All the Best Laid Plans to get Back to Work

Back to work after our wee break and it was good to be back and getting on with nursery work. I had Jo from Edinburgh Garden Diary helping as she is working on getting some horticultural experience. We went foraging for cones and twigs to use in the cafe flowers then she planted acorns, sorted out the mini Christmas trees and succulents for the Christmas fairs this month. The weather has turned colder this week so in the afternoon I updated more of the database with the stock take and Jo started to work through the seeds I've gathered over the summer and autumn. It was good to be in the office with the heater on, chatting away and getting work done. Seed sorting is a fiddly job but ideal for cold days. Jo stripped the seed from the flower stalks, getting them down to as little plant material as possible before putting them back in their paper bags. When I remember I'll bring in seed packets and they can be stored in those, named and dated until I sow them next year.

This is one of the jobs I remember doing at college in winter, it was a rare chance to be indoors somewhere near warm. The smell of all the seed was amazing, it's strange how these things stay with you for so long. 

Acorns for panting, they are desperate to grow

On Thursday David had a survey to do in Prestwick so I tagged along, despite feeling ill with a bad cold. The weather was on the wild side and my plan of walking Bracken along the beach while David was working was not looking likely. Once the worst of the showers passed we wrapped up and headed out, it was bracing! Not much lingering to take photos although I did get glimpses of the Isle of Arran and Ailsa Craig through the cloud. Not sure Bracken enjoyed it either with his wee ears flapping violently in the wind. We didn't go far and turned back as another shower blew in. By the time we were back at the car David had finished and we headed to Ayr and then to Kilmarnock to meet up with oldest son for a late lunch. We picked him up from his flat and enjoyed a big lunch. It was good to catch up then take him for some shopping before heading home.

The snow covered mountains of Arran just appearing through the cloud

Washed up wood on the beach

Crashing waves at Prestwick

Rough seas from the beach at Ayr

The cold really got a grip on Friday and I gave in and spent the morning in bed taking tablets and sleeping. So much for getting back to work and getting on with things. By afternoon I was feeling a bit more human and managed to get the monster ironing done and then David and I headed to Whitmuir to do the cafe flowers and pick up all the items for the sales table I am doing on Saturday. We caught up with Andrew and Linda before heading home. The mail brought a treat for Bracken, a red hotterdog to keep him snug and warm on winter days. He loves it and cuts quite a dashing pose, what well dressed doglets are wearing in the country this winter.

Bracken in his new fleece

Cute dog

the makings of pea and ham risotto for dinner, it was very nice

Saturday and we were up before the sun and heading north to Perth on a beautiful clear late autumn morning. It's the first time I've seen the new Forth bridge for a while and it is really progressing, a stylish bridge making this trio of crossing quite a thing. We arrived at The Scottish Bat conference where David was attending and I was having a sales table for the nursery. it was good to be in the warm and meet up with people I've got to know. We had plenty sales making it worthwhile and handed out a few leaflets too. A free lunch and coffees and working on the stock take between breaks made it a pretty good day, topped off with take away pizza and wine for tea.

Crossing the Forth Road bridge at sunrise

Stringing up the new bridge

The Quercus Sales table

The weather has taken a real cold turn with temperatures well below zero and snow falling. Fortunately the snow hasn't come to much but is lying on the hill tops, making the scenery very wintry and pretty. Plants are also laced with a frosty edging, great for photographing. After a lazy Sunday morning we headed to the nursery to take back the sales table stuff and collect our wedding feast taster box from Val at Whitmuir Kitchen. She is an amazing chef with so many fantastic creative foody ideas, and our taster box was amazing, more on that later. On the way home we took the doglet for a walk up White Hill, where Bracken and I walked a couple of weeks ago. This time there was snow on the tops and low cloud. We followed the path right round this time and did a circular walk back to the car via Sheila's for a cup of tea and a blether. It's so nice to get to know new people through the nursery and make new friends.

Epimedium 'Lilafee'

A very moody feel to the the walk today

Frosted ferns on the hill side

Snow and frost, must be winter

Our wedding feast taster from Val at Whitmuir Kitchen, there are so many flavours in each dish, we
had this for dinner and will definitely be having some of these at our wedding

Monday was the usual domestic chores, cooking and baking, ideal on freezing wintry days, catching up on chores and adding more to the ever ending to do list. It was -7C this morning, brrrrrrrrrrr, definitely time to hibernate. I got around to photographing the shells and glass I found on beaches last week, I really like the re-inforced glass, I've never found any like that before. Unfortunately over the course of the day my back went, it does this sometimes, I'll be in agony for a week then it goes as if nothig had been wrong and is fine for months if not over a year. No idea why it went on Monday, but it did. Not good.

Playing around with indoor gardening stuff

Re-inforced sea glass

Shells from Gullane


Making millionaires Shortbread

Making venison with plum and sloe gin sauce for dinner

Frost encrusted Cotoneaster

That tree at the end of the field

Tuesday and the weather was lovely but this cold is still hanging around making me feel quite tired and my back is stiill painful. We headed down to Linlithgow to take Bracken for a walk around the loch. I wasn't sure how much we'd feel like doing but we walked all the way round yeh. Bracken had a great time and I got lots of photos. I grew up in Linlithgow so I have a soft spot for the town, though it's a while since I've done the loch walk. Afterwards we bought cream cakes and went and visited Betty who still has her leg in a plaster, it was good to catch up and have a good blether.

Linlithgow Palace

Bracken taking up the view

Great sky over the palace

The palace and winter trees in Black and white

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