"The shortest day has passed..........

....... and whatever nastiness of weather we may look forward to in January and February, at least we notice that the days are getting longer.  Minute by minute they lengthen out.  It takes some weeks before we become aware of the change.  It is imperceptible even as the growth of a child, as you watch it day by day, until the moment comes when with a start of delighted surprise we realize that we can stay out of doors in a twilight lasting for another quarter of a precious hour." -  Vita Sackville-West


I couldn't say it better than Vita, above. Every day its light for a few more minutes more. As you would expect in January in Scotland the weather is doing all sorts of things. Dry one minute, heavy down pours the next, then freezing. Its good to be back in the nursery getting on, though as always the amount of work needing done is daunting. 

A new mini series of posts I will pop up occasionally. Do you have a plant with history, that you've taken from garden to garden or was handed down through the family? Here's my first one.

Rosa shrub 'Blanc Double De Coubert'
My favourite rose with large, semi-double, fragrant flowers of pure white, tinged with blush in the bud. Flowers repeat almost throughout the season with a few orangy-red hips and yellow foliage in autumn. It grows to 2m, with a similar spread, occasionally sending out suckers, which are easy to remove and propagate from. Very tough, hardy and grows in most soils including our wet clay soil. The plants I have for sale in the nursery are cuttings from the plant in the nursery gardens planted in by me in 2015. That plant was propagated from the one I had in my last garden, which I planted when we moved there in 1999. That plant was propagated from the one I planted in my parents garden in 1988 which was propagated from the plant growing in Inveresk Gardens where I did my YTS year with the National trust for Scotland between 1986 and 1987. Hows that for plants provenance?

Autumn leaf colour

I used to have the following Primula in my last garden years and would love to have them again but they are proving very hard to track down. The nursery I used to get them from no longer sends to the UK. If any one has any of them and would like to swap plants get in touch.
I'm looking for Primula 'Quakers Bonnet', Primula 'Dawn Ansell', Primula 'Miss indigo', Elizabeth Killelay', 'Purple Storm', 'Raspberry ripple'
Thanks 🙂

New in our wee shop in 2023. I managed to get more zinc troughs which were very popular last year. I also got some mini pots which sit perfectly in the trough. The wooden dibber are lovely to work with and would make a lovely gift for a gardener. This year there are 5 flavours of soap, can't decide which I like best :)

On Monday I managed to get an hour of willow weaving done before the forecast rain arrived and managed to get past the wild life pond with out falling in! Plenty to do under cover though, the greenhouse is now tidied and watered, my office is now tidied and ready for the year and all the point of sale signs that go out in the stock beds have been sorted, a note of those that need replaced made and the rest cleaned. My main focus at the moment is to get the willow fedge weaving done and out the way. Its a great job to do when everything is frozen, cold or there some snow on the ground. Ideal for this time of year!

A tidy greenhouse

The Scottish native plants garden is one of the first you see when you enter the nursery and when you begin to explore the bottom terrace. One border (the one nearest the building) represents woodland plants and the other on the opposite side of the path represents hedgerow plants. This is by no means a perfect representation, but I have tried to give an idea what you might find in these two environments. By planting three trees (birch, rowan and crab apple) eventually there will be a shady environment, although the plants are doing very well, some too well! On the hedgerow side I have planted a native mixed hedge as a boundary between this garden and the scented garden and to create the hedgerow for these plants to grow under and around. This was one of the first areas we created in 2015 when we bought the nursery and it makes a seamless entrance to the wildlife garden beyond. Years and info in the photo descriptions.

The week we arrived in 2015

August 2015, starting to develop
this garden and the bug palace in situ

October 2015, starting
 to dig out the borders

October 2015 and plants are beginning
to be planted, a bark path also in place.
No fence yet, thats a few years away!

May 2016 and the plants are making
themselves at home. Still some clearing
 on the hedgerow border to do and I'd
planted some Rosa rugosa as a hedge

Summer 2020, I've realised that I dont take many if any
photos of this garden in summer, this is the only one I have,
no idea why, must make a note to remedy that this year.

Summer in the native garden

Dryopteris dilitata and Viola tricolor

March 2022 after winter tidy

A couple of wee fuchsia flowers.
Who else used to pop the flower buds of fuchsias as a child 

A better day weather wise after Thursday's downpour! I managed to get another 30 feet of willow done which included finishing the first side. I found this wee Cyclamen coum flowering in the winter garden, brightening up the dull weather of yesterday. Lastly, a view you don't often see, an early evening view from the nursery orchard, waiting on a parcel delivery.

Cyclamen coum

First side of willow finished

An evening view of the nursery and Whitmuir building

Galanthus ‘Magnet’
A few snowdrops are noted for their special fragrance, and the honey scent of ‘Magnet’ is at its most noticeable as the outer petals rise to the horizontal on sunny days. A most elegant snowdrop, the large flowers have an inverted green 'V' on the inner petals, hang on distinctive long, arching stems and tremble in the slightest breeze.

I had to cancel the willow weaving workshop on Saturday due to the weather, sleet, rain and strong winds, no one wants to be out in that! So a day of relaxing and getting on with DIY in the back hall. On Sunday we visited Granny and Daniel for dinner, visiting B&Q on the way. A second mortgage taken out in B&Q to buy materials for the next room we are renovating then recovery at Betty's. Great to catch up with her and Daniel and great tea too. Monday and there was snow overnight and very cold! Brrrrrr. I’m trying a hairdresser in Peebles which means I can walk from the house and don’t have the hour round trip to Biggar that I used to. All good, happy with the hairdresser and service. The weather was still lovely in the afternoon so we explored a new to us walk from the house up Venlaw, then into Soonhope Valley, along one side and back down the other. Definitely a walk we will do again.

Walking through Venlaw woods


David and Maisie, Soonhope

Me with tidy hair!

Looking back towards Peebles

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