Wednesday, 7 February 2018

"February is merely as long as is needed to pass the time until March"

I think this weeks diary post blog might consist mainly of all the lovely photographs I've taken this week of the dramatic skies, new snow and stark and stately trees. We've had more flurries of snow over a few evenings, sometimes lying thicker than others, so needless to say work at the nursery is not progressing as quickly as I'd like. I am getting things done, just not the tasks I'd hoped to have done by now. It's an interesting comparison though, year on year as to how far ahead I am in the nursery depending on the weather. We are so much further behind at the moment that we were last year. But, as time goes on I hope to catch up as I don't have the massive project of building and planting out the scented and herb garden as I did last year. We are however making great progress with new signage and labelling, so all is not lost.

(Title quote -  Dr. J. R. Stockton)

Sun setting on the way home

Flurries of snow again!

Although there has been snow on the ground this week, the temperatures haven't been low enough to freeze everything so I have got all the compost bins either emptied or turned, depending on where they are in the cycle. This is a very physical job which I managed to complete in one day, as you can see they are rather large bins, so I was feeling like I'd definitely earned that creme egg waiting at home in the fridge! The compost I have emptied into bulk bags will be used around the nursery gardens to improve our clay soil.

Me weaving some willow

I have spent a couple of days weaving more of the willow fence in our wildlife garden. Again a big job but I do enjoy it, especially when the winter sun has a hint of warmth and we get a lovely sunset. I managed to finish the first side this week, which is our boundary with the cafe and farm shop. This year I have heightened the willow fence by six to twelve inches and this has made a big difference (no pun intended!) to the look and strength of it. I've also put in a lot more new rods to thicken it and fill in all the gaps at the base. I'm looking forward to seeing what difference this makes over the year.

David has been building more steps in the gardens so you can wind your way around the gardens from terrace to terrace, enjoying the gardens and plants. He's also been working on signage for both the nursery and gardens, we hope you'll see a difference with the signs and information available when you visit this year.

I love a good sunset, especially when trees are silhouetted against those wonderful colours

Impressive cloud over the Pentlands, taken from the nursery

When the weather has been ameniable I've started restocking the sales tables, ready for opening at the beginning of March. It is amazing how much colour and interest there is when we really look. Most of these plants you can also see growing in the nursery gardens.

Sunrise over the Pentland Hills from the other side

Monday, Monday, wasn't much of a day off. Up early to get my car to Livingston for it's service, bonus was a nice sunrise over the Pentlands. I don't often see this west side of them these days, a big change from living this side for many years and seeing this view most weeks. Now we live right at the bottom of the Pentlands range and the nursery looks onto them form the east side. After dropping his car off for repairs in Penicuik, David picked me up then headed home to wait on a heating engineer. We had no hot water or heating when we got up, not ideal given how cold it is. Luckily the letting agent was on the ball for a change and we had an engineer in the house by lunch time with a diagnosis of a problem with the gas supply from the tank. Phone call to the gas supplier who owns the tank, an emergency call so another engineer out within and couple of hours and all fixed - yeh. We have experienced no hot water or heating for days or weeks before in this house, so as you can imagine this was great. Just keep breathing as they say!

The rest of the day was less stressful, we picked my car up mid afternoon, then headed to Penicuik to pick David's car on the way into Edinburgh for our Archaeology course in the evening. This week we were studying stone circles, so we were able to talk about the ones we saw on our trip down south last year. Another fascinating evening. We were supposed to meet up with David's daughter to celebrate her birthday afterwards, but she's not well so it's been postponed until a later date, so we picked up some pizza on the way home.

Tuesday was a much more relaxing day off with a long lie trying to ignore the new covering of snow that appeared over night. A good inch or so has turned the world completely white again. Luckily the roads are clear, meaning we can get around but enjoy the beauty of it. It has been a proper winter this year. We headed to Broughton to do a nice wee walk up towards Broughton Heights where Bracken enjoyed running about in the snow. Back to the car and down to Dawyck Botanic Gardens for a walk around the gardens and some lunch. This is a lovely garden and we are so lucky to have it close by. If you are a member of the Royal Botanic Gardens of Edinburgh there are many benefits which you can read about here. These also include free entry to all the Botanic gardens in Scotland and discounts in the cafe.

Walking towards Broughton Heights

Coulter Fell in the distance

Tinto ahead

Because of the snow the snowdrops weren't very showy but it was very peaceful and quiet walking around the gardens appreciating the wonderful tree specimens, Rhododenrons, shrubs and lichens. We saw a few pheasant and a hare ran right passed us! After a lovely lunch we headed home to potter about and edit photographs.

You can read about previous visits to Dawyck here:

A Trip to Dawyck Botanic Gardens

A Trip to Dawyck Gardens to see the Snowdrops




Snowdrops in the snow

Betula jaquemontii

The chapel at Dawyck

Tree Creeper

As we head towards spring life will get busier and busier for us gardeners and maybe we might get caught up on nursery work if the weather behaves. Have a great week what ever you are doing and whatever weather you have.

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  1. I absolutely love your pictures of the skies and tree silhouettes! So beautiful.
    It looks that work is well under way. That compost job is impressive. Hopefully you get a good weather spell to catch up with work at some point. Sometimes it's amazing what a few springy, sunny days can do, you get so much done. Let's hope some are on their way.
    Your willow fence is so pretty, I must copy that!

    1. Thank you, We've had more snow and freezing temperatures, so I reckon I am now 3 weeks behind in the nursery with work to be done, hey ho, nothing we can do but keep working on when the weather allows. We've had some dry days this week to get on but more snow forecast for next week.