Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Happy New Year! Where will this one take us?

A happy new year to you all!

No new year resolutions, no promises, no setting my self up to fail. Going to do the best I can do, live life as well and fully as I can, love my loved ones, cherish my friends, look after myself, tick more off that bucket list, work even harder to make the nursery even more successful. If I do all that I will be very happy. I'm ready for a new year. In the end each of us can only try our best in whatever circumstances we find our selves to do the besr we can. I quite look forward to New Year, a new beginning, I'm done with the festivities and ready to get started on the new year's clean diary and see where the year ahead takes us.

Some of the few Hawthorn berries left by the birds

On New Year's day we had a slow and relaxing day, both of us are still under the weather with bad colds, so not much energy to do much, the damp weather doesn't help. With only one son at home, it was an easy dinner, before relaxing in front of the TV of the evening with a book. David and I did take the dog for a wee walk up towards the local village in the afternoon. There was a hint of blue sky and sun in between the threatening clouds and we made it home before a heavy shower.

Xanthoria on Hawthorn branches

Looking towards Tinto

Black and white hay bales

Bracken taking it all in

Not much is ever wasted in this house or garden. I spent a couple of hours in the big greenhouse, tidying, cutting back and watering. The Pelargoniums that got cut back look much better and I saved all the bits and made cuttings from them for new stock. At the moment they are in water on a window sill as the compost was still frozen. They might stay in the jars and I'll experiment with trying to root them this way. One of the advantages of a greenhouse or two is I can still feel I'm gardening even if the weather is bad.

One of the tasks I like doing after New Year when the weather is miserable is to sort out all the seeds I have gathered from the gardens, then go through all the seeds left over from last year and then search through the new seed catalogues to order what I want to grow over the coming year. This year we're hoping to finish the wild life garden and start the winter garden, plus a few smaller borders in the nursery stock bed area. On my list will be winter and spring bulbs, more hellebores, winter interest plants, lots of bee, bird and insect friendly plants and a few unusual perennials for the mixed borders. What are you planning in the garden for this year and what plants are you looking for?

Sorting Viola seeds

Seeds harvested from the nursery in 2017

I've also been spending the wet and frozen days over the past couple of weeks completely updating the nursery website. All the plant lists have also been updated for 2018 with over 140 new plants added for this year. I will be adding more as they become available through the season. We have some lovely new items for the the nursery shop too. Photos coming soon. 

You can visit our website here: Quercus Garden Plants

We've been enjoying some gorgeous over the past week, this is Tinto our nearest big hill

I  made the most of a dry morning and lifted all the leaves and debris from the patio along the back of the house, swept and washed it, looks so much better (apart from the red slabs) fortunately we're renting and can leave them behind when we move. Next job will be to cut back, feed and top dress all the pots and troughs before the plants start growing. As you can see below, before and after. I'm looking forward to getting on with tidying the pots and troughs in time for all my snow drops coming into flower.

On Sunday the forecast was exceptionally good so I decided to organise my self and get out for a hill walk. I always do one at the beginning of the year, promising myself this is the year I get back into it and do more, but alas life always seem to get in the way. Maybe this year, who knows.

It is amazing to be back in the hills after so long. Though I knew I wasn't hill fit, now I know just how unfit I am. The views were amazing , not a breath of wind, the silence was soothing, the weather stunning, the freezing air refreshing.

But more of that adventure in an up coming blog.

View from my first hill, looking to the next one
We've had lots of frost and I've been out with my macro lens

Making the most of our last day off on Tuesday we took Bracken for a walk long the old railway line to Lyne Station near Peebles. It's a lovely walk coming back along the river Tweed. You can read about a previous walk there  here: Railways and Rivers at Peebles

Were is your favourite local walk?

A heron striding out towards the River Tweed

Crossing the old railway bridge at Lyne Station

Bracken doesn't like small bridges

Fungi in the woods

An avenue of trees

Ash tree buds

Wednesday and back to work. I'm back, the crazy plant lady is back in the nursery. It's back to life, back to reality (sure there's a song in there somewhere) It's time to get those leaves lifted, plants cut back, borders tidied, stock beds tidied and sale plants sorted and tidied so we are ready to open at the start of March for the 2018 season. We're raring to go with lots of ideas and plans for this year 

The Quirky Bird Gardener is back in the nursery

Today was about catching up, getting back into the swing of things, checking the tunnels, tidying up our plant display in the shop, listing the seeds we have so I don't buy duplicates, paper work, sending off adverts, I did a stock take of the wee shop items and moved the tables about in the sales area - new layout for 2018! Whew!

So there we are, the first week of 2018 gone already. Hope you have lots of exciting plans for the coming year and manage to do at least some of them.

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  1. It all sounds so positive with you and yours. Stunning views on your hill walk. I ventured into the garden today. It is looking very sorry for itself. I just leave it go from October. It's north facing, so doesn't get a hint of sunshine for abut another month. But I spotted bulbs pushing up and out, and all the aliums that I've planted seem to be there. I have a few changes I'd like to make this year. Partly to make life a bit simpler, now that I'm working. It involves digging up large established plants, which I'm feeling quite guilty about. I shall try to site as many as I can elsewhere, but the garden needs a face lift.
    Here's to successful sowing, growing and selling!
    Leanne xx

    1. Hi Leanne, trying to be as positive as possible. My garden is the same, I let it go completely in autumn and let the dead leaves protect the plants from the cold and hopefully lots of self seeding too. A garden is an ever changing thing. Sometimes we need to take it under control and make changes to fit in with the next chapter. Sometimes moving plants about and re-using what you have can give you a different garden with some effort and little cost :) Hope you have a great year too and your business goes from strength to strength xx