Thursday, 1 June 2017

Spring Becomes Summer in Glorious Colour

Here we are again, another week, another blog, where is the time going? Is it because we are all so busy time flies by or is it as my kids say because I'm getting old?!? Hmmmmm moving on, so far this week has been at a very slow pace due to the extreme hot weather (for here). It's been lovely but I'm not good at coping in this heat unless I can dip in and out, but not much chance of that when you've a busy nursery to run and an endless task list. Applying the factor 1000 sun cream and drinking iced water doesn't really help and it's so muggy indoors. Hey ho. The gardens and stock beds are really filling up and the combination of fresh foliage in all sorts of colours and flowers is truly lovely, it's a great time of year.

The second flush of parrot tulips, well worth the money from Groupon!

This week we had chicken
fricasse from my Outlander
cook book

Looking for something new to try in the foody department? Why not try one of the new
range of chutneys and jams from the Whitmuir Kitchen here on the farm

Cafe flowers straight from the garden this week

I made good progress with the grasses stock beds on Wednesday after doing the cafe flowers. In fact I managed to spend the whole day along that end of the nursery and got further than I have in days. The stock beds always look so much better after their spring clean, weed, top dress and being re-lined up. My plan was to spend Thursday and Friday doing the same after I'd pulled some orders and got everything ready for the plant fair on Saturday. As usual the weather had a different plan, but it wasn't rain that stopped play, it was the unusually high temperatures (25C+) and cloudless skies. It was impossible to spend any time out in the heat without making myself ill so I concentrated on sorting through all the miscellaneous plants I've dumped behind the workshop tunnel over the past  few months. these plants are all small numbers of rescued plants when we bought the nursery or small numbers raised from seed. This area is in some shade and I was tidying plants in the potting area so it was a bit more comfortable. I got a lot of plants planted and some propagated, so lots of progress just not the progress I'd planned. A lot of these plants will be planted in the nursery gardens and propagated once big enough.

It's Aquilegia season in the garden, these are all self sown seedlings in my garden at home, 
apart from the one bottom centre which is Aquilegia 'Chocolate Soldier', I grew this from 
seed last year. My friend Sarah Fiona and I are planning an Aquilegia storm for next
 year with the seeds she's given me to sow and then we'll both trial them in the 
nursery and her garden

The nursery looking great in the sun

Bee enjoying the geraniums in the garden at home

Part of our stand at Peebles Plant Fair

What a mad, great day Saturday was and fortunately not so hot. Off to Peebles first thing to have a table at the Macmillan Plant Sale and help support this great charity. Really well attended and we almost sold out in the first 45 minutes! Great to meet some of our regular customers, hand out leaflets and talk to people about the nursery. Back to the nursery where we were busy for the rest of the afternoon with customers. Nice to catch up with Colin and Deborah from The Lint Mill and help them select more plants for their cottage garden. Home to dinner cooked by chef Daniel followed by the cherry cake he made yesterday. Feeling happy, exhausted, successful, sunburnt, lucky and blessed with great friends. 

Fresh mint straight from the plant at the back door 
for the minted yoghurt to go with
sweet potato and feta  falafels, perfect for eating
out doors in the great weather we've been having

Bracken asks where his piece of cake is

I'm back to seed sowing and now the annuals are done it's time for perennials for next year. I've got lots of packets of exciting wee gems to sow for planting in the nursery gardens and for selling. I spent Sunday afternoon planting annuals and weeding in the scented garden. It looks much better now it's weeded and the planting has been bulked out.

Seed sowing phase two, perennials for next year

Geranium 'Mayflower', an excellent
plant for the garden

Ottolenghi turkey meatballs and roasted pepper sauce
made by youngest son for dinner, it was perfect

We had a day at home on our day off as we were heading into Edinburgh mid afternoon for dinner with some of our kids. After a much needed long lie I cleaned my car and then tackled the front garden. The borders were at the stage of being an embarrassment, it being the home of a professional gardener! A couple of hours saw all six beds weeded and hoed and the grass edges cut. I sowed some poppy seeds and Daniel put in some Nigella seeds. The chickens enjoyed the weeds I flung in their run and now the front of the house looks much more presentable.

We headed into Edinburgh with Adam and Daniel to Meet up with Becky and TeeJay at China Red, a chinese buffet in Grindly Street. We were a bit early so we took the doglet for a walk through Princes Street Gardens, which was lovely in the late afternoon sun. In the restaurant the food was good value for money, tasty and the hordes were filled up, for a short time.

Edinburgh Castle

You can tell which two aren't the
train spotters

Mahonia berries in Princes Street Gardens

Clouds above the Lyceum

There we have it, another busy week, full of sun, success and lots of other good stuff. If you are ever in the Scottish borders on your way north or south come and visit us at the nursery and see what we are creating, we might tempt you with a plant or two too. The cafe in the farm shop is excellent as is the gallery, a great stopping off place for everyone.

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  1. How I would love to visit your nursery and see all that exciting stuff you grow!
    And how strange to hear about your heatwave, here it has even snowed in mainland Finland (not here in the archipelago though luckily). The north wind has been freezing and it has not been really warm at all for the whole month of May, which is unusual. However, I am glad the cherry trees and tulips last an age now. Today I saw the first Aquilegia flower - a very brave one - starting to open. The plants have and give hope. Your Aquilegia collection is so sweet one could eat it!
    Your meals sound yummy. I hope the weather turns better, it is hard to work in heat.

  2. HI, thanks for commenting, isn't it interesting to see what the weather is doing at the same time in different parts of the world. We're back to normal showery weather now. The Aquilegia are wonderful and so varied. I've sown over 20 new varieties this year and can't wait to see what they do when thy flower next year.