Thursday, 9 March 2017

February in the Quirky Bird Gardens

Weather-wise February wasn't as kind as January, it was certainly wetter and with more snow showers but still not the winter cold we would expect. Still the weather hasn't kept me back in either the garden at home or in the nursery and we are still ahead, yeh! The snowdrops are in full flower and there are plenty signs of life emerging from the ground along with the birds singing their wee hearts out.

Glanthus nivalis, the common snowdrop

If you've been to the nursery you will know there are two rows of willow on either side of what we have made into the wildlife garden on the bottom terrace. Another winter job for me is to weave them into a living fence. Having been neglected for a while, last year was the first time I did them and after
being renovated then, they were much easier this year. I find it a therapeutic task, weaving in some of the branches and cutting off the excess. Once done it looks goo, lets more light into the cafe and opens up the wild life garden.

Weaving in the wildlife garden

The different coloured willows make interesting patterns

Rhubarb beginning to sprout in the garden at home

Threatening clouds over the Pentland hills viewed from the nursery

Having got really far ahead this year despite the wintery weather early February we finally go around to working on the entrance to Whitmuir Farm. We'd promised to do this not long after we bought the nursery in 2015 but so far have been just to busy getting Quercus up and running. I really wanted to get this task done this year and before the season kicks of and we and the farm get busy. I did more digging that week than I'd done in a long time and re-discovered muscles that were not happy with me! But we do now have two fan shaped borders under the signs at the farm entrance that are full of plants. Having removed the turf (aka every perennial weed and grass you can think of), dug it over (removing as many roots as possible) we then planted the borders up with tough plants that will give interest all year round. Once planted we finished off with a thick layer of bark to help with future weed control. We did finish off the job in horiontal snow, so keen were we to get the job done. I can't wait to see the borders filling up and creating an eye catching, colourful display to help attract people into Whitmuir. From tall plants at the back to create a backdrop to low, tough growing perennials at the front so as not to obstruct the line of view for vehicles turning out on to the main road there should be year round colour.


Borders de-turfed and dug over

Planting up with a hint of snow

Both sides finished with off with bark

You turn your back and it's all happening in the garden. I spent time on my day off hoeing the front garden and sweeping paths, patios and weeding the troughs on the lower level of the back garden. I also got all the plants in pots and troughs on the upper level cut  back and ready for top dressing.

Looking good in the garden in February

I always look forward to the snowdrops coming into flower, those first bursts of colour in February with their hidden beauty unless you turn the flowers up.

Galanthus 'John Gray'

Snowdrops in the front garden

Galanthus 'Hill Poe'

Galanthus 'Magnet'

Galanthus nivalis 'Flore Pleno'

Galanthus nivalis, common snow drop

All together

Bit of a theme going on

Doing a photography shoot for a book review

One of the things I got done at the nursery was potting up bulbs into pots and containers and placing them around the seating areas in the nursery.

Designing for spring

A seating area in the nursery

Violas and bulbs in vintage pots

Narcissus 'Tete a Tete'

Birch twig wreaths

In other news I remembered I had an armaryllis / hippeastrum in the greenhouse from last year. I've re-potted it and fed it, it's now sitting on the kitchen window sill growing at an alarming rate.

So all in all it's been another very busy but successful month and we are looking forward to the rest of the year and customers coming back to the nursery. We're working hard on the new gardens and hope you will come along and visit this year.

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