It’s all in the genes

As August turns to September we enjoy the hot colours of summer: the tiger lilies; the red dahlias; the orange heleniums, the many salvias, and – new to the garden – the little bat-faced cuphea, Cuphea llavea ‘Torpedo’, which makes a low mound of bright red and purple flowers. The cuphea is a native ofContinue reading “It’s all in the genes”

A place for everything?

There’s a definite air of excitement as we view the dipping pool and its new carnivorous plants. In Scotland we have our native carnivorous plants – sundews, butterwort and bladderworts – but these North American plants are monsters in comparison. Some will grow to over a metre in suitable conditions. Both they and the ScottishContinue reading “A place for everything?”

Who knows where the time goes?

The Evolution Garden at Crathes is finally completed – in so much as a garden is ever completed. The triangular piece of garden between the June Border and the Doocot Border was for many years used as a nursery for cardiocrinums, but by the end of the last century the lilies were not doing veryContinue reading “Who knows where the time goes?”

A global perspective

Crathes is famed for the diversity of its planting; for centuries plants have arrived from across the globe. Sir James Burnett (1880-1953) and his wife Sybil Crozier-Smith (1889-1960) were the principal architects of the diversity, and the National Trust for Scotland has since tried to honour their vision. Whilst we celebrate the diversity, we haveContinue reading “A global perspective”

‘Seven years’ weeding’

The frost continued into the first week of May. When finally there was respite, it was time to get the plants moving. When I visit on 11 May the broadspan greenhouse is almost empty and the yard is full of trays of bedding plants – gazanias and zaluzianskyas. The broadspan will not be empty forContinue reading “‘Seven years’ weeding’”

Trillium challenge

I have never thought too much about trilliums apart from the fact that they are beautiful; actually I don’t think I had ever seen them before I came to Crathes. Recently there have been new trilliums appearing in the garden so this year seems a good time to find out more. Tri for three: threeContinue reading “Trillium challenge”

April is the cruellest month

Not really I muse. In the northern hemisphere April is a glorious time of the year with all the promise of summer ahead. This year, however, the weather has been cruel across much of Britain. The frosts I mentioned before have been even harder these last two weeks and much that struggled through to theContinue reading “April is the cruellest month”

Counting the cost

James was looking pleased as I entered the yard the other day. He was contemplating some newly delivered choice plants. The little conifer Pinus strobus ‘Minuta’ is destined for the Evolution Garden and the vines Vitis ‘Strawberry’ are to be planted against the Viewpoint fence. They will probably fruit, and in a good summer shouldContinue reading “Counting the cost”

Biding time

We’re all biding time just now; waiting for warmer weather; waiting to see how the virus responds to lockdowns and vaccines; waiting to pick up our lives again. It’s no different in the gardens; the gardeners all long for normality. But whilst many projects are going ‘full steam ahead’ (see last post), biding time isContinue reading “Biding time”

Full steam ahead

With the garden now open during the week I can finally check out the damage done by the hard frosts of February. Much has gone, but there are surprises. The aeoniums that were put into the polytunnels have suffered;  the Echium pininana that did so well in the early part of the winter are definitelyContinue reading “Full steam ahead”