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?”

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”