Monday, 9 July 2018

Sunshine is the best medicine - We're feeling grand

Who else can't believe the weather we are happening? Hay fever, sunburn and the constant watering of plants aside, it is glorious to have a real summer, to not have to carry clothes for every weather when we go out and to be able to eat out in the garden every night! Almost feels like being on holiday abroad - at home. Keeping with the holiday feel we've been experimenting with new dishes for dinner, lighter for summer, lighter in calories and very tasty too. 

Grilled pork with curried cous cous and salad

This summer is set to be very busy at the nursery and at home, with lots of events lined up. So far we've had our first walk and talk event at the nursery, a sales table at a garden opening near Traquair (see below), a birthday and the first art and craft fair at Whitmuir. Still to come are another birthday, David's mum visiting, An introduction to herbs talk in the nursery (see facebook to book a place), a stand at the Biggar show, An intoduction to wild flowers in the garden talk in the nursery (see facebook to book a place), a talk to a local group, a college reunion (eek), a stand at the peebles show, an afternoon visit with WRAGS to Portmore garden, two days away in yorkshire for our wedding aniversary in a tree house! yay, a walk around the nursery talk and walk, an art in the garden event in the nursery with Dancing Light gallery WHEW!

Iris 'Gerald Derby' in the garden at home

Iris chrysographes and Dactalorhiza at home

Trollius europeus at home

At the nursery the main job at the moment is keeping everything watered. I don't like watering during the day in heat like this but to ensure everything gets some water every day, that's what has to happen. We are consistently busy with customers which is great, word is getting out there. I am still plodding through the shade stock beds, which are very weedy having not been weeded until now, but they are looking better and it's great getting plants potted, sorted and fitted into the stock beds so everything is easy to find. The nursery gardens are looking fantastic, despite the winter and the lack of water recently. I an so pleased with how they are coming together so quickly and seeing all my ideas and plans working and seeing people enjoying them. I'll post more photos in my next blog.

Old watering system at East Rushton in Norfolk

So what can we do to help our plants in this heatwave and save water at the same time?

  • Water in the early morning or at night so as little water as possible evaporates.
  • Standing plants in saucers or trays of water helps to retain any water that might run off and be wasted. It also helps create a moist atmosphere and is a better way to water plants who's foliage might suffer from too much water or scorch on the leaves.
  • When using water buts as a source of water use a pipe as a siphon to reduce endless trips with a watering can, or invest in a small pump attached to a hose to push the water out of the water but and through the hose.
  • A leaky or perforated hose is good for running through a very dry border where it can soak the ground where needed with little wastage and the plants draw that water up as required.
  • For pots and especially hanging baskets use a gel that absorbs water, some composts already have this added.
  • Mulch borders and the tops of pots, this retains moisture in the soil and stops it evaporating. Use bark, gravel or any decorative mulch material to suit your garden.
  • Try to get the water into the compost or soil under the plant where it is most needed. Water the foliage doesn't achieve much and can sometimes cause scorched leaves.
  • Save water from the roofs of houses and sheds in water buts.

What ideas do you use yo save water but help your plants in dry conditions?

In the herb garden, nasturtiums and sage

I've got lots of plants to get in the gardens but I don't want to until we've had some rain and the ground is not so dry and rock hard, otherwise I'll have even more to water in different places. It's all about patience as always with gardening.

Sunlight through the sale area plants

Knautia and Zelcova in the sales area

Chionachloa in the scented garden

Nepeta parnassica in the scented garden

Like our new house? Seriously it's not, sadly, but I did spend the day at the beautiful Glen House garden open day on the 1st of July with our Quercus pop up garden shop, kinda day off and I was in the shade all day which was lovely (who's think we'd ever say that? I sold plants, chatted to loads of people, handed leaflets out and had a look round the gardens. All in a day's work. Big thanks to David and Bracken for looking after the nursery.

Our pop up shop at the Glen Garden

Some views of the The Glen gardens

I mentioned a birthday, my youngest turned 17 last week! How did he get to be that age and that size lol. He has already sent away for his provisional licence, help. What did he want for his birthday tea? Pizza and lots of it, so pizza we had, out side of course. Meanwhile I spent the day catching up at home, enjoying having Mondays off again and even got a bit of gardening done at home.

Happy birthday Daniel

Our day off last week was a treat for Daniel as well as a day out for us when we headed over the border into Northumbria where we visited Ford and Etal villages and the railway at Heathershall. The weather was glorious again and we had a lovely time out together. We had lunch at the cafe at Heathershall and then fish and chips on the way home sitting on Lauder common with a beautiful view from our rug.

Dan and I on the train

Dinner on Lauder common, great sky, great views and a dog wanting chips!

I think he's in the huff, my job here is done

Looking to the Eildon hills from Lauder common

Until the next time, enjoy the weather and happy gardening

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