Archives for category: garden

You’ll find me in the garden!

October seems to be a good month in the garden. Last year we had a perfect ‘Indian Summer‘ before November stormed in with wind and rain continuing well into 2016! Taking as much advantage as I can of this sublime gift, every opportunity I can, you will find me in the garden. Sunrise is after seven now, slowly stealing up behind the hills, as the sky brightens in palest pink and mauve. Disregarding the old adage “red sky in the morning….” I plan my day in the garden beneath the azure sky.

Frost has not yet visited, sweet peas still blossom, pinks mark the garden border, while the roses burst into  flower again. A few late visitors seek refuge in their petals, drinking down the last offerings of nectar. Late bees and hoverflies, the occasional red admiral or small tortoiseshell butterfly. No more dragons in the garden; such a brief adventure, then they are gone.

Sunset is swift and bright, golden and grey, sleeping warriors bask in the last rays. From the depth of the gloaming moths flit among the ivy flowers. Robin pipes his twilight tune and bids goodnight. The quite wind shakes the bronzed leaves from the bough, hedgehog rustles the dry and yellow grass. And the silver moon illuminates the darkened sky, bright stars, the lighthouse beam, ships lights upon the water. Earth never sleeps, someone, somewhere is awake, observing this unquiet world, where minuscule or magnificent, malevolent or mighty acts occur…

Thank you for stopping by today, the sun is out, the dew is drying. Time to tackle a tangle of lilies again!


Oktober postcard

It seems everything falls softly beneath an October sky. Dawn steals around the curtains as sunrise paints the clouds in pink and orange tones. Coppered, golden leaves drift from the gnarled and knotted beech trees, floating across the garden to lie in soft, inviting mounds.

Berries swell on dew-heavy bushes, warmed by late October sun. Butterflies with faded, tattered wings alight momentarily upon the sun-kissed fruit, then skim across the garden on a sudden breeze. Autumn is in the air, paints the garden in richest pallette…

Rose hips gathered, sweet amber cordial to stave off the winter chill. Berries left unharvested, wild things may have their fill before winter ravages the garden and the lean months blow in…

Unexpected guests arrive, basking in bright sunshine, half unfurled in the sun. Unabashed at meeting Oscar but maybe they are well acquainted passing the time, half-hidden in the long grass, beneath the shady hawthorn.

Past the Equinox and night gradually overtakes the day; sunsets fall more quickly now, hurrying beyond the horizon to brighten spring days in another hemisphere. Dew falls readily on the skylight windows blurring the last rays of sunset as stars begin to twinkle in the moonless sky. Air scented with pinewood fires from cottage chimneys, late curlews call splits the tranquil air. From the hedgerows, low rustling, shuffling sounds as the night creatures leave their leafy beds summoned by silent darkness. Songbirds roost in ivy apparelled hawthorn, solitary bat leaves the roof ridge circles quickly then returns to the shelter of home. Autumn falls softly in the garden…

Thanks for stopping by today – enjoy the changing seasons wherever you are.


Full Circle

A steady rain has fallen since late morning in spite of the promised early sunshine. On days like this you learn to move between inside and outside work as the weather predicts. (That may mean achieving very little!) It has not been a particularly good summer so the need of a large greenhouse seems imperative.

The weedy cardoons have been lifted and potted up, a new planting place will be needed in Spring. Sweet peas have succumbed to the attentions of greenfly and the birds seem quite indifferent to this feast of food. But the first cosmos have blossomed and tiny nasturtiums brighten the dying flower beds. Bulbs have been ordered but the whole garden is in need of a revamp and re-planned, as some plants have taken over and others struggle where they’re planted 😦

Apples harvested, the untidy knot of wild flowers removed along with the perennial weeds that have invaded the orchard; Bruce’s memorial uncovered and spring bulbs planted. Seed-heads gathered, seeds cleaned and packaged ready for the new season…

Composters overflowing with spent plants as the gardens are cleared and tidied. Small potted plants placed in the mini-greenhouse, sheltered from the worst of the cold wind and rain that is the staple of winter on Scotland’s west coast…

Green manures sown in the freshly prepared beds, already sprouting after only a few days in the ground. Having uncovered and pruned the Japanese quince there are plenty of fruits this year, and rose hips need gathered to make Syrup for the long, dark winter months…

Sunbathing in late sunshine

Esme makes the most of the sun if it shines. The chicken’s day is punctuated with foraging, sunbathing, begging and pest control – sadly never had any eggs since the traumatic fox visit last year…

Looks like the rain has stopped – too late to garden?

Thanks for stopping by today!



‘Gardens are a form of autobiography’.

 Gardening for a Lifetime

Sydney Eddison

If you have followed this blog for any length of time you will realise, I love walled gardens. If the family visit Culzean without me, they quite happily miss out the walled garden. Yes, I’m that predictable!

Several years ago we saw an advert for a walled garden, two acres, the gardener’s cottage built into the wall. We both allowed ourselves to get a little excited about it but life was busy and we didn’t make time to look. Several weeks later a friend and fellow ‘allotmenteer’ told me they had bought a walled garden and cottage. Smiling I told her I knew which one! Situated in the Clyde valley, traditionally the growing centre of Scotland, we listened enthusiastically (and enviously) to their dreams and plans.

Those of you who garden know just how much there is to do in a garden and seemingly how little can be achieved in a day. I ran around quickly trying to take it all in and being overwhelmed by the task in hand. As Sydney Eddison says “A garden is an autobiography.”  I was there to talk about Herbs (Yah, go me!) to the Smallholders group, so not feeling very relaxed, but so much took me back to my childhood and our own walled garden. Maybe that explains why I love old doors and brick walls. Standing in the sunny, sheltered garden, enjoying the sights and sounds, peeking inside the poly-tunnel filled with tomatoes and sweet corn, tasting homemade cider, going home with a handful of Spencer sweet peas… I’m happy our friends took on this garden, it will be their autobiography.

But it’s stopped raining and I have a half acre to tidy up! Have a good day!



Wet, wet, wet!

“What’s that – Scotch mist?” was a frequent exasperated exclamation in the family home, as my mother raised her eyebrows skyward. True; you may not be able to see it but you can feel each minuscule drop seep into every crack and crevice. Taken unaware by the beauty of the fennel fronds illuminated in the fading light, I grabbed the camera to capture the evenings brief beauty.

Bit of a challenge taking hand-held photos in such low light levels but I hope you will agree – worth getting wet for!  😀

The garden, shrouded in mist, each flower garlanded with tiny raindrops, faerie lights in miniature. No grand sunset or panoramic views – just the world made small – causing one to stop and marvel at the beauty. But maybe I’m a simple soul with simple pleasures. Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by today; what brings you pleasure to treasure on a wet day?

not your usual local!

We have an unwelcome resident in the garden. True, there are many different types of slugs but these monsters eat anything and everything, including carrion! Too big for ground beetles, too slimy for hedgehogs and chickens, once in the greenhouse they decimate the seedlings. (I have 6 wild celery plants left from the original 40. My Autumn crocus have been eaten before they had time to flower, in spite of being surrounded by grit 😦

So what to do?  If you use slug pellets you will lose biodiversity in the garden and may harm the hedgehops and birds in the process. A Norwegian article suggests the only way to rid yourself of the slimy Spanish slugs; is to gather them up and put them in the bin. (Makes me worry about land fill sites though!)

Gardeners (in the UK) are also encouraged report sightings; with the mild winters the population is exploding. While I thought I had seen them last year, now I know I have. So nothing else for it, out with the head-torch, bucket and gloves and gather them up! Happy hunting 😀

Anyone got any tips on how to deal with this alien species?


‘God made rainy days so gardeners would get the housework done’

Drying days

I may have been a bit tardy in writing posts over the past several weeks but I usually took photos. As summers turns to Autumn, please enjoy a quick snapshot of the Summer Garden

A cool, grey Monday, washing drying inside, feeling quite Autumnal although there is promise of sun later in the week. Have a good week; thanks for stopping by today! 😀

Esme amidst the rose petals

Esme checks out the spent blooms….

I must get the housework done!