looking good at Abbeywood – the cakes are just as good as ever. Do visit if you’re nearby.

Thank you for all you good wishes

Some of the lavenders in our front garden is still looking (and smelling) lovely, others not so much, so I’ve harvested the last of the flowers… The smell of lavender brings back such happy memories too… not just of our wedding day.

Thank you very much for all our first anniversary good wishes🙂

We are looking forward to many more adventures, as we go into our 2nd year of marriage 🙂 oh and more plans, plants and time in the Garden.


Carpe Diem

Love Bec xxx xxx