Thursday, 1 September 2016

Late Summer Colour and Wandering in the Borders

Friday and the wind has got up a bit over night, still sunny but the wind is taking the edge off the warmth, hmmmmmm. Still it's dry and sunny, but I will need to water the sales area once I've finished tidying it, so I spent an hour watering the sales are and then it rained! Wasn't forecast to, hey ho. I finished tiding the sales area and weeded the drive up to the nursery in between the showers. The rest of the afternoon was spent working through the last batch of grasses and helping customers. David came over in the afternoon to do some more work on his wacky water feature. We need to organise a grand switching on once it's finished.

Cosmos in the borders to fill in some spaces

A great way to fill gaps in borders until new plants have bulked up is to sow or plant some annuals. I've done that in most of the new borders in the nursery this year. I've used chard, Kale, Nigella, Love lies bleeding, shirley poppies, bunny tail grasses and cosmos. This has given the borders lots of colour and fullness through summer. Even once the shrubs and perennials  have grown I'll still squeeze some annuals in, just for fun.

Walking through the field behind the house

Bees love Borage in the nursery garden

Buzy bees

Marigolds in the home garden

Cheeky Nasturtiums at home

Saturday dawned bright, sunny and warm and stayed that way. Too hot for working in the tunnel but I persevered and got a lot more potting done. Nearly there potting all the seedlings and cuttings and it's a very full tunnel already. Back in the nursery I worked through the last batch of grasses, yeh! David worked on his water feature and we helped customers with their purchases.

Some of our chickens at home enjoying their breakfast

Applemint and Bronze fennel at the back door at home

Acer capillipes beginning to colour up for autumn in the nursery

Cosmos 'Chocomocha' a chocolate fix without the calories

Nasturtiums are taking over at home

Malva 'Zebrina', a show stopper in the border in the nursery this summer

An updated tunnel photo, so full, and still so much to fit in before winter!

The downside to being so busy building up and running the nursery is the lack of time to do things I enjoy outside of work. Hopefully this will improve over time once we have some one to help out. At this time of year the hedgerows and wild areas are full of berries and "free food". It's possible to produce drinks (elderflower champagne, sloe gin, many different wines), jams, jellies, chutneys and fresh, bottled or frozen fruit to compliment home grown produce and keep us stocked up in vitamin rich foods all winter. You can read about previous food and hedgerow gathering blogs here on the food page where there are links to the foodie blogs.

Elderlowers in the borders

Sunday ended up being a really busy family day. We had David's Mum and Dad come and visit us at the nursery and have a look around, it's the first time they've seen the nursery and the weather was decent so they could see it at it's best. We went for lunch in the cafe on the farm which was lovely, it was great to see them again and Adam junior joined us for the afternoon too. In between my cousin sent a text saying they were up in Scotland visiting my Uncle and could they come and visit us at the nursery. So my Uncle John, Iain, Dominique and baby Oban came to visit and I went for coffee and more cake! It was lovely to see them all and catch up. After work Adam junior and his grandparents came back to the house for dinner. A nice light picnic tea of cheeses, crackers, hams, chutneys, salads and so on before they headed back to their hotel. 

The long border looks fab at this time of year
On Monday I had a long lie and then headed into the nursery to do some catch up jobs, paperwork and to finish the grasses, hurray! It is so good to have that huge job finished and it will free me up to do other jobs. Tuesday and our day off, the weather was lovely, warm but not too hot and not too sunny as we planned a walk down near Jedburgh in the borders. On the way there we stopped off at Born in the Borders where there is a cafe, brewery and shop. It was an interesting place, very tidy and good food in the shop and cafe. We had coffee and cake and a look at the brewery and a few purchases before heading to Jedburgh. 



Once we'd parked up in the town centre (free parking, wow) we headed north to the edge of the town and then up a small road, which took us eventually via a grass path to part of St Cuthberts Way. There were lovely views of the surrounding countryside up here towards the Eildons and north.

Quiet border lanes for a walk

The Eildon Hills

This part of St Cuthberts way is also part of Dere Street, a Roman road that originally went from York to Scotland, here we headed down hill towards the Teviot River. Our next path took us along the river side at the edge of broad fields and eventually to a suspension bridge. I don't like suspension bridges and in the end I had to cross it twice! Still it wasn't as bad as the one in China when I was treking along the Great wall there. Fortunately my fear of heights is also much better than it used to be. Onwards and upwards, literally. Bracken enjoyed a paddle and drink in the river as it was quite humid by now.

Bracken having a paddle

David and Bracken on the bridge, Bracken didn't like the bridge either

Once across the bridge we walked west past the edge of Monteviot House gardens, a trip for another day, they look lovely. Here we stopped at the stone steps that led down to the river and some how Bracken ended up in the river, hmmmmmm.

View from the bottom of Monteviot House Gardens, I wouldn't mind this

Ooops how did that happen?

From here we retraced our steps, across the bridge and back to the A68 where we crossed and followed a quiet road back to Jedburgh in the late afternoon sun. The walk was 9 miles and we did not bad at all considering we haven't done anything like that distance for a while. A refreshing bottle of water and chocolate from the Co-op helped before we left Jedburgh and a biscuit for Bracken. When we got home after 7pm Dan had made dinner for us getting in, what a star he is. It was very good too and much appreciated because it tasted good and I didn't have to make it.

Trying to persuade Bracken to use the style

Walking back to Jedburgh


So the end of another week, where are they going? Hope you are all well and enjoying your gardens.





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