A dry June Brings the harvest good and soon

It's been a mad busy time since we re-opened and Its been lovely having our customers being able to visit again, enjoy the gardens and shop for plants. The weather however turned dramatically colder, dropping more than 15C from a hot 26C to 10C, back to layers and feeling a bit on the chilly side. There's been rain showers and some windier days but it is improving again, so hopefully we will get summer weather again. The nursery and gardens continue to grow fantastically both physically and in the number of customers and sales we've had, so it is very reassuring after all the uncertainty of the past two months that we can move forward into the rest of the year.

Waterlily 'Mrs Richmond'
What a busy day Wednesday was! It was lovely to see customers enjoying their visit to the nursery and gardens. That rain was amazing the night before and made such a difference over night, one less job to do. Appropriately we also had this lovely lot delivered and are fully re-stocked with water plants again. A great selection of small and deeper water lilies, some are in flower, marginal, oxiginators and other aquatics. We also had 140 Scottish grown roses delivered. We have climbers, HT, floribunda and patio roses. Great plants and lots of choose in colour, scent and size 🌷⚘ including Rosa climber 'Ena Harkness', Rosa climber 'Compassion', Rosa climber 'Dorothy Perkins', Rosa climber 'Golden Showers', Rosa climber 'Handel', Rosa climber 'Madame Carriere', Rosa climber 'New Dawn', Rosa climber 'Pink Perpetue', Rosa flor 'Champagne moment', Rosa flor 'China town', Rosa flor 'Iceberg', Rosa 'Golden wedding', Rosa HT 'Fragrant cloud', Rosa HT 'Prima ballerina', Rosa HT 'Troika', Rosa HT 'Velvet fragrance', Rosa 'Lovers meeting', Rosa patio 'Cider cup', Rosa patio 'Pretty polly', Rosa patio 'Scarlet patio', Rosa 'Sweet dreams'and pallets of compost, it was a busy day all round.  😊🐸🐟  We

Waterlily odorata sulphurea

Throwback Thursday - I thought I'd do something a wee bit different this week. I often get asked how long I've been doing gardening and horticulture....... well more years than I like to think it is  34 years to be exact  so at my expense I give you my career in a snap shot, forgive the 80's perm, it was the thing lol.
I have worked in horticulture for the past 30 odd years since leaving school. I grew up in a family of home gardeners, so I learnt the value and good taste of home grown food from an early age. My career has been varied, covering many aspects of horticulture, starting with training with the National Trust for Scotland at Inveresk Gardens on their YTS scheme and working at Conifox Nursery in the holidays. Back in the good old days of donkey jackets, steel toecap boots, £35 a month wages and trips to Crathes Castle for theory. I then went on to study at Threave School of Gardening near Castle Douglas, this 2 year course resulted in a Diploma in Horticulture and various other qualifications including the RHS Certificates in Horticulture.
After leaving college I worked at Dougal Philip’s Walled Garden centre, when it was on it's original site in the walled garden where I worked in the gardens and garden centre. From here I moved to a 14 acre private estate near Aberdour in Fife, there at The Murrel I started as assistant gardener before becoming head gardener. I managed the woodland gardens, water gardens, rose gardens, a walled garden, rockery and vegetable garden ranged around a house designed by a student of Edward Lutyens in his style. After a short break to have my eldest son I became head gardener at Annet House museum in Linlithgow where I worked for 7 years. I was given the remit of designing the gardens to reflect plants and gardening in Scotland from the 1500’s onwards. This was a great combination of my interests in Scottish history with plants and gardens and their uses through history. There I developed fruit beds, herb and vegetable potagers, a cutting garden and then writing a small book on the garden and it’s plants.
From Annet house I moved to Binny Plants doing nursery work while my children were young to eventually becoming head gardener, running the gardens and with responsibilities in helping run the nursery, mail order and working on show stands. I worked there for 12 years until November 2014 when I decided it was time for a change. After several years of very difficult situations in life I needed a break, not even being sure if horticulture was what I still wanted to do. I made decision to take a year out and see where I wanted go and what I wanted to do in life. I was contemplating studying botany when I was approached about buying a nursery, this, it turned out was Quercus Garden Plants! I said no, having worked in a nursery or two I know how much work it is. Yet here I am 5 years on, loving creating my nursery and garden, and i
t is the best decision I have made in a long time. I get to be creative, work hard (I dont do sitting still), I am creating a unique place for people to visit, inspiring gardens, developing an interesting plant stock list and have met so many wonderful people, many who have become friends. Its hard work but for the first time in my life I really feel I am achieving something.

Threave school of gardening

The Murrell

Binny Plants

Quercus Garden Plants

When I have a spare moment which is usually my one day off I create things, this week messing about with antiques and wild flowers from the garden

The nursery gardens are looking fab with all that refreshing rain during the week. We had a continuous flow of customers today, all enjoying their visit to the nursery and gardens and it was lovely to talk to existing and new customers and friends, thank you every one 🤩 I've got a lot of propagating to do The wildflower banking and meadow are now into Ox eye daisy, Campion and Ragged robin season with spotted orchids now starting to flower in the herb bank 🥀
I did work on a bit and get the last of the bark onto the borders of the Cornucopia Garden which is now finished, Yay! Bracken supervised to make sure it was all done correctly 

Ragged Robin

Fluffy clouds and blue sky on the way home after a madly busy day in the nursery and a walk along the Tweed while waiting on our takeaway 

In the nursery and gardens this week:

Useful Plants from the garden - Ginger Mint
Mentha x gracilis ‘Variegata’
“Variegated Ginger Mint” This is a lovely shorter mint with golden flecked leaves and a lovely scent. Be warned, it may short, but it will spread, so as with most mints, keep its roots contained. Small pale purple flowers appear in July, again a lovely mint to grow in a pot next to a garden bench or pathway. H 40cm, S 90cm.
Summer Melon Salad
This is super yummy  and the onions even had wee hearts in the middle  
at least 3 different kinds of melon for the contrasting coloured cubes
juice and zest of lime
feta cheese crumbled
thinly sliced red onion
fresh ginger mint leaves
salt and fresh cracked black pepper
1. Shortly before you want to serve the salad, toss your melon cubes in a bowl, or arrange them on individual plates in a checkerboard fashion. Top them with thin slices of red onion, lime zest, and feta crumbs and then squeeze lime juice over all.

Still keeping it local on our day off, after venturing to the bank, post office, boots and sainsbury this morning, which is the most I've gone to in 12 weeks! We packed a picnic and walked up to Minch Moor, a couple of miles from the house. I last walked up there 12 years ago, which was much longer ago than I thought it was! Little did I know back then I'd be living just down the road in a completely different life!

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

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