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”

Welcome back

Excitement builds as I contemplate returning to the garden. It’s over 100 days since my last visit. The garden will open on Monday 6 July. Joanna reports that she has been planting out in the Upper Pool Garden. The bedding out is more or less completed although they were a little short of plants onContinue reading “Welcome back”

An exciting prospect

The daily news is hopeful and it looks as if the garden might open sometime in July. The photographs sent this week make that a very exciting prospect. When I wrote about the Aeonium tabuliforme in April I didn’t indicate the overwhelming success of the germination; neither did I realise at the time how theContinue reading “An exciting prospect”

Castle, cottage, and fine design

Whilst everything remains uncertain, the garden at Crathes is definitely gearing up for visitors. Joanna reports that the June Border is coming on nicely and that planting out has started in earnest. The half-hardy beds are filling up, the bananas and succulents are finding their place, and the purple bell vines, Rhodochiton atrosanguineus, are beingContinue reading “Castle, cottage, and fine design”

The Imperial Flower

Even in normal times it’s difficult to keep up with the garden in May. At Crathes with three gardeners and many volunteers short, the remaining three gardeners are working hard, prioritising, and, like all of us, planning for an uncertain future. With Joanna back at work there is a little more time to take photographsContinue reading “The Imperial Flower”