May Madness in the gardens

The great weather continues, so much sun and blue sky for two weeks now, very unusual for here. It has meant we've got a lot done outside but the poor plants really need some proper rain and here I am in typical gardener weather speak again.

Oxalis ennyphyllum Dark Eye
Fern unfurling


So what's the plan for this week? More of the same really.

~ keep watering
~ finish tidying the stock beds
~ keep on top of the potting
~ to keep moving plants out of the tunnel to the stock beds or sales area.
~ to pot up seedlings in the tunnel that are ready to move on from plugs to pots.
~ to empty David's workshop tunnel of plants that were in there for winter.
~ to plant up more of the new herb garden.

Did I finish anything from last weeks list? Yes! I finished tidying the tree and shrub stock beds including potting the ones that needed potting up. I also finished potting and propagating the herbs in the tunnel, so we have plenty stock for the summer. I've started the grasses stock beds at last, though there's a lot of potting needing done there too. The borders are all weeded and I've moved some plants out the workshop tunnel, it's all progress, even if small steps in the right direction.

What do you mean this seat's
not for me
Nice to put the old feet up and
enjoy the sun at home after dinner

Spring is not just about the plants, it's about the beasties too, especially here in the nursery and on the farm. Two days in a row I've seen a stoat in the nursery. These wee creatures are sleek with their distinctive black tipped tail, they win points with this gardener because they keep on top of the rabbit and vole population. Today when I was working in grasses it ran right by me! We have at least three bird nests active in the nursery, that we know of, wren, blue tits and the swallows. There are two lots of new piglets in the field behind the nursery and calves on the farm too. 

Our nursery stoat, can you spot it?

Another couple of recipes from my ottolenghi books,
feta and pomegranate salad and Poppy seed and
cucumber salad with roasted tomato focaccia

The herb garden in the sun

Wee shop expansion

After a very busy Saturday in the nursery David and I headed to Langholm in the borders where David was doing a bat walk and talk. After a poor take away for tea we met every one in the church where David did his talk which was well attended. After David took the group along the river path where the group were lucky to see three species of bat. A late night as it's an hour and half drive home, but good to go somewhere different.

On Sunday I took a break from all the nursery work to finally get the checkerboard in the new herb garden planted up. David finished laying the slabs last weekend so they had a week to set before I was let loose about them with a fork! Over the afternoon, in between helping customer I got all 18 spaces planted up with low growing herbs which will give a pleasant scent when walked over.

Planting the herbs, adding in some organic matter to the clay soil

Progress! Determined to get it finished before the end of the day

Finished! So pleased with the end result

The rarely photographed Quirky bird at work, not that I don't work as you'll know
 if you've visit the nursery

Monday, and rain at last! it rained heavily most of Sunday night and most of Monday and it was good ground and pot soaking rain. No running around connecting up sprinklers today for a change and no outdoor work. It did mean i got the piles of potting that had accumulated in the potting area worked through, potted and put away and then some more besides. Lots of plant from the two tunnels put out side or potted and cuttings taken too. Whew! No matter the weather it's always a busy day, but I love it.

Sweet tea brined fried chicken, corn bread
and broccoli salad from the Outlander
cookbook for dinner tonight

Tuesday and a day off at last, though I love this crazy mad time of year, it is good for me to stop for 2 seconds! After a long lie and dropping Daniel off at school for his last exam we headed to the Bathgate Hills and Cairnpapple. Having lived in the area for a good part of my life, I've never visited this neolithic burial and ceremonial site before. A short walk up from the lay-by takes you up some steps and across the field to the enclosure that contains the ancient site. Unfortunately we couldn't get entry to the tombs as they are only open Friday to Monday. We did enjoy our walk around the site and up onto the mound over the tombs. There were great views in all directions, from Binny Crag to the Bass Rock and Berwick Law in the East, to the Pentlands round westwards to Glasgow and then round to the Ochil Hills, Cockle Roy hill and the Forth Bridges.


Cairnpapple’s henge dates from about 3800 BC. Centuries later the landscape was chosen for a number of Bronze Age burials. Much later still, it was used for early Christian graves. In the 19th century the site was completely concealed by trees, then in 1947–1948 excavations by Stuart Piggott found a series of ritual monuments from successive prehistoric periods. You can read more about the history of Cainpapple here .

Walking up to Cairnpapple

The burial mound at Cairnpapple

Looking East

The Forth Bridges

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  1. What an interesting post, so much to read. I love the chequered garden and the rain was heaven sent, I was beginning to think it was never going to rain again. I've looked several times at the cookbook Plenty, do you recommend it? The landscape round you way is beautiful xx

    1. Hi Fran, yes the cookbook is great, I've made several recipes already, easy and so healthy and tasty. We are lucky with our local landscape, it's a lovely place to live though the weather can be tough sometimes, it's give and take lol x


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