Thursday, 28 July 2016

Everything's Coming up Roses

One week seems to be merging into another and time is passing quickly, sometimes it feels like I'm getting nothing done and yet when I step back and look how far we've come so far, I am amazed that I've done what I have in little over a year. Summer is half way through already (some sun would be good, hint hint) and we're already into Persicaria and Sanguisorba season. As the blog title suggests everything is going well at the moment, the feed back we are getting is amazing and I'm really pleased, but also pleased to be able to give visitors somewhere lovely to visit. It's a good feeling.

Roses have added a real splash of colour to the sales are and are selling well. I deliberately chose scented
varieties and the smell has been glorious every day

The madness of spring has eased slightly and the pressure is less to get everything sown, potted and ready for the busy season. Now we are slipping into a more maintenance orientated routine, weeding stock beds, planted beds and the sales area, propagating stock and keeping the sales area fresh and appealing to customers. It's more often than not a case of once I get to the end of weeding the stock beds or planted beds it's time to start again! I'd really like to get some new beds created both on the top terrace and middle terrace. I suspect this may become an autumn task.

I've been filling up David's vertical planter with herbs, annuals, scented plant and bright colours,
it's a lovely place to sit on a sunny day and watch the world go by

There is plenty happening here on the farm and in the nursery over the summer, something for everyone. From new art exhibitions in the gallery, great food sourced straight from the farm in the cafe and of course our great plants and gardens here in the nursery. You can see a list of events for all the businesses here

Annual Shirley poppies and Nepeta 'Six Hills Giant'' go really well together in the stock bed borders

On Friday evening David was doing a visit to a house which potentially has a bat roost in it. He came home with two juveniles which had been trapped in the house. So we had two tiny house guests overnight before they went away on Saturday to stay with Tracy, a bat worker who looks after injured bats and those who have got trapped or lost. Once they have recovered she will release them back into the wild.

The bats needed dried with cotton buds as they were quite wet and then some water from a dropper before going into David's bat care box where there is a dark space for them to roost and some food and water. Latest update is they are feeding well. Never a dull moment in this house.

On Saturday we had a working day out at the Biggar Show where we had a stand to advertise the nursery and sell some plants n things. With no idea how it would go we looked on it as a day out with the younger two in tow. Tractors and animals are always an attraction, and food, don't forget food, especially when dealing with teenagers, bribery and corruption in the shape of burgers and all things fattening always works

Our stand all ready for business
Plants to suit everyone

Herbs n things

Garden things

We had a great day, the weather stayed dry and we manage to have a wander or two around the show, sample wine and cheese in the food shed and talk to other stand holders. We handed out leaflets, talked to people about the nursery and sold plants and pots. Granny had a successful day in the nursery being a great sales person, so a great day all round, home for dinner together to catch up. Roll on the Peebles show next month, as long as the weather holds.

On Sunday it was away with all the show stuff, topping up the sales area and helping customers. The weather was a bit damp, ok raining. But I did get started on weeding and sorting out the shrub and tree stock beds at long last. It also means I can get new plants out into sales.

The greenhouse plants got a hair cut on Monday at home!

A day off on Monday to catch up at home, luckily the weather was mainly dry and I got some gardening done, yeh I know, bus-mans holiday. I got all the front garden borders weeded, some new plants put in, the compost heaps emptied and turned over and when it was raining I worked in the greenhouses. By the middle of summer the pelargoniums need a hair cut as they out grow their spaces and become leggy. This summer trim keeps the plants compact and can encourage them to keep flowering. As you can see above it produces a lot of material for the compost bin. As well as tidying the garden I got the house cleaned and a pile of stuff put away in the attic, best of all was a relaxing evening in front of the TV with the dog and chocolate.

My waterlily flowered this week, looking lovely in it's bowl

I won't be using my string line any time soon, I have
squatters in my shed!

Another flowering excitement when I found the Cautleyas were flowering in the

On Tuesday we dragged the youngest two out for the day, reckoning farm machinery and animals and the lure of lunch would keep them happy. At 15 and 17 it's not always easy to find things they want to do that doesn't involve a computer. We visited The National Museum of Rural Life near East Kilbride which we've never been to before. As part of the national Museum of Scotland it is very well done and in a modern building which sits well within the country side, the cafe is great too. we had lunch first then wandered around the museum building, lots of farming and domestic implements and machinery. From the museum building it's a 10 minute walk up to the working farm where you can look around the farm house and farm, see life on the farm in the 50's and 60's, see the cows being milked, pat the new calves and look for chickens, pigs and horses. 

Somewhere we haven't been before

Inspecting the tractors

A lot of old things

Stepping back in time on the farm, veg and fruit gardens, animal, a farm house left exactly as it was in the 50's and 60's, cows to milk, calves to pat, an old tool shed and a black cat that looked very like our Milly.

Scarecrow in the veg garden

Original gates into the farm house

A relative of Milly? It's even got the same look

Heading in to get milked

The old tool shed, just as it was left

A work bench frozen in time

Cute calves, these were only three weeks old, awwwwww

Meet Amy

Bright Pelargoniums in the farmhouse

Now you see them

Now you don't

Talking to the animals

Tamworths rooting in the ground

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Thursday, 21 July 2016

Bird life, wildlife and Moving on in Life

As a gardener, especially in Scotland I always feel I have to mention the weather, I try not too, but it slips out, and I'm be-moaning the cold, wet summer AGAIN before I know it. You can tell the kids are on summer holidays, can't you? The weather turns bad the very next day after they have finished for those long seven weeks. Though mine are well past the stage of needing entertained, they are self sufficient in that respect as long as they are kept fed. They say there's a heat wave on it's way, will make it to our lovely bit of Scotland, I hope so, it will bring the flowers out, but then I'll have to be constantly watering, us gardeners are never happy. Here's a nice picture of some of my Pelargonium collection, it certainly cheers me up.

It was well worth spending the time re-potting and giving all my greenhouse plants a good hair cut in spring,
it's paid back with an abundance of glorious colour and healthy growth

I decided to pick some flowers from my own garden for the cafe flowers this week, a nice change to the wild flowers from the bankings, with added mint for scent and oats I was really pleased with them.

Cafe flowers this week

If you follow the nursery Facebook page  (please like us if you don't already), you'll know I post photos of our wild life neighbours in the nursery and farm. This week I saw a yellowhammer in the sales area, I was really pleased to see it and then remembered for some obscure reason and very unusually I didn't have my camera with me, hence the ridiculously small photo from my phone. Yellowhammers are startling coloured birds, if you've never seen one before you'd be forgiven for thinking it was a canary!

Can you spot the yellowhammer?

This is the yellowhammer in our garden at home last year

Also in bird news this week, the latest batch of swallows have fledged from the potting area,
 I've enjoyed watching them learn to fly over the past two days

Quirky Birds can be found in varying habitats including streams,
where they are quite at home paddling in their wellies weeding the
 bankings. They also like popping up under the bridge in a
Troll Billy goat Gruff like manner and startling passers by.
 If fed chocolate and wine they can be reasonable tame
 and companionable

The gardens are full of colour now, especially the borders on either side of the track up into the nursery. On the shade side Digitalis in purples, whites and Apricot send their dreamy spires up to meet the overhanging trees. Valerian officinalis and Astilbes provide flower colour above the foliage of Hostas and Brunnera. I've added in a lot more plants along the track edge to add interest, get more plants for stock in the ground and soften the edge of the track.

On the sunnier side Sanguisorbas are coming into flower along with Ox-eye daisies, grasses, herbaceous Potentilla, Iris and Geraniums. I've given this border a good weed this week and have filled in all the gaps with plants not already in the ground. These vary from Stachys byzantium along the track edge to Phlox, Molinias, Lythrum in the wet area, kirengashoma and Polemoniums for height. 

Sanguisorba menziesii

The past couple of weeks have been spent weeding the stock beds (amongst everything else needing done), and now it's time to weed the borders. Last weekend I got the stream planting and native plants garden done and on Friday and Saturday I worked on the long border up the left side of the drive. There are still a lot of perennial weeds coming through but they are gradually decreasing over time. I have filled in a lot of the gaps as mentioned above. Next on the list will be the new borders in the stock beds, then I can hopefully get on with creating some new borders, yeh!

Lots of colour in the sales area this week

The nursery dog was with us this weekend

Yes it's a dog rose! David's sense of humour escapes again

There was much celebrating in the wildlife garden this weekend as David finished putting in the bottle edge to the path. He has over the past few months planted 950 bottles! I'm really pleased with it and can't wait to get the wood chips in to finish the path. We'd like to thank customers, visitors, Whitmuir and the Edinburgh Larder who left their bottles for us to recycle in a quirky way so we could add another interesting feature to the gardens here in the nursery.

Now onto our next project ...... 

Eryngium 'Jos Eijkling'

Monday was a day off to try and clear the back log of tasks and chores piling up at home, after a better night's sleep and feeling motivated, I got though most of my job list, yeh!

Mission 1 - bin bags of stuff to harity shop, petrol in car and chicken food bought          check
Mission 2 - manky hoose cleaned                                                                                      check
Mission 3 - attack the paperwork mountain on my desk                                                    check
Mission 4 - tidy patio and water plants                                                                               check
Mission 5 - relax, chocolate and book                                                                                check

Tuesday and wow was it hot! Clear blue skies, no escape 30C, yes you read that right, in Scotland for one day only! Unfortunately it was also the day we were moving eldest into his new flat before he starts his new job in a couple weeks time. Three car loads later and a trip to the supermarket for some food for him we were all melted puddles on the floor, but it's great to see him moving on with his life and fingers crossed the new job will go ok too. Meanwhile middle son celebrated his 20th birthday somewhere in England where he is on a course over the summer. They are all so grown up.

Home to tea outside, where it was marginally cooler than the stuffy house then a relaxing evening recovering!

Hope you are all having a great week, catch up soon.

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Friday, 15 July 2016

A Week in Pictures

This week I've re-doing the sales area, moving plants about, bringing out new ones for sale and making the most of all the lovely summer flowering perennials, annuals and bedding we have available. There is still plenty time to plant up pot and containers, ad you will have colour and interest well into autumn. 

Roll up, roll up, get your Pelargoniums here

Mixed Pelargoniums

We have a selection of wonferfully scented roses

There is a new crop of piglets in the field behind us, all oinky, fuzzy and funny


Piglet nonsense

Last week's cafe flowers were a wild flower garden fushion, lots of colour around at the moment

A lot of the plantings are really starting to knit together this year,
I love this Hosta and Geranium combination at the bridge

The bees are loving the geraniums too

Nasturtiums are great for summer colour, plat them in tubs, pots, window boxs,
in borders, up fences, down bankings. They brighten up a salad and the
garden, experiment with different varieties

The first planting I did last year when we took over was the stream planting by our new bridge. It is really coming
together now and looks great after a weed and some more plants put in to fill in some spaces

On our day off, eldest, youngest and I headed into Edinburgh to the Museum of Scotland. This was one of my favourite childhood haunts, and as a teenager I'd quite often take the train into to town and spend hours wandering around here. I still love it, from it's grand architecture to the huge variety of objects, there is something for everyone.

I'll leave you with some photos from the museum, hope you are al well and having a great week, cheers for now.

A grand old lady, love this place

Fabric on display in the fashion exhibition

It's electric

Daniel's electric personality

Quote on the wall from the declaration of Arbroath


View from the roof terrace, planted up with Scottish natives

A Lego Museum of Scotland, how cool!

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