BLOG

Garden Goodies @ GPE 2020

Last week I attended the Garden Press Event in London for the first time – this is an event organised to allow the horticulture industry to come together so that journalists can view the latest products, find out about new campaigns and generally share information and news. It was a whistlestop tour of all theContinue reading “Garden Goodies @ GPE 2020”

Peat free compost

I was recently sent a couple of sample bags of peat-free compost from Westland* – in fact, they turned up shortly before Christmas – cue much head-scratching as I tried to work out what on earth kind of huge, heavy present had I forgotten about ordering… The two kinds are New Horizon All Plant compostContinue reading “Peat free compost”

Time to plan…

It’s winter, but it’s not cold. Little green shoots are appearing – but they’re too early. Hellebores are emerging, the witch hazel is blooming and we even have a couple of snowdrops almost fully out in the front garden.  It’s SpringWinter – not cold enough to be properly winter but not light enough to beContinue reading “Time to plan…”

September Stars

It seems I have a late summer garden – there’s more colour on show in September than there has been during the rest of the year. The front garden is currently showing off all its colours – yellows, pinks, peachy dahlias and flashes of reds from the crocosmia, roses and even a few second-flowering geums. Continue reading “September Stars”

Flower & Food Festival

This is one of the highlights of my gardening year – Dundee’s Flower and Food Festival. I go every year and really enjoy being in the midst of the best of what our area has to offer in terms of plants, produce and food.  There are displays of beautiful plants and flowers, from amateurs, dedicatedContinue reading “Flower & Food Festival”

Learning lessons…

This summer I have been learning a few lessons.  Not the book-reading kind – I’ve taken a break from horticulture studies as I decided that it would be madness to add this to the summer agenda of school holidays, parenting, working, enjoying the heatwave and almost constant watering.  I plan to resume studies in SeptemberContinue reading “Learning lessons…”

Playing the long game…

Gardening is a lesson in playing the long game. I’m a quick-fix, instant-gratification type of person, so my growing love of the garden has brought with it an appreciation for taking things a bit slower.  For taking the long view and planning ahead for the same season, the next season, the next year, the nextContinue reading “Playing the long game…”

May snapshot

As I suspected, with the coming of Spring is the waning of the blog. However, I would never judge another garden blogger for forsaking screen in favour of soil, so I hope you won’t judge me similarly! It’s now early June and I want the garden to stay as it is for a little whileContinue reading “May snapshot”

Spring has sprung…

…and my blog is suffering!  But it’s a good sign – I’m blogging less because I’m spending more time in the garden.  I have to – there are seedlings to prick out, beds to mulch, weeds to weed and plants to pot up.  And it’s only going to get busier from here on in! RealContinue reading “Spring has sprung…”

Best kit – top 5

Well the weather is still deeply disappointing here.  I look on Instagram and see photos of daffodils, anemones, primroses and even some tomatoes beginning to flower!  And then I look out the window and see grey, brown, damp and a chicken coop slowly turning into s a swimming pool.  I must keep reminding myself thatContinue reading “Best kit – top 5”

Despite the snow…

It snowed again. The weather has once again put the brakes on any serious gardening activity this weekend, although I did manage to sow a few more flower seeds in the greenhouse while dodging the snow showers on Saturday. I also stepped out into the front garden for about 10 minutes to take some photos. Continue reading “Despite the snow…”

The best laid plans…

I’m sitting indoors looking out at the sleety rain pummelling my garden, still pretty sodden from being covered in several inches of snow and the subsequent thaw.  It wasn’t supposed to be like this.  My plan for this week involved taking annual leave from work,  getting lots of seeds pricked out, sowing more, mulching, digging,Continue reading “The best laid plans…”

Shinrin-yoku: forest bathing

Tree-huggers and leaf lovers, come this way… After a week of house arrest due to the snow, then frantic work days catching up after the snow, plus too much talking, eating, drinking, thinking and social-media-ing I decided that the best and quickest way to feed my soul and enter recovery mode was a good solidContinue reading “Shinrin-yoku: forest bathing”

Soulful Sunday

Just a little break from the usual garden-related chat to join in a new meme which has been started by The Mindful Gardener. She suggests sharing on your blog ‘anything that makes you feel emotional, warm and fuzzy, grateful, inspired, appreciative of the world around us’ and as I have experienced this in the pastContinue reading “Soulful Sunday”

Houseplants

Blame it on the winter weather, blame it on Instagram, blame it on Jane Perrone and her brilliant On the Ledge podcast… Actually I think I have only myself to blame – it was only a matter of time before my plant obsession came indoors… Yes, I have succumbed to the charms of houseplants. IContinue reading “Houseplants”

Back garden planning…

It’s time to concentrate on the back garden for a while. I’ve been turning my attention to planning the front borders up until now because there’s just so much bare soil out there.   I now have this space three-quarters planned – there’s just one corner I’m not exactly sure what I’ll do with yet.  I’veContinue reading “Back garden planning…”

Garden visit: Cambo Estate

This is the perfect time of year to visit Cambo Estate in Fife, when it hosts its annual snowdrop festival. I make a point of going each winter/spring because there’s no better way to lift you out of the winter doldrums than gazing at hundreds of snowdrops.  And there are, literally, hundreds of snowdrops atContinue reading “Garden visit: Cambo Estate”

Witch Hazel

I take photos of the witch hazel every year when it blooms.  I think it’s because I’m just so glad to see some colour in the garden.  This bush shines like a little beacon in the darkest corner of the garden, close to the compost bin, and I don’t always notice it straight away, butContinue reading “Witch Hazel”

Chickening out

I’m a bit feather-brained at the moment. We have three chickens – Minnie, Polly and Iona – they’re our first little flock and we’re extremely fond of them.  I have previously documented their arrival here and since we got them they seem to be quite happy in our back garden.  They’ve recently started laying againContinue reading “Chickening out”

A total redesign

These are scary words!  A TOTAL REDESIGN of the front garden.  This means digging, moving, sowing, replanting, more digging, weeding, propagating… I can’t wait. We’ve lived here for three years now and I have tweaked the front garden only slightly each year.  It’s been good to wait and live with the garden for a while. Continue reading “A total redesign”

Curly wurly

I’m noticing a certain kind of shape around me at the moment – for the past few days I’ve been spotting curls and twists, exposed I suppose by the bare branches of winter. One that I notice daily is the contorted hazel (Corylus avellana ‘Contorta’) which is right outside our back door.  This large shrub isContinue reading “Curly wurly”

Monkeying around…

I’m really quite pleased with this weekend’s main gardening project – moving my monkey puzzle tree. Actually I’m really quite pleased to have been in the garden at all – it’s been ages.  Pre-Christmas, Christmas and post-Christmas did not leave much time to get outside and tackle winter gardening jobs, and when there was aContinue reading “Monkeying around…”

Dig/No-dig

To dig or not to dig…that is the big question I’ve been asking myself lately. I have six large raised beds and all of them are needing a bit of TLC in order to improve the soil and make them more productive.  As we inherited these with our home when we moved in three yearsContinue reading “Dig/No-dig”

Bittersweet peas

I’m having a love/hate relationship with sweet peas. Actually that’s not strictly true – I love them really, but I hate the way they make me sneeze.  I’m growing lots of different varieties this year and although it’s now September and Autumn is definitely peeking its head round the corner, they’re still going strong inContinue reading “Bittersweet peas”

An epiphany…

Looking around the mix of various shrubs, trees, annuals and perennials in the front garden I often become frustrated by its lack of consistency and theme.  Many of the mature plants were there when we moved in and I have enjoyed acquiring many more shrubs and perennials over the past couple of years and fillingContinue reading “An epiphany…”

Catching up

I’m not going to apologise for neglecting my blog. Because I don’t like it when other bloggers do that – I think blogging should be one of those things you can pick up and put down. There are very few things in my life I have time to keep doing consistently (apart from, like, bathingContinue reading “Catching up”

Interlude

Some of you might have noticed a wee bit of a gap between posts.  Here’s what the garden got up to inbetween…

Planning…

It’s time to get planning.  For the past few weeks and months, a lot of ideas, plans and wish lists have been floating about in my head or, when possible, noted on my phone (Notes, Reminders and Evernote are the gardener’s friends for recording these on-the-go).  I’ve also sorted through the seeds I have leftContinue reading “Planning…”

A day in Edinburgh

When I’m not in the garden I do my best to hold down a job, working in communications.  Today I’ve been in Edinburgh at a PR festival, in an attempt to learn a bit more about my profession and do some networking. So I’ve spent the day listening to PR experts discuss the media, politics,Continue reading “A day in Edinburgh”

Geranium or pelargonium?

We’re going to talk geraniums and pelargoniums.  I am developing a love for both, however it’s only recently that I’ve discovered I’m calling one of them by the wrong name. I’m learning to tell the difference, and it’s a useful skill because the two types need to be cared for differently. True geraniums are alsoContinue reading “Geranium or pelargonium?”

A murmuration of starlings

Although there wasn’t much murmuring going on, more like a joyful breakfast cacophony! We were visited yesterday morning by a little flock of parents and fledglings – a kind of nursery outing if you will.  Some of the babies looked very newly fledged, others were bigger and bolder and all were calling frequently to theContinue reading “A murmuration of starlings”

Flowers/Fruits

The blossom is now giving way to potential fruit.  Walking around the garden a couple of evenings ago I marvelled at how a flower – petals, pollen, delicate things – will change and swell and eventually turn into a fruit. The plum blossom in our garden is finishing, but the big apple tree’s just startingContinue reading “Flowers/Fruits”

Catching up…

Well it seems it’s been a busy couple of weeks since I last wrote a post.  Thankfully, part of the reason for that has been some lovely weather – when the sun’s shining I’m not inclined to stay in the house and stare at a computer screen, I want to get outside and garden! SomeContinue reading “Catching up…”

Nesting

Spotted this afternoon…Mrs Blackbird sitting in the large nest she and Mr Blackbird have built in the ivy wall in the back garden, nicely hidden behind a large conifer. I noticed the nest a few days ago but it was only today I spied one of them actually in it. And she spied me spyingContinue reading “Nesting”

A few photos

My current faves in the garden are the little patch of snakes head fritillary and the hellebores at the front of the back border, still going strong.  I took my DSLR and 50mm lens out in the evening sunshine tonight and managed to get a few shots of these which I’m really pleased with. IContinue reading “A few photos”

Sunshine and snow

It has been a week of VERY mixed weather, with the past couple of days seeing glorious sunshine…while little flakes of snow gently drift down from above.  Beautiful but c-c-c-cold. So I’ve been wrapping up some of my tender plants or bringing in those in pots which I’ve been hardening off, like geraniums and fuschia.Continue reading “Sunshine and snow”

Lobelia learning curve

I sowed lobelia last year, directly into the raised bed I used to grow cut flowers* and they did quite well, but flowered fairly late in the season and are not really great for cutting, they’re better for baskets or pots.  So this year I sowed early under cover, with the aim of using theContinue reading “Lobelia learning curve”

Too many seedlings?

…or is there no such thing?! I am busy trying to pot up some of the seedlings which are getting taller by the day, including about two dozen French Marigolds. I don’t really know how many seeds you’re ‘supposed’ to sow but I seem to have a lot of marigolds here.  I don’t think they’llContinue reading “Too many seedlings?”

Mr Smith

As promised in my previous post, just a few hours ago, I grabbed the opportunity to get out into the garden and I’m pleased to say it was a productive afternoon and evening. I had to dodge a few showers but I managed to plant out pea seedlings, as well as sowing new pea seeds.Continue reading “Mr Smith”

Introducing…

Minnie (Minerva) Iona (or Iona McFart) and Big Boo (aka Polly, short for Pollos Hermanos) I realise that’s quite a heady mix of monikers but that’s what happens when you let your kids get involved in the naming process, while also wanting to have your own input! We’ve ended up with a selection inspired byContinue reading “Introducing…”

They’re here! 

Just a quick one before bedtime – but I had to share today’s excitement…    Three hens, happily scratching away in their new home in our back garden!  I am super excited and also nervous about their first night – please let them still be there in the morning?! 

Nesting & a New Visitor

Happy Easter!  I hope your Easter weekend was filled with happy and peaceful times, as well as chocolate eggs 🙂 I have eggs of another kind on my mind at the moment, because for the past couple of weeks I have spotted a blackbird making a nest in our garden.  She’s borrowing the top ofContinue reading “Nesting & a New Visitor”

What a load of crap…

Literally. I have recently acquired a fairly large quantity of horse manure, via the Head Gardener (aka Dad) whose village, apparently, has a Dung Day, when local farmers will pitch up with bags of fertilizer which you can buy at a very reasonable price.  Et voila – horse manure for my raised beds! It’s a littleContinue reading “What a load of crap…”

Scarifying!

Scarifying has been the main aim of today.  Recently I was enjoying a cup of coffee in the garden and surveying the back lawn, when I realised that it was looking decidedly mossy – in fact it was starting to take over.  The blades of grass were poking up sporadically between large patches of spongyContinue reading “Scarifying!”

Not a gardening post

This weekend was unfortunately spent not gardening, so this is a ‘not gardening’ blog post.  I was Not Gardening for various reasons: The weather was poor, which was actually a good thing because… I had to paint my study, and keep getting distracted by the good weather and the garden when really I need toContinue reading “Not a gardening post”

%d bloggers like this: