Six on Saturday- 23/12/17

Ahh the last six on Saturday before Christmas, I hope you have got all your presents brought and wrapped ready for the big day? Enjoyed my last few days at work, got a few things finished off, Plants planted, bulbs well finished (apart the last few for home, 150 is just a few isn’t) and now ready for Christmas. Now talking about the big C, I spent a while thinking about what to do for the Six this Saturday, wanted to do something different, so here’s the 6 on Saturday featuring 6 Plants that help to make Christmas a special time of year for us!


One of the old favourites to decorate the house with and also part of the famous Christmas carol, The Holly and the Ivy. This uk native. In Pagan traditional, it was unlucky to bring it into the house before Christmas Eve but after Christmas, if male Holly was brought in first, the male would be rumoured to rule the house for the next year, if it was female, then the lady of the house would. Within the Christian faith, the prickles of Holly where thought to represent the thorny crown placed on his head and the berries, the blood of Christ. No matter the truth behind the name, it still makes a great winter plant


The next one has to be its companion within the Christmas song, Ivy! It is again another British native and used to decorate our homes for thousands of years. In Germany it is supposed to warn off a lighting strike! It’s also so important for wildlife in our gardens


Ahh where would we be without mistletoe at Christmas, no renditions of Cliff Richards Mistletoe and wine or no where to kiss under for a start! Mistletoe has been used for thousands of years, druids rated mistletoe as one of their most sacred of all plants for its mystic powers some of which ward off evil spirits from our homes. It is thought the Vikings are the first people to start the tradition of kissing under the mistletoe.


Again another British native plant and one that’s got its roots firmly in our ancient history. Thought to ward off evil spirts and have been planted around churchyards for that reason or the churches were build near old yew trees to fit in to the old beliefs maybe. Yew trees are also the first Christmas trees here in the uk, brought over from Germany by Queen Charlotte when she married king George around 1800.

Pine cones

Pine cones have become a big part of Christmas, mainly started as homemade decorations on trees and around the house and again have become popular once more. Pines also have been used for Christmas trees since early 1820s

Hellebores or Christmas rose

What more can I say about this beautiful plant, we need some flowers at this time of the year and these are just so beautiful!

I hope you enjoyed my Christmas 6 on Saturday! It’s a little different from my normal one and I have cheated and used photos from my library, just hoping I won’t get sent to the naughty step for 44minutes by the propagator.

If you did please checkout other people’s 6 on the memes founder website I love seeing other people’s plants and what’s happening in their gardens. Why not give it ago yourself next week and give me a shout so I can take a look

Have a wonderful Christmas!

20 Comments Add yours

  1. cavershamjj says:

    Fab, love the yew tree factoids. No naughty step for you. But only cos it’s Christmas…

    1. thomashort says:

      Cheers fella, I was a little worried just in case……

  2. Lora Hughes says:

    What a lovely combo for this week’s Six. If Mr P had put you on the step (but he’s too sensible for that), we would all join you for more stories. The photos are so evocative of this time of year, regardless when they were taken. Did you see/have you seen the great old yew featured in the Judy Dench thing on trees, then the recovered yew long bows from Henry VIII’s battleship? Marvelous, marvelous things, yews, in all seasons. Thanks so much for this post!

    1. thomashort says:

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment Lora, very much appreciated 😀😀 yes I did and it was stunning wasn’t, we have one not quite as old in a churchyard near where I work once per week that is pretty old indeed, funny enough seen those bows when we visited the Mary Rose a few years ago in such wonderful condition after being in the sea so long, agree one of my favourite plants as well

  3. fredgardener says:

    What a wonderful idea you have had ..! Even if the pictures are not these days, your choice was really well done. My preference goes to your yew. I have it here but I have never seen flowers or fruit on mine… certainly because I regularly prune them as topiary

    1. thomashort says:

      Thank you Fred, funny enough it’s my favourite too, I love it’s wide range of uses within the garden, it’s history and uses, got a cracking old yew in a churchyard nearby that I want to feature one month

  4. n20gardener says:

    What a great post! Lovely photos as always and so perfectly seasonal. Have a great Christmas.

    1. thomashort says:

      Thank you 😊 and I hope you have a great Christmas too

  5. mrsdaffodil says:

    Great post! It’s plain to see the thought and care that went into it.

    1. thomashort says:

      Thank you 😊 yes been thinking about it for a couple of weeks, what to do slightly different and love the evergreens we use around our house, so pleased you enjoyed it

  6. tonytomeo says:

    There is a native yew here, far from any of its relatives. The fruits look like those in your picture, but are a deep red. They look so weird. Even though it is a native specie, it is very rare.

    1. thomashort says:

      Funny enough this one is the very rare yellow form that’s not often seen here in the uk, I think there’s only a few trees about normally red as well but I thought I would add something different, is it t. Canadanesis or brevifolia that grows near you?

      1. tonytomeo says:

        Taxus brevifolia lives on the west coast as far south as Sonoma County. Although their commonly accepted range maps indicate that they are not native any farther south, there are a few very small colonies of them in the Santa Cruz Mountains. I have never seen them, but I have seen specimens that were obtained from those colonies. They were quite trendy back when I was in school, although I never understood why. They are not particularly attractive. Other yews are better.

      2. thomashort says:

        Yes I have seen it in the botanical gardens and it’s quite different to the uk one isn’t

      3. tonytomeo says:

        Yes, it is open and can be rather grungy looking. English and Irish yews grow at Filoli in Woodside. They are much more refined. I know that they are garden cultivars, but they are impressive nonetheless.

  7. A. JoAnn says:

    I remember yews in our yard growing up, such pretty berries!

  8. Jim Stephens says:

    I was reading down the comments waiting for someone to remark on it being a yellow fruited yew. And not any old pine either but a classy parviflora form. Classy post in every way.

    1. thomashort says:

      Thank you Jim 😀yes I thought I would go for something a little different, thank you very much indeed 😀👍

  9. John Kingdon says:

    A nice festive six, Thomas. My Hellebores are all Lenten Roses. I’ve never been able to successfully grow the Christmas-flowering ones. Can’t see why. I’m also strangely holly berry-less this year. I’ll have to paint some peas and find the super-glue ;). Have a great Christmas.

  10. Great choices for a Christmas Six in Saturday, even though I’ll now have “The Holly and the Ivy” running through my head for the rest of the day.

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