My Early June garden

I took the photos below earlier this month in my garden, just at the time whem we were all thinking – what has happened to ‘flaming June?’
my garden, Lupins
But it just kept getting wetter and I had to rush out whenever things dried up a wee bit. Then came days of high winds and everything flattened, especially the lupins.

my garden, Fife

They continue to fight back though and new spikes are coming through.

Rose

It looks like we will have a bumper crop of raspberries and Tayberries this year, if all the rain we’re getting doesn’t bring the dreaded botrytis fungus. The pears which were growing got blackened in a May frost – such is life, I can’t see any pears on the tree now.
my garden, side of path
If you click on these photos it’ll take you over to Flickr and you can click on them again to zoom in to see the details better.

London Pride, acer
Since I took these photos I’ve been out cutting back and dead heading and more roses are coming out.
poached egg plant
We’ve been promised decent weather over the next few days, although wouldn’t you know it – it’ll be much better over in my beloved west of Scotland where it’s supposed to reach 25 Celsius.
Turk's cap lily

Apparently that’s 77 Fahrenheit, I’m just glad that I’m not with my brother in Holland at the moment because it’s going to be seriously hot there. Global overheating is definitely in mainland Europe.

RHS Chelsea Flower Show

I had actually decided last year that 2019 would be the year for me to visit the Chelsea Flower Show but – we went on that Baltic cruise instead. Luckily we did get home just in time to enjoy watching Chelsea on TV. I have to say though that this has been the least impressive year that I can remember. I adore trees and there are certainly a lot of them at Chelsea this year and I love lots of different shades of green but for me that should be balanced by beautiful colours.

Whether the flowers are what some people would regard as genteel and muted tones, or a more exuberant explosion of colour is a matter of taste, I’m a bit greedy and love both styles, but I feel a bit colour deprived having viewed the show gardens this year, admittedly I haven’t managed to view all of the gardens as I’ve been trying to catch up with post holiday clothes washing and getting stuck into my own garden.

If you haven’t been able to see the TV coverage you can still see many of the gardens here.

I did love the garden that the Duchess of Cambridge helped to design it was obviously a winner with children, but I didn’t like the M&G Garden by Andy Sturgeon, I hated all that burnt wood. I do like the Welcome To Yorkshire garden, probably because of all the stonework and the cute wee house.

Do you have a favourite?

Home – at last!

Magellan

For the last fortnight we’ve been cruising around the Baltic on Magellan and I have to say it was about a week too long for me. I was really desperate to get home after we had visited St Petersburg, but we had three more stops after that. Mind you, one of those stops was to Stockholm, a place I hadn’t been before and I was very pleasantly surprised by how beautiful it is.

I found the actual cruise to be rather boring, but I did manage to read six books, some of them chunky classics too. Unfortunately just about everyone on the ship ended up with a cold which developed into a hacking cough – including me and Jack, I’m still not feeling great. The air conditioning just about guarantees that any lurgy is liberally shared around everyone. On the plus side – despite having five course dinners – we both managed to lose weight! The food is another aspect of cruising that I didn’t enjoy. Most people seem to feel that as they’ve already paid for the food they’re determined to eat as much as they possibly can. It’s really off-putting.

Otherwise the highlight of the cruise was St Petersburg – as expected. We took loads of photos, well, Jack took most of them but at some point I’ll be using them in blogposts soonish. Meanwhile, I was so glad to get home and so impressed with the lush green growth since I had last seen my garden, I had to take a photo of it.

my garden

People have often commented on how green it is and I must admit that I’ve always taken it completely for granted but after having been surrounded by a grey Baltic and even greyer North Sea for two weeks – and what was worse – absolute flat calm all the time, I now appreciate my garden even more than I did before.

my garden

I love a good rough sea but Neptune seems to go to sleep as soon as I get on board a ship!

Blog hiatus

My Garden in Fife

We’ll be leaving soon for our Baltic cities cruise, and wifi on those ships is dismal so I’ll be offline for a fortnight. I was just having a look around the garden today and noting how many plants are just about to come into flower, including several clematis and roses. Remind me never to go on holiday at this time of the year again! The clematis alpina above has been flowering for a few weeks already, this is the best it has ever been.

The acers/Japanese maples are all at different stages of growth.
My Garden  in Fife

Golden elder, euphorbia Fireglow and amelanchier are good and colourful in the photo below.
My Garden in Fife

Yet more Fireglow is beside the dwarf apple tree, that apple tree was the only plant that was in this garden when we moved here – unless you count loads of grass as a plant.
Garden in Fife

The Rosemary below is in bloom and a spirea has become entwined with it, but the spirea will flower much later.
Garden in Fife

Garden in Fife

Garden in Fife

The heathers will have finished flowering by the time I get back so one of my first gardening tasks will be to cut it back.
My Garden in Fife

I’m going to miss pottering about here, but I’m sure I’ll enjoy visiting – Copenhagen, Stockholm, Helsinki, Taillin, Warnemunde, St Petersburg and Aalborg. I think I’ll need another holiday to get over this one coming!

Branklyn Garden, Perth, Scotland

Last week we took advantage of a gorgeous blue sky day to visit Branklyn Garden in the ‘fair city’ of Perth – the original one of course, not the one in Australia which is what usually pops up if you google ‘Perth’.

Branklyn Gardens
I’m sure that this tree is a type of cherry but there was no sign of any blossom on it – it has fantastic glossy red bark though.
Branklyn Gardens
The gardens aren’t huge but they’re just perfect for having a relaxing stroll around and you can have a sit down or even visit the very pleasant tearoom.
Branklyn Gardens
This is a hillside garden which is owned by the National Trust. It’s just two acres and it was created in the 1920s using seed collected by plant hunters.
Branklyn Gardens
There’s a pond which is fed by a wee waterfall.
Branklyn Garden

The azaleas and rhododendrons were looking perfect.
Branklyn Garden

Branklyn Garden

Branklyn Garden
And you get a good view of Perth from the garden. It’s just a short drive from the city centre.
Branklyn Garden

Lastly, you can just catch a glimpse of the house which was built by the original owners, but it isn’t open to the public. This is a lovely place to visit if you’re near Perth, and you can always buy plants there which have been propagated from plants in the garden.
Branklyn Garden

The Japanese Garden at Cowden, Clackmannanshire, Scotland

Japanese Garden , Cowden, Scotland

Japanese Garden , Cowden, Scotland

Last Monday was a bright and beautiful day so we decided to drive along The Japanese Garden at Cowden near Yetts o’ Muckhart which is in Scotland’s smallest county of Clackmannanshire.

There’s a small area given over to a gravel garden, and we watched a couple of the gardeners carefully raking the gravel and then making circular patterns in it. Luckily I managed to take this photo just before some garndparents took their grandchildren for a scuffle through it, ignoring the ‘keep out’ sign. Reading is wasted on some people!

Japanese Garden, Cowden, Scotland

As most of the cheery trees in streets, parks and gardens were already in bloom I thought it would be a good time to re-visit the Japanese gardens that we visited for the first time in the autumn. But it’ll be quite a while before anyone can sit under this tree below’s cherry blossom.

Japanese Garden, Cowden, Scotland, cherry tree

It turned out that as the original cherry trees which were planted in the garden back in the 1920s seem not to have survived, the trees that are there now are really small, having been planted recently.

But heigh-ho, we still had a lovely afternoon there. There’s still a lot of work ongoing, such as building new paths and expanding the woodland walk.

Japanese Garden , Cowden, Scotland
You can walk across the zig-zag bridge, if you aren’t worried about your balance, but you aren’t allowed onto the arched bridge – Health and Safety probably.
Japanese Garden , lake, Cowden, Scotland

The large pond (or is it a lake?) has a healthy amount of frog spawn in it, or maybe it’s toad spawn as when we were in the woodland walk I almost stood on this fine fellow who was sitting on the path, as I approached him I thought he was a clump of autumn leaves – or something even worse that I definitely didn’t want to put my foot in!

Toad

The Japanese Garden at Cowden is certainly worth a visit, although I must admit that we went a bit too early – well I had a ‘two for one ticket’ which was expiring the next day! In another week or so from now the maples will be looking great.
Japanese Garden , Cowden, Scotland

Spring flowers in my garden

As the weather has been unseasonally mild I’ve been able to potter around in the garden a bit earlier than usual. I have no illusions that this is the end of winter for us though as we’re more likely to get snow at Easter than at Christmas, but the spring flowers are loving the weather and the snowdrops have been blooming for ages now. The ones that I transplanted for the wedding decorations are over and done now, they didn’t like being taken indoors.

snowdrops

These crocuses adored the sunshine. I’d never seen them open so far before.
Crocuses

Crocuses
Some of the wedding decoration snowdrops – below.
snowdrops
The miniature daffodils have survived the rough winds we’ve been having over the past few days.
miniature daffodils

miniature daffodil

miniature daffodils

The purple haze behind the daffodils below is a spring flowering heather, so the garden is beginning to look quite cheerful again, but I’m not going to clear all of the winter detritus away until I’m sure that the cold weather has gone. All those dead bits of last year’s plants help to protect them from frosts which I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of.
miniature daffodils

Gardener’s Nightcap by Muriel Stuart

 Gardener's Nightcap cover

Gardener’s Nightcap by Muriel Stuart is a Persephone book which was originally published back in 1938.

Muriel Stuart was better known as a poet apparently and Thomas Hardy described her work as being superlatively good. She was the daughter of a Scottish barrister and was known as a Scottish poet although for most of her life she lived in England.

This is one of those books that you can dip in and out of, opening the book at random you can find an interesting half page on the subject of yellow roses or fragrant shrubs for the garden, leaf moulds or the autumn paeony. I found it slightly frustrating though as I’m sure that most of the plants that are mentioned have been superseded by ‘improved’ cultivars, so they’ll be unobtainable.

There’s even a recipe for making your own rose oil, somewhat different from my efforts to make rose perfume as a wee girl, so the outcome might be better. Quite an interesting read but I think her earlier book called Fool’s Garden which was published in 1936 and was a bestselling book about creating a garden might be even more interesting for serious gardeners although I suppose again many of the plants mentioned would be unobtainable.

Dundee Botanic Garden

I did a blogpost about the glasshouses at Dundee Botanic Garden a few weeks ago and I was absolutely sure that I had previously posted ones about the actual gardens, so I was amazed when I couldn’t find that post on ‘Pining’. Has it somehow disappeared or did I only write it in my mind while I was doing the ironing or something? Anyway – here goes again – or maybe not!
It was a gorgeous Indian summer day but it was midweek and we almost had the whole of the botanic gardens to ourselves.

Dundee Botanic Gardens conifer

Dundee University uses parts of the gardens for research. This area is the genetics garden. The three trees below are Ginkgo bilobas, sometimes known as the Maidenhair tree. I’m sure that I recently read that the most northerly Ginkgos are growing in the north of England – obviously that was wrong as these ones are thriving. I love these trees, they look so delicate, but there are fossils of ginkgos which are 270 million years old. They originate from China.

genetics garden , Dundee

The stylish stone walls are a fairly recent addition I believe.
genetics garden, Dundee Botanics, Scotland

Dundee University and nearby Ninewells Hospital do a lot of very good medical research.

genetics garden, Dundee Botanics, Scotland

There’s a large old house within the gardens, in the photo you can just see the steps which lead up to it. It looks to me like it has been split up into flats, but presumably the Botanic Gardens were originally the gardens of the grand house.

flowers and house, Dundee Botanic Garden, Scotland

And below is the house.

house Dundee Botanic Gardens

Walk through the arched yew hedge and you enter a darkened yew room, lovely shade on a very bright day.
yew hedge arch

The botanic garden is built quite high up from the main road and from the edge of them you can look down on Dundee airport which is very small but fairly busy. I suspect that the biggest planes it can cope with seat about 50 people. The river is of course the Tay and the bridge that you can see is the one which replaced the old bridge which collapsed in a wild storm in 1879. You can read about it here. You can still see the stumps of the original bridge.

airport  + Tay Bridge

Dundee airport
We visited the Dundee Botanic Gardens on the third of September and below is a photo of an acer which was already changing into its autumn clothing, but it certainly didn’t feel like autumn was on the way. I took some more photos but I’ll keep them for another day. Hope you enjoyed the walk!

Dundee Botanic Garden path

Dundee Botanic Gardens – the greenhouses

I can hardly believe that it was way back in September when we visited the Dundee Botanic Gardens. I blogged about the ouside of the gardens earlier, but we also went into the greenhouses which are packed with exotics.

Dundee Botanics greenhouse
It was a hot day outside so it was super hot in the greenhouses.
Dundee Botanics greenhouse
I’ve always been keen on cacti, ever since I bought myself a wee cactus plant from good old Woolworth’s when I was 11 years old. Woolies used to be great for plants, seeds and gardening things in general, it’s sadly missed.

Dundee Botanics greenhouse

As I was admiring the lovely healthy Abutilon in this photo below I realised that it had been a big mistake to plant the one I had bought recently out in the garden. I dug it up when I got home and moved it into the sun room where it promptly lost just about all of its leaves. It did give me one flower though and the leaves are growing back, so I live in hope of a good display this summer.

Dundee Botanics greenhouse

The bright cerise Bougainvillea brought back memories of Portugal where it grows ‘like Topsy’.

Dundee Botanics greenhouse

I should know what this plant below is, but it has escaped me at the moment.
Dundee Botanics, greenhouse

The problem with not getting around to blogging about places until long after the visit is – I can’t remember what this tree is called, but it’s certainly unusual.
Dundee Botanics greenhouse

Dundee Botanics greenhouse

I’m sure that some of you will have plants like the ones in these photos growing wild in your gardens, but here in Scotland they need to be cossetted in hothouses. I’m not sure that I would like too many of them in my garden – if they could survive, I’m more of a daisy/primrose sort of woman, but it is lovely to see them thriving here where they’e obviously well looked after. Dundee Botanic Gardens are well worth a visit.

Dundee Botanics greenhouse , Scotland