Friday, 1 April 2016

Easter brings Tulips, Eggs, Sleet, Sunshine and Family

This week's cafe flowers

It really is good to see more and more colour appearing in the garden at home. Every day I try to grab five minutes to look in the troughs and pots and see what has appeared, feeling cheered when I see my lovely plants have made it through another winter. The snow drops are going over now and in their place are Pulmonarias, Cardamines and daffodils. I always find it an exciting time as everything emerges for another year. It's not only flowers but foliage too. There is the bright yellow of Valerian phu 'Aurea' or the spotty leaves of dogs tooth violets, the hairy leaves of meconopsis and the new fronds of ferns. What's your new foliage favourite?

The lovely new leaves of Erythronium dens canis, the dog tooth violet

You may remember the psycho looking chocolate teddies I kept finding around the house over christmas ....... their Easter relatives have just arrived! This is what I found when I came home last Wednesday night!

Hmmmmmmm

The weather had returned to type when I went back to work on Wednesday. After the warmer weather and sun over the past few days it was back to layers and the heater on in the office. I now have a new "thing" to add to the pests and problems of the nursery (piglets, pigs and kids) and this is jackdaws! Having spent the past week or so tidying, sweeping up and top dressing the herbaceous stock beds, the damn birds are throwing the compost everywhere before I get into the nursery in the morning. To say this is infuriating and demoralising after all my hard work is an understatement ....... and it happens every morning. If any one has any anti jackdaw advice I'm all ears and I just have to keep sweeping it all up every morning until they get bored or move away.

This week the cafe flowers were bright jazzy tulips and classy cream daffodils with willow and birch

Other than that the day was a usual Wednesday of cafe flowers, watering the plants in the building and then carrying on with tidying the stock beds. I also got more seeds sown, it's good to get on with this job now as there are hundreds to sow! This will give us lots of new plants for stock and the gardens, many of which are unusual and I'm looking forward to seeing how they do. I enjoying the process of sowing and growing from seed, it's such a fundamental gardening task, back to basics.

Seeds trays in the tunnel waiting to germinate

The colder, dull weather continued on Thursday with drizzle added in for good measure. I spent the day working away in the covered area tidying up plants from the stock beds and sowing more seeds. The jackdaws are still throwing compost around in the mornings. I spent a therapeutic hour in the tunnel weeding and putting plants on the trolley to come over to the nursery haven taken a trolley load of seed trays over earlier. As the seed trays advance down one side of the tunnel the plants ready to go out leave the other side! Musical plants, but the ones rooted through can come back to the stock beds or sales area in the main nursery.

All because the lady loves ......... creme eggs

Despite being Easter Friday my car was in for it's MOT (with trepidation, as like me it's getting on a bit). I phoned later in the day to see if it was ready and expected a "That will be several hundred £££££" conversation after the £1000 plus service bill just before Christmas. But no, I came away with my wee car only £37 poorer! On top of that it was our best sales day so far at the nursery, needless to say there was a wine and creme egg celebration that evening.

Bulbine fruticosa, Ophiopogon nigrescens (Black and white) and Galanthus nivalis 'Plena' in the greenhouse
and garden at home

Unfortunately the nice weather of Friday didn't last into Saturday and there were strong winds and rain most of the night. This was a shame as the Edinburgh Larder cafe had organised acrobats to celebrate the opening of the fairy walk at Whitmuir. Fortunately as they started the rain eased off and although cold and windy, it wasn't so wet. There were lots of people attending the event, but unfortunately they are not customers for us, unless they come back some other time to explore the rest of Whitmuir. As it was wet I spent most of the day sowing seeds and potting some bits and pieces of plants. Today is also the first anniversary of David asking me to marry him, the fool! Later on in the year we'll start organising a bit of a wedding knees up. The man is mad, first this then buying a nursery with me, but I couldn't have done it without him.

Crocus 'Cream Beauty' and Ranunculus 'Brazen Hussy'

Well Easter Sunday you were not spring like, more winter-like, with a hint of sleet in those horizontal showers! The odd glimpse of sun did little to lift the temperature. It was a very cold gloomy morning, but thanks to the brave, hardy souls who came up to the nursery and shopped in the afternoon. It was great to chat, share advice and help customers make the right plant choices for their garden. In between I sowed more seeds and carried on tidying plants from the stock beds. The sales tables are filling up now and it's all beginning to come together. David was there to help out as he has been all weekend, great to have company and help in the nursery and spend time together. It's on cold, wet days like this I think I should have spent my savings on a home in Tuscany instead of a nursery in Scotland. But at least the nursery helps keep David out of mischief and keeps him busy. Can you imagine him amongst all that good food and wine in Italy? Of course I would never touch the stuff.

Sunset reflecting on the trees behind the house

Sunset through the trees in the back garden

There's some kind of sods law thing where the sun comes out at 5pm and the weather gets warmer, it happens a lot. What is that about? It happened again on Monday as I was locking up the nursery at 5pm after a cold, overcast day! Still, it was a good, busy day and then home to do house cleaning in preparation for a family visit on Tuesday. 

All the cousins together

I had a great day off on Tuesday with a long lie and then cooking food for dinner that evening. I even managed to squeeze in an hour or so of gardening at home before picking Jamie up from the train station. I'm working through plants in the wee greenhouse, top dressing pots, taking cuttings, dividing, etc. Putting them on the patio if they can go out now or back in the greenhouse until it's a bit warmer. Some plants have been in the same pots and compost since we moved here so need re potted. It's a job I enjoy as the end result always look so much better.

Enjoying Whitmuir despite the weather

Once Ben and I had picked Jamie up from the train station we headed to Whitmuir (can't stay away even on our day off) and met up with David (who'd been gliding) and my sister Mhairi and her family. We did the fairy walk and the the pig walk, but the piglets were hiding and no wonder it was cold and drizzly again. Everyone had a shot on the swing on the fairy walk, we took bracken with us and we showed them the nursery before heaing back to the house for coffee and catch up.

David and Brackne on the swing, nothing phases this dog!

The younger kids and some of the older ones played with the assorted model railways before a huge mexican themed dinner of nachos, fahitas, salad, guacamole, sour cream and cheese then fruit salad and chocolate goodies for dessert. We managed to get a group photo of my three and Mhairi's three, it's been years since we had a chance to take one. They are all so big now. We had a lovely day and it nice to feel part of this part of family again. Once everyone had left I took Jamie back to Lanark for the train. 

It's been another busy week both at the nursery and at home, but I think we are now all quite desperate for some sun and warmth, the forecast doesn't look promising though.


Have a great weekend 

Fiona on the swing

Katrina and Alistair

Dan and Katrina chicken rustling

Left to right:Eldest two cousins Fiona and Ben, youngest two cousins Dan and Alistair,
middle two Katina and Jmie

We seem to have developed a two headed cat





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2 comments:

  1. Hey Rona,
    Wow! That's quite a crème collection! I've been enthralled to the mini egg this Easter. The weather has been a mixed bag here too. I was gushing about the lovely sunshine we've been having this week, and this morning I woke up to the usual cold and dull day. I love the sight of all your seed trays; it makes my little greenhouse look rather paltry by comparison. I have a question. Where would be the best place to buy Buckthorn? Not the sea variety, but one that I can incorporate into a shrubby border. It's all to help attract the Brimstone butterfly into my garden. It's ot as easy as you think to find a supplier here!
    Leanne xx

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  2. Hi Leanne, it's blowing a gale here today and very chilly again. I do like mini eggs too, I limit myself to one creme egg a day, unless it's a stressful day, lol. Hopefully if all the seeds germinate it will give us stock for years to come, as I can divide and take cuttings once the plants are mature enough.

    Have you tried the RHS plant finder for the buckthorn, I've copied a link below for you. Plant finder is great to source plants and it lists nurseries that do maile order if there isnt one near you. I'm surprised you can't find it so easy down south. Have a great weekend :) xx

    https://www.rhs.org.uk/Plants/Search-Results?form-mode=true&context=l%3Den%26q%3Dbuckthorn%26sl%3DplantForm&query=buckthorn

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