"People take pictures of the Summer..........

 ...... just in case someone thought they had missed it, and to proved that it really existed." -  Ray Davies

Another week done, the weather has been very mixed as you would expect in July in Scotland! Still some rain means less watering which is a good thing, though I do get bored of being soaked on and off through the day. The gardens continue to change, some plants going over, some beginning to do their thing. The wildflower meadow is looking particularly good this year and despite that long dry hot spell in spring the willow is putting on decent growth in the fedge. 

My orchid is flowering for the third time

I love glassware on a window sill so the light floods through, these recycled glass and vintage bottles and vases are perfect for the cottage window sill. The large vase on the left and smaller one on the right in the first picture are available to buy in the nursery wee shop. 

In the nursery gardens there is still plenty colour. Sanguisorba are beginning to flower. They are a great genus which grow well in our often challenging conditions. You can read about them here

Sanguisorba 'Pink Tanna'

Allium sikimensis

Hedera 'Buttercup'

Pots for shade

Astrantia 'Claret'

Geraniums and Knatia

Primula florindae

Its all about the poppies in the nursery gardens at the moment and they are a talking point with customers and full of busy bees. I either save the seed heads and seed and scatter it about in spring to fill in gaps in the gardens. Often they will pop up by them selves where I've mulched the borders with our own compost in spring.
These are the annual Papaver somniferum, commonly known as the opium poppy or breadseed poppy.It is the species of plant from which both opium and poppy seeds are derived and is also a valuable ornamental plant, grown in gardens. They come in variations of pink and purple, singles and doubles.
This poppy is grown as an agricultural crop on a large scale, for one of three primary purposes. The first is to produce seeds that are eaten by humans, known commonly as poppy seed. The second is to produce opium for use mainly by the pharmaceutical industry The third is to produce other alkaloids
that are processed by the pharmaceutical industry.

Another excellent Friday supper from Thyme to Dine. Flavours were amazing and each dish complimented the other perfectly. Dessert was fabulous and accompanied with a nice rose wine, we won't be eating for a while  thanks Val for another great meal.

One of my favourite areas in the nursery gardens is the wildflower meadow on the middle terrace. It's a part of the garden that changes dramatically with the seasons from short strimmed grass in winter, then the headliners - cowslips beginning to flower in March, next is Ragged Robin and Campion. These are followed by Ox Eye Daisies, then Lesser and greater Knapweed and in amongst and finally coming into their own in autumn all the grasses 🌼🌸🌱
We have recorded over 40 different species of plants through the year and that wasn't including the grasses! I was super excited to see this afternoon that orchids have begun growing in amongst the other plants, I saw at least 5 from the path  This autumn I want to add in lots of cow parsley, more wild carrot and plant tulips for spring interest 🌷
The wildlife this area supports is huge, especially for our flying insects, bees, butterflies and months. On a warm summer day the meadow literally buzzes with insects 🐝🐛🦋🐞🐜🦟🦗🕷🦎🐸

Useful Plants from the garden - Calendula officinalis - Calendula Tea

Place a few flower heads in a cup, pot, jar and pour over boiling water. Once your tea has finished infusing, strain it before proceeding to the next steps. (The remaining petals can
be composted.) Make small batches at a time and store any leftover tea in your refrigerator. Herbal water infusions have a fairly short shelf life, so discard the remainder after a day or two. Important note: Calendula can stimulate menstruation, so pregnant women (or animals) should not use it internally without consulting with their health care provider first. Also, if you’re on medications, have chronic health issues, or just questions in general, check with your health care provider for their advice.

14 Uses for Calendula Tea
Now that it’s been made, cooled and strained, here are 14 uses for calendula tea:

1. Use as a gargle for sore throat.
2. Use as a mouth rinse to help relieve blisters, inflamed gums, or thrush.
3. Dip small cloths or clean rags into the tea and apply as a compress to scraped, itchy, scratched, or otherwise inflamed skin conditions.
4. Use with homemade baby wipes to help alleviate nappy rash.
5. Strain through a coffee filter and use as an eye rinse for itchy eyes due to allergies, dryness and viral pink-eye.
6. Wash your face with calendula tea nightly, if prone to acne and breakouts.
7. Pour some in a foot bath, for fungal conditions such as athlete’s foot.
8. Add some to your regular bath to help soothe and heal inflamed skin or rashes.
9. Use as a hair rinse, after shampooing, to alleviate itchy scalp conditions.
10. Pour into a small spray bottle to make a disinfecting wound spray.
11. Drinking calendula tea is reported to help heal gastric ulcers, congested lymph nodes and sore throat. It can potentially help break a fever by causing a sweat. Dosage is no more than 2 to 3 cups per day. (Not for pregnant women since it can stimulate menstruation. Please consult your health care provider with questions or concerns.)
12. Make Calendula Ice. (Freeze tea in ice cube trays. Once frozen, remove from tray and store in single layers in labeled freezer bags. Rub a cube over rashes and scrapes as needed.)
13. Calendula tea can safely be used on most non-pregnant animals including dogs, cats, horses, cows, rabbits, goats, chickens and ducks. It can be used as a soothing rinse for flea bites, eczema, scratches, scrapes, itchy coats, or to help cleanse and heal minor
14. For dogs prone to hot spots or other raw areas, calendula tea can be gently dabbed or spritzed on the area.  

# I haven’ tried any of the herbal uses of this plant so cannot say whether they work, as always it is good to do some research or buy ready prepared products from a reputable herbalist

A new plan, while David does the food shop in Peebles, Bracken and I get dropped off to walk back towards home. So doglet and I get a walk, David avoids a walk and the food shop gets done, every one is happy. Last week we walked from the centre of Peebles along the river to Eshiels. Today we got dropped at Eshiels and walked along the Tweed railway path to Cardronna. Next time Cardronna to Innerleithen. There were plenty of wild flowers out, the walk took longer that it could do cause every sniff has to be sniffed and piddled on by Bracken. But a lovely walk in decent weather to end an achieving day at home. Lots of nursery admin done, house chores done. other stuff caught up on. Tomorrow is a road trip, perk of being married to bat man and the interesting places he gets to go and survey :)

Another day, another walk along a disused railway line. A long day but it meant David got a survey done at a distillery in Speyside, we got a day out on our day off and shared the driving. We had a picnic at Ruthven Barracks to break up the journey, stretch the legs and let the doglet have a widdle and some of our picnic, hmmmmm. I got dropped off with Bracken north of Aberlour to walk part of the Speyside Way while David was working. A nice walk along the River Spey, lovely weather, and siting on a bench at the side of the river in Aberlour for a while enjoying the peace while waiting to be picked up again. 

Crossing the River Forth

Nice day for a road trip

Criss crossing wires

Lunch stop at Ruthven Barracks

Where's my lunch

Walking along the Speyside Way to Aberlour

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

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