Thursday, 22 June 2017

Weeding, Wedding Gardens and Wildlife

Loving the lime green of the Alchemilla mollis in the cafe flowers this week

So what does this week hold? Plenty of weeding though the rain has stopped play for several days so it's been a bit start and stop where weeding is concerned. The weeds of course are enjoying this alternating warm and wet weather, growing back as soon as I turn my back, or so it feels.

Bracken approves of the new rug,
and has now decreed it as a dug rug,
not what I had in mind

Iris 'Silver Edge' looking fabulous this year
in the nursery gardens

There is so much colour now in the nursery with Geraniums, Thalictrums, Iris, Hosta foliage, fresh green ferns, Astrantias, Chives and Nepeta. The gardens and stock beds are also alive with insects and the bees are loving the sun and bee friendly plants. The main entrance bed is a late summer flowering border but at this time of year it still has plenty interest thanks to the foliage of Rodgersias, Ligularia 'Britt Marie', Hostas, Matteucia and Thalictrum 'Elin'. The wildflower bankings are a riot of colour with Ox-Eye Daisies, Ragged robin, Campion, Yellow Rattle and grasses. There is so much to see, come and visit. If you have a gap in your borders at this time of year, now is the time to come to the nursery and see what is in flower that would fit into your plantings.

Geranium 'Mrs Kendall Clark' in front of the office

In the tunnel thing are ticking over, the annuals are all out for sale and now it's the turn of mid-summer bedding such as Osteospernums, Chocolate cosmos, succulents and Pelargoiums to take up the space. I'm also in the middle of potting up perennial seedlings for next year. There's a bit of an Aquilegia fest going on, I hope they all do ok and I'll be able to see what variations I have next year when they flower.

I've always found plenty frogs and toads of varying sizes in the tunnel, but this week there was great excitement when I found two palmate newts. They have very yellow bellies and a yellow stripe down their backs

Bracken the nursery dog inspecting the herb garden, not so much wild life as 
doglet daftness

The Nasturtiums are beginning to flower in the herb garden

June flowers in the nursery, Saxifraga 'Spotted Dog' , Iris sibirica 'Silver Edge', Astrantia ‘Ruby Wedding’, Ranunculus acris 'Citrinus', Geranium 'Sirak', Euryops pectinatus

A relaxing corner in the nursery to sit and enjoy the view and the sound of the water in the pond

A creative use for an old bain marie from the kitchen

On Saturday night we headed just along the road to have dinner with our friends Deborah and Colin. They run a beautiful B&B tucked away beside a river on their small holding. We had pre-dinner drinks in the evening sun while having a wander looking at all their animals and gardens. A lovely mix of hebridean, soay and shetland sheep, goats, pigs, horses, a donkey, chickens, ducks and geese all have their home here where they are spoiled. Dinner was fabulous, cooked by Colin and the company and conversation excellent. A late night on a work night too tut tut, but much enjoyed.

Some of Colin and Deborah's sheep in the evening sun

The end of the Herb garden in more ways that one

On Sunday we finally finished the herb garden / wedding garden when I got the copper beech hedge planted in the boxes. I have under planted with white Love-in-a-mist along the front to fill in the gap for this year and give some colour interest through the summer and of course white flowers for the wedding. The two beds are full of silver leaved household herbs such as Artemisias and Helichrysum italicum and white flowering annuals, more white Love-in-a-mist and Cosmos. Lots of white as this is where the wedding ceremony will take place. We have enjoyed the challenge of creating both the scented and herb garden this year but we are glad it's finished. The new garden's will be open to customers after the middle of August so keep an eye on our Facebook page for news on that.

Geranium 'Sirak' looking good at the entrance to the nursery

Bakers twine now available in the nursery

Cauliflower fritters from one of my Ottolenghi cook books,
 I'm sure they tasted better because we were able to sit outside again in the evening sun

A herbal bouquet from the garden

When we were emptying one of the compost heaps on Sunday we uncovered a nest of baby shrews, we quickly made a new nest for them right next to the compost heap in the hope mummy shrew would find them. So far so good.

On Monday I had an extra day off to catch up and go shopping! Time to tackle the wedding shoes or lack of! After trailing around all the shoe shops in Livingston twice I eventually found a pair I liked, whew! I also managed to buy a dress and a CD before the shoes lol. Home to clear a lot of outstanding tasks, paperwork and house cleaning during the day when I have more energy. Hopefully I'll go back to the nursery on Wednesday caught up, re-charged and more focused after an extra day off.

Tuesday and it was David's birthday and happily our day off too. After an appointment at Peebles registrar to do all the paperwork and legal stuff for the wedding we headed off along the Tweed Valley towards Jedburgh. The weather was lovely again, we've been lucky with summer so far, it's been great to have hot weather for a change and be able to wear summer clothes, it is Scotland after all. We ended up at Woodside Plant Centre for lunch, they have a lovely cafe where dogs are welcome outside and it was very pleasant to sit out in the sun having lunch.

The birthday boy

Old plant labels in the walled garden at Woodside

Happy pansies, I love pansies they are such cheerful flowers

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