Mild November days

This November has been incredibly mild, until a short sharp diversion of the Jet Stream this last Thursday brought arctic winds from the north. Although it only lasted 24 hours I wonder what will have happened to the flowers that gave me so much pleasure earlier in the month – fuchsias, salvias, gazanias, penstemons, theContinue reading “Mild November days”

…purple and orange and blue

With the frosts holding off, the garden offers plenty of colour combinations to cheer our spirits. The oranges, yellows and reds of the turning leaves remain dominant, but a few blue flowers can still be found. The nepeta beside the trellis that was cut back on 21 July has been re-flowering for a few weeksContinue reading “…purple and orange and blue”

Red and yellow and pink and green…

As the seasons change, so does the palette. Leaves become more important in our colour schemes as green chlorophyll is reabsorbed exposing yellow carotinoids and red anthocyanins. Berries and fruits, too, are more commonly yellow, orange or red. It’s a big show before winter sets in. Some years ago on an October visit to BenmoreContinue reading “Red and yellow and pink and green…”

Hanging on to summer

Mid-September and the days are balmy and delicious. In the garden the salvias continue to shine, the later flowering Salvia corrugata catching attention with its dark green corrugated leaves, its rusty tomentose stems, and it glorious blue flowers. Nosing around the internet I find an interesting story regarding its introduction. Jim Archibald, a Scot, startedContinue reading “Hanging on to summer”

Don’t dismiss the flies

With the possibility of down-sizing I need to get rid of some books, but it’s not easy. I can spend an afternoon considering two books before putting them back on the shelves. I was looking through some bound copies of The Gardener, a ‘Weekly Journal’ for 1901 when I came across an article on pollinationContinue reading “Don’t dismiss the flies”

Enjoying the Salvias

This month I have been admiring the plants that grow in the borders beside the glasshouses. A few more salvias have been learned: Salvia elegans – bright red and a little more elongated in flower than S. fulgens; Salvia ‘Amistad’ which is deep purple with an even darker purple calyx – thought to be aContinue reading “Enjoying the Salvias”

Healing weeds

The usual hedge cutting is to be limited this year. The MEWP (Mobile Elevated Working Platform) has been hired for three weeks only and has to catch up with the Portugal laurels which didn’t get their usual spring trim. So cutting will be a matter of prioritising. The egg and eggcups will of course beContinue reading “Healing weeds”

The North Ladies

My eye was drawn to an attractive lily at the corner of the Red Garden. The label informed ‘Karen North’. Now who could she be? Lilium lankongenseis is one of the Turk’s cap Asiatic lilies from China and Tibet, but the development of the hybrid ‘North Ladies’ turns out to be a Scottish story. DrContinue reading “The North Ladies”

Summertime… and the living is hard

What a thrill to return to Crathes! The blackcap was singing as if in welcome; various heady scents drifted over the garden; the deutzia and philadelphus were as good as I had remembered; the roses – especially Celeste – were there to delight; the imposing onopordum thistles were in flower; and catching up with theContinue reading “Summertime… and the living is hard”