Thursday, 16 June 2016

Bugs and Beasties

The hot sunny weather has continued, although the forecast is for drastic weather changes by the weekend which means we will be back to normal Scottish summer weather .... cool and wet! Needless to say the sprinklers have been running constantly, keeping the plants watered and looking good. I have started on another border next to the new stock beds and am covered in nettle stings again which hurt for days, hmmmmm. This border will be a combination of grasses and perennials for colour through the year. I've also been extending the border along the top of the banking next to the stock beds. This does two things, acts as a buffer between the weeds of the banking and the stock in pots and I can plant it with some of everything we have to bulk up for propagating and to show customers what plants will do in the ground. I must try and take some photos when I've got a minute.

A frog in my waterlily bowl at home

Now is an ideal time to do propagating, especially cuttings of perennials and some shrubs. The cuttings root quickly and you can get them potted up and established in no time and certainly before winter. I am working my way through the stock propagating batches that we have low numbers of, part of this involves planting each plant as I mentioned above. So as the seedlings get potted up in the tunnel the spaces left are being filled with pots of cuttings. It is another part of gardening I really enjoy, creating new plants, sometimes it's interesting just to try different ways of doing something and seeing if the plants grow or not. 

Th e woderfully bright Acer 'Princeton Gold'

The plants all over the nursery have really burst in to life now, the stock beds and sales tables are a tapestry of foliage colour and flowers. In the shade tunnel the lush foliage of the Hostas are unfurling into greens, gold or silver variegation, tiny leaves and tall long ones. Primulas and Sinopodophyllum are flowering under the bronze Rogersias and Japanese Acers. You can read about what to plant in dry shade on our website here.

Hosta sieboldiana

Sinopodophyllum hexandrum

At last the good weather has broken, as we knew it would, it is Scotland in summer after all. It is still quite warm but overcast though none of the rain forecast. To be honest we really need some good, heavy rain to soak into the pots and soil. So far this week we certainly had a lot of rain, ha ha.

I'm still working through the grasses and Persicarias, dividing and repotting them before they get re-homed in the new grasses stock beds. They look do much better without years of weeds and a lack of compost. It also means I have a definite record of what we have regarding grasses and Persicarias. Many of them have been potted into smaller pots so they can recover.

On Sunday we celebrated owning Quercus for a year, a year already! We gave away cupcakes with every urchase which was popular and much appreciated by customers. Happy birthday to us.

Soutra Aisle

Our day off saw me ticking another thing off my bucket list, watching butterflies emerging from their chrysalis. But first what a driech day for a day off. Still we can't complain as our days off over the past six weeks or so have been lovely and sunny. We decided on a wee short trip as David isn't well and went with plan A to go to Soutra Aisle, despite the worsening weather. By the time we got there the low cloud fog stuff has really settled in so I settled for some moody black and white shots of the old stone building. The site here contains the remains of the largest medieval hospital in Scotland which you can read about here. Apparently the views are great but you wouldn't have known it when we were there, maybe another day. Even the cows looked fed up. From here we went and had coffee and cake at a local cafe which was very nice.

Gorgeous butterflies

On the way back we went into Butterfly and insect world at Laswade so I could tick something else off on my bucket list. I have never been before but I have to say (in my opinion) it definitely isn't worth the entrance fee they charge. It all looks a bit run down and sad but it was lovely to see huge butterflies flying around and see butterflies emerging from their chrysalis (the tick on my bucket list). Just a wee easy local afternoon as we are both exhausted and David is under the weather with a bad cold.

A shorter blog this week as the days are pretty much the same at the moment. Lots of weeding, potting, seedling potting, and sorting grasses, helping customers and domestic stuff at home and a lack of sleep! I'll leave you with some photos of the bugs and beasties we saw. I hope you are having a great week, catch you soon.


Butterflies emerging from their chrysalis #Ronabucketlist

Beautiful butterflies

Dutchman's pipe, Aristolochia macrophylla

The chrysalis "nursery" on bamboo canes

Stretching new wings

A caterpillar that's self defence mechanism is to look like a bird dropping

Fruit lunch

Lovely details

Some of the other inhabitants 

Leaf cutter ants

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