"Surely as cometh the Winter, there are Spring violets under the snow."

It is after all February in Scotland - back to the nursery and willow weaving and cleaning down the covered area and wee shop area, getting ready for opening again for the 2020 season. If it's not rained, it's snowed, not that then sleet, hail all three at the one time. The ground is so wet, so muddy, I'm beginning to feel I'm growing webbed feet and a permanent lean into the wind!

Hellebore 'Pink Lady'

Someone was here before me

This past week as the weather has allowed, I've been concentrating on finishing weaving the willow fedge on the lower terrace. I love this job but it does take up a big chunk of time in January and February. Spending a whole day or two at it speeds up the process. It's been interesting this year as there was so much growth on the willows last year, I've been spoilt for choice weaving in the new branches. The excess growth shows it was a wet summer last year, just as the previous year was very dry and I had very little new branches to weave in the following January. Its a great way of showing how plants react to different types of weather and growing conditions.

Late afternoon willow weaving

When the weather has been too wet or snowy to be outdoors I've been bringing plants into the covered area to tidy and label and put out on the sales tables ready for opening in two weeks time. This year we've moved a few things around in the sales area, sometimes a change is a good thing.

Spring bulbs for sale
Finding creative ways to display plants is always fun, especially using bits n bobs I have lying around. A few vintage terracotta pots and an old wooden wine box, a couple of sticks, some moss and some snow drops. A creative way to spend a rainy half hour this afternoon. Dolly tub for our watering can feature sourced from Junkshopantiques just across the car park.

One of my wet weather jobs this week was to re-do a planter from home. It's one I've had for years and it was choked with moss and needed a bit of TLC. It's another great use of an everyday recycled object turned into a planter. A terracotta roof ridge tile, turned upside down and planted up with Saxifraga 'Spotted Dog', one of my favourites. These Saxifraga don't need much soil, so a little mound of compost in the middle, a few bits of tile or stone for interest, some rosettes of Saxifrage planted and topped with gravel.

We had a fabulous Valentine meal this evening at the Caddon view Sitooterie. A chance to try this local eaterie at last. Great food and chat. We'll be back for lunch soon, lovely to have dinner out with my wonderful husband.

We didnt get away for our annual February long weekend this year, with various things going on So we took 3 days this weekend, staying at home with a couple of days out and a lazy day at home. On Sunday we drove through the flooded borders to one of our favourite places, Barter Books in Alnwick. A nod to David's Mum and Dad who we used to meet there for Christmas. Of course we had to buy some books, it would be rude not to, a lovely lunch and then a bracing walk on the beach at Seahouses. Where the waves were being blown backwards and Bracken refused to walk any further!

We expored more of the forestry opposite the cottage on monday afternoon. We found a hidden pond and a fabulous mystical stream, hidden wall and clearing in the forestry, wonderful and the water really was that blue. Love finding places like this.

Despite the weather not being as forecast, we had a lovely trip to Cambo Gardens in Fife on Tuesday. Lots of snowdrops, colour in the winter garden, a lovely walk down to the sea and a great lunch. Dog friendly and worth the long drive. We had snow showers, heavy rain, sun and cold winds, but the company and getting out somewhere I've not been to for a while was good. Cambo are known for their snow drop collection so worth visiting at this time of year, but the walled garden is a glorious place to visit in summer, especially late summer when the herbacious borders are in full swing.

It was great to have a few days to do things for us, relax a bit and take time out after a challenging couple of months, but as with all holidays it's never long enough before its back to auld claes and porridge.

Title Quote -  -  R. H. Newell

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  1. Looks lovely all around - your nursery, seaside, forest and Cambo too! It's been eons since I've gone to Alnwick, that's a lovely area. Thanks so much for the bookshop tip, sounds and looks perfect.

    1. We are spoiled for choice for things to do near us. Do go to Barter books if you can, such a great place to escape for an hour or two.


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