Sunny days are here again

I'd like to think this on going gloriously hot and sunny weather is our compensation for a very long, snowy and cold winter. No matter why I am loving it, no matter how much watering I have to do. The nursery and gardens are really coming into their own now with lots of lovely fresh, lush colourful foliage, the last of the spring flowers and hints of summer flowers to come. The herb garden is really filling out as it comes into it's second year. The herbs have done surprisingly well through the winter we've had and I'm delighted at how few losses there were. I always knew it was a bit of an experiment growing a herb garden on a north facing slope on cold clay soil at 850 feet above sea level. But we gardeners love a challenge. 

Allium fistulosum, the Welsh onion,
budding up nicely in the herb garden

Is it just me or does any one else think the blossom and flowers are bigger and better this year, or are we just desperate for colour after that winter? The apple trees in the nursery stock beds are laden with huge blossom, and if we don't get a late frost, hopefully plenty fruit come autumn. In the tunnel propagation continues apace. I'm potting up last years cuttings as quickly as I am creating new ones. Seedlings are still being potted as they get big enough and annuals and veg plants are now coming out into the sales area. So far there are runner beans, lettuce, kale, purple sprouting broccoli and parsley available. We may still get a late frost so be prepared to cover them if the temperature does drop, though with temperatures in the 20's every day at the moment that seems unlikely, but it is Scotland. 

Veg seedlings in the sales area

Salad seedlings ready to pot up in the tunnel

Veg seedlings almost ready to come over to the sales area

If you've been to the nursery you'll know we also sell pots and garden decor, with a new range this year to tempt you. Succulents are also back in stock, grown at home over the winter we have a range of succulents and cacti, perfect for kids or as easy to care for houseplants for indoor gardeners. They look great in our terracotta and zinc pots.

This is Aquilegia 'Clementine Rose', one of 23 varieties of Aquilegia I am growing here in the nursery with my great friend Sarah Fiona. We are in danger of getting columbine fever. So far there are 6 varieties available for sale. Watch this space for more as they become available

Aquilegia 'Clementine Rose'

One from a mixed batch of seed

The range of tasks in the nursery is much the same as any gardener, weeding, potting, propagating, watering. The annual stock bed tidy continues with lots of plants potted and propagated along the way. It is looking much better and with new signs and labels much easier for our customers to browse. 

When I was weeding the two beds at the roadside I took some photos of the daffodils in bloom that we planted up either side of the drive into Whitmuir last autumn. I bought a 25 kg sack of mixed varieties from Parkers bulbs, and they have proved to be a great buy and have brightened up spring this year, flowering for about 2 months. They have produced a lovely range of colours and types; singles, doubles, multi flower heads, scented, yellow, white, cream and everything in between. I would recommend (and not sponsored) getting them from J Parker Bulbs and I'd also recommend getting some one else to plant them as it was back breaking work lol. 

There are new piglets on the farm which are always entertaining and calves are due anytime now

We were delighted to be asked to supply plants for a stand at Gardening Scotland this year. We wish Robyn of Planticrub Garden Design lots of luck with her stand and I'm looking forward to seeing our plants in her display at the show.

Good weather is quite often accompanied by stunning sunsets, this one last week was stunning, taken from the top of the field behind the house. 

Which brings us neatly to the garden at home. I've been enjoying half an hour out in the garden in the mornings while I'm waiting for David to get up for breakfast. I've got all the plants that come out the two greenhouses for summer onto the patio and both greenhouses, swept out and tidied for summer. On Thursday night I spent a couple of hours in the big greenhouse cutting back, feeding, potting and top dressing everything that was left and spacing out my Pelargoniums for summer. 

Acer 'Bloodgood' against that blue sky

Astilboides tabularis, a great plant for damp shade with it's dinner pate sized leaves

There are still some late flowering auricula primulas in my collection, this is 'Black jack' on the left and 'Stubbs Tartan' on the right

This is Pittisporum 'Silver Queen' which is evergreen and has these tiny burgandy flowers in spring. The flowers might be small but they have huge scent. This plant goes in the cold greenhouse over winter up here

Enjoying some early morning sun in
 the greenhouse

There are a lot of Aquilegia at home too, this is the stunning A. 'Chocolate Soldier' which I'm hoping to get seed from this year. 

After a last minute change of plan on Tuesday on our day off, we decided to head off to the borders and Melrose where we visited Priorwood and Harmony gardens, enjoyed lunch and a wander around the shops, including bumping in to friends and unexpectedly visiting them for coffee on the way home. I will write about our garden visits in another blog soon.

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  1. Ahh so many lovely photos and I'm also glad that we are catching up with you! Just this evening I cut the flowering stems off the Welsh onion, and noticed the first aquilegias in flower. Your petticoat type seedling in red and white is so sweet.
    Let's hope the good weather prevails, although some rain would be more than welcome. It's been 3 weeks since the last raindrop. But hey, we have summer - at last!

    1. Isn't the weather great, long may it last, though some rain at night would be welcome. The gardens are really coming to life now.


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