Armchair travels

We may be in Lockdown, but I have travelled a fair amount this week in a virtual quest to learn a little more about the berberis shrubs, and since there are about two hundred species in the world I do mean a ‘little’. None are native to Britain, but some berberis are naturalised – IContinue reading “Armchair travels”

Patience is a Virtue

When, in 1937, Vita Sackville-West wrote about her 25 favourite flowers, she included two fritillaries. The crown imperial, Fritillaria imperialis, was especially important to her because she had come upon it unexpectedly growing in a damp ravine in Persia where ‘the Crown Imperials stood up like torches between the wet rocks’. F. imperialis is onContinue reading “Patience is a Virtue”

Fashions come and go – carnations and succulents

April is the cherry month and whilst there are plenty of cherries around Torphins, I will miss the Crathes specialities. However, I was amazed to see James’s photograph of the Prunus incisa ‘Moerheimii’ on the Doocot Border in full flower. I don’t remember it being so covered in bloom in previous years. I struggled withContinue reading “Fashions come and go – carnations and succulents”

Farewell to the eucalyptus

The first snow of 2020 fell this week, but it was not of much account. It didn’t do any damage, but the occasional hard frosts of winter did; in particular I mourn the lovely Stachyurus praecox, its flowers now all shriveled and brown. The shrub with the small white flowers on the white border hasContinue reading “Farewell to the eucalyptus”

Good news for dragonflies

The honeybees are busy in the Walled Garden at Crathes on these sunny February days. From the great diversity of plants they find a good selection of flowers to provide pollen and nectar. The bees belong to the Aberdeen and District Beekeepers’ Association who have an apiary beside the carpark. Soon the honeybees will beContinue reading “Good news for dragonflies”

What’s in a name – Lamont and Menzies?

Viburnum x bodnantense ‘Charles Lamont’ is looking good in this mild weather. Although it doesn’t mind the snow the flowers can turn brown with a sharp frost. Charles Lamont was an assistant curator at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE). In 1933 he was experimenting with crossing Viburnum grandiflorum with Viburnum farreri (previously V. fragrans).Continue reading “What’s in a name – Lamont and Menzies?”