What price a tree; what price a garden?

March has almost passed me by. It isn’t that I haven’t noticed it, but more because it seems to have travelled in the fast lane whilst I was dealing with domestic concerns such as new heating systems. So here we are with the clocks changed to summertime, the chionodoxa blue covering the Crathes walled gardenContinue reading “What price a tree; what price a garden?”

1066 and all those rabbits

The cute little rabbit with its impressive fecundity is devastating the walled garden. Problems regarding invasive species is a recurring theme at Crathes and the recent works on the entrance building (with its alternative access), the rose garden (with a temporary hole in the wall), and the current replacement of the Croquet Lawn wall haveContinue reading “1066 and all those rabbits”

New Year Resolutions

As winter takes its turn I see the garden from a different perspective. There are plants that I have never noticed before – how can that be that I have walked passed the Japanese beauty berry, Callicarpa japonica, hundreds of times with blinkered eyes? Now I see that it has delicate mauve berries. I mustContinue reading “New Year Resolutions”

The cycles of life

On a dull day at the end of October I contemplate the trees that are preparing for the coming winter. Large flat leaves become a problem as temperature and light levels dip and winter storms threaten; by dropping them the broadleaf trees can reduce water loss and wind damage until the kinder days of springContinue reading “The cycles of life”

Bedtime stories

During the last few days my garden has been visited by hundreds of redwings feasting on rowans which are plentiful around Torphins. They have flown in from Scandinavia and will move on, probably up Deeside where the rowans are equally abundant. There are other signs of the approaching winter: the occasional frost, the long skeinsContinue reading “Bedtime stories”

A passion for plants

It’s a glorious sunny day when I happen upon Philippa and her team working on the plant audit. The Double Shrub Border and the Golden Garden are the areas under scrutiny. This is the penultimate day for the Crathes survey; next week the team goes to Inverewe. They will be back in the winter, basedContinue reading “A passion for plants”

Home and away

Anticipating the excitement of exploring new landscapes is now tempered with the limitations of age; gardens offer alternative and accessible horizons. I was thus delighted to visit three very different gardens during our recent holiday on the Northumbrian coast. The Gertrude Jekyll garden on Lindisfarne is small, unpretentious, and utterly charming. The walled garden onceContinue reading “Home and away”