Dreams and practicalities

Repetition is inevitably part of gardening; some of it welcome, some not so. Every year at Crathes we anticipate the lovely blossoms of April and May and the cottage garden abundance of the June border. The brevity of some favourites only adds to their charm and I make no apologies for repeating my favourites. CaringContinue reading “Dreams and practicalities”

A Victorian legacy

There have been glasshouses at Crathes since the mid nineteenth century. A large rather fancy one that used to grace the north end of the Croquet Lawn was demolished in 1884. The present five stepped glasshouses inside the Walled Garden are by Mackenzie and Moncur (M&M) and date from around 1886. The Victorian firm ofContinue reading “A Victorian legacy”

An enigmatic champion

Although it had started off frosty, the first day of March quickly warmed up and people exchanged greetings with comments about spring as they soaked up the sun’s warmth. The next day was cold, windy and grey; winter had returned. The meteorological beginning of spring is indeed the first of March, but the astronomical beginningContinue reading “An enigmatic champion”

Donald far’s yer troosers?

You probably know the Scottish traditional song that begins ‘Let the wind blow high, let the wind blow low’, made famous by Callum Kennedy and Andy Stewart half a century ago, so I’ll not bother you with the lyrics. But it got into my head as I was contemplating the most recent storms, Malik andContinue reading “Donald far’s yer troosers?”

American giants and English oaks

It was a glorious day at the end of 2021 and unusually mild – 12 degrees Celsius. The car park was almost full and families were making the most of the erratic weather walking those trails that had reopened after the storms. A bad back had prevented me from stravaiging about in the usual wayContinue reading “American giants and English oaks”

Challenges

As the politicians, delegates and protesters return to their various countries we ponder on the outcomes of COP26. This year when most of the leaders of around 200 participating nations came to Scotland, when part of Glasgow became United Nations territory for a while, when an estimated 100,000 people filled the streets of Glasgow onContinue reading “Challenges”

Hope springs eternal

There’s a lot of hope involved in gardening. I watch Joanna tending her cuttings in the enlarged propagation bench. On the hot days of September it needed a lot of care – shading the cuttings with a green mesh in the heat, but rolling back the mesh to water or mist maybe four or fiveContinue reading “Hope springs eternal”

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?”