"Spring would not be spring without bird songs"

This week saw the return of our swallows, we were sitting in the office having lunch when we heard their familiar chatter as they swooped into the potting area, almost as if to say we're back! I didn't manage to get any photos but will try once they are settled back in. The weather is still amazing, I just can't believe it's gone on so long, the blue sky and sun sets off the gardens and flowers perfectly and I'm the only one that sees it at the moment

Mixed daffodils in the planters at the nursery entrance looking fab in the sun

The farms orphan lambs up to nonsense

The blossom of the weeping pear, Pyrus salicifolia Pendula

The double primroses are fully in flower now and putting on a great show in their planter. Varieties include Primula 'Bonheur', Primula 'Burgandy Ice', Primula 'Corporal Baxter', Primula 'Purple Storm', Primula 'Creme du Tregor' and Primula 'Miss indigo'

This year one of the garden projects I've been working on is finishing off the garden area after the wild life garden, what we've called the Cornucopia garden (meaning an abundance of good things) This last bit has a yellow, purple and orange planting on the left and a blue and yellow planting on the right. The garden is finished with a hedge of Lonicera nitida and an arch (to be) of Laburnum vossii. I can't wait to see it all grow. I've started with the colourful photos first, cause they are much more interesting. There are lots more new borders and gardens to see once we are able to open again.

In the evenings we've been enjoying a walk along the river, it's lovely to see everything coming to life. Having moved her in December, we feel like we are seeing from the beginning, seeing the year unfurl. There is blossom on the trees and the slopes a covered in primrose, violas and oxalis.

Bracken enjoying the sun in the back garden

This week's useful plant from the garden
Allium fistulosum
"Welsh onion" An edible, bulbous perennial, remaining green virtually all year round and producing impressive creamy-white flowers in mid-summer. Plant in full sun and well-drained soil. H 30cm, S 30cm.

Prawn, ginger and Welsh onion stirfry
This was a quick and easy dinner to prepare after a hard day at the nursery using some welsh onions from the herb garden.
200g prawns                                                                           ½ tsp chilli flakes
1 garlic clove crushed                                                            1 tsp caster sugar
Juice form half a lemon                                                          grated root ginger
1 tbsp lazy lemon grass                                                          ½ tsp cumin                                                
1/2 tsp ground coriander                                                        2 welsh onions                                            
1 red pepper, chopped                                                      Tin water chestnuts                                          
couple handfuls bean sprouts                                               1 tbsp soy sauce                                           
egg noodles to serve                     

Put the prawns in a bowl. Put the chilli, garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, lemon juice and caster sugar in with the prawns and leave to marinade.
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a wok, add the welsh onions and fry for 1 min. Add the red pepper and fry for 1 min, until the pepper starts to soften. Add the water chestnuts and bean sprouts, and toss together until the bean sprouts start to wilt. 
Add the soy sauce and a really good grind of black pepper, then tip in the prawn mix. Cook until the prawns turn pink. Drain the noodles and top with the stir fry. Snip some pieces of welsh onion leaf over and serve.

Welsh onion

Marinading prawns

Allium fistulosum in summer
in the herb garden

Work continues in the nursery, I am potting up a lot of the seedlings I sowed a couple of months ago. All the annuals are now potted and I'm working my way through the hundreds of perennial seed pots I sowed. A lot will take months to germinate, others are already needing potted. A satisfying job tat is rapidly filling up the space I am making in the polytunnel. The space is created by moving last years propagated plants out into the nursery where they either go straight into the stock beds or if needing potted they join the potting queue behind the office! I am now at "I" in the stock beds, so getting there.

I love living in Peebleshire now, especially when I can take a different route home to do deliveries

David has very nearly finished the railway garden construction. I have planted up some areas and hope to finish the planting on Monday. There has been a new track and point added to the railway, so lots more train fun when we can open again! We will have so many new areas for customers to see when we open, it will be a great experience for new and existing customers.

We've had rain, after 5 weeks of sun and dry weather,
 it was proper heavy rain, much needed
I need to let David do the weekly shop more often

My auriculas are in full flower and looking lovely

As a small business, classed as non-essential I am feeling really peeved (being polite) that I cannot be open and sell my plants when B&Q are open selling trolleys and trolleys of plants and Tesco and other supermarkets similarly have trolley loads of plants outside.
As you will know if you have visited Quercus we can do social distancing so easily, our paying area is even outside! We can do it much more so than these superstores yet we can't be open.
Its a massive injustice to small nurseries and garden centres like mine whose income depends solely on selling plants and not where plants are an add on to their main product range.
Please write to your MP / MSP and ask them to get involved in the discussion on going to let nurseries open as essential businesses under benefiting well being and mental health (including mine!)

This week's day off walk from the cottage was a variation on a theme (again) and one I've been keen to explore for some time. We walked along the road to the forestry plantation but instead of walking up and along the track we usually do, we cut off sooner and walked through the old birch wood. Though on a steep hill it was easy walking and as magical as I thought it would be. Like stepping back in time, or being in a Lord of the rings movie. With circles of trees, moss covered woodland floors, fungi and carpets of oxalis, violets and primroses. Views of the hills opposite through the dappled canopy of fresh green leaves, the sound of silence except for small birds in the branches above. The odd animal track and signs of woodland life. A piece of wriggly tin to lift cause there might be reptiles or small mammals underneath, then back down to the river and home by our usual river walk  so blessed.

So that's my weekly round up from last week, I know I am lucky in this current situation and everything could be a lot worse, I trying to stay positive and look for the small, lovely moments and hopefully I have managed to pass some of those to you too. Take care, stay safe x

Title quote - Francis M. Chapman

#rural #countrylife #countryliving #cottagelife #antiquecottagescenes #interiors #scottishborders #independantretailer #smallbusiness #localbusiness #independantplantnursery #uniqueplantnursery #hardyscottishplants #scottishgarden #gardeningontheedge #scottishborders

If you want to find out what's been happening in our garden at home like our Facebook page 
                                                      The quirky Bird Gardener 

 If you to see whats new and looking good at the nursery like our Facebook page
                                                         Quercus Garden Plants

Find out more about the nursery here - our web site: www.quercusgardenplants.co.uk

Follow us on Instagram @quirkybirdgardener

All contents  and photographs ©  Rona, unauthorised reproduction & use of these images is strictly forbidden, thank you