My garden in Fife

Last week at times in my garden it seemed that spring had really sprung, then the cold wind arrived again towards the end of the week. I have started the job of clearing and tidying up after the winter, but I still wouldn’t be surprised if we got snow at Easter.

spring garden

spring garden

I took the photos below from the guest bedroom window, the evening sun filtering through the gap between us and next door,

spring garden

but fully hitting the woodland at the back of us, my favourite time as it lights up the trees. It shouldn’t be long now before there’s a green haze instead of bare limbs.

spring garden

My early May garden – and a bit of June

pergola ,sink ,summer house

It’s ages since I posted any photos of my garden, these photos were all taken in early May. It was such a slow, late spring and it seemed that the place would never green up, but it did eventually as you can see.

But now nearly three months since then the garden is looking much fuller, although after the very hot dry weather we’ve been having it’s only the clover in the grass that is keeping it looking green as the actual grass is yellow/brown. Below is heather, a type of sorbus, a small rhus and a silver birch. I must admit that I’ve planted a lot of things too closely together in my impatience to have something that looks like a garden quickly. I’ll have to move some things before much longer.

heather,sorbus, silver birch
The metal archway in the photo below has blown down several times in the strong winds that we get and Storm Hector turned up a couple of weeks after the photo was taken and flattened a lot of the garden as well as wrecking the arch completely, so we’ve since erected a much stronger wooden one. The garden is so different now though as the hot weather made everything explode into growth.
Scottish garden
The photo below was taken from the guest bedroom window.
path + summer house
The photo below is of an ornamental quince, I have two others, one white and the other apricot. The ‘bug hotel’ in the photo has been completely ignored by all bugs as far as I can see.
ornamental quince
The Princess Irene tulips lasted quite a long time, I presume they were named after a Dutch princess given that they’re a gorgeous vibrant shade of orange – the Dutch royal colour.
Princess Irene tulips

Princess Irene tulips

The rockery below is even more congested looking now. my hope is for most of the garden to be covered with plants, hoping that there will be fewer weeds to deal with if there’s no bare soil for them to get a hold in.
Below is a photo which I took in mid June and the warmer weather has worked wonders for the growth of everything. The cat seems to have adopted our garden – mainly to snooze in. The raised bed on the left has a lot of strawberry plants in it and we’ve had a real glut this year. I never thought I’d get fed up with strawberries – but I did and I ended up making jam with some of them.
pergola +cat
He’s known as Big Hairy Cat to us, but he lives in a house not far from us, although I suspect he’s trying to move to a home which has no dogs and children to contend with! I’m not encouraging him though.
lupins + cat

More of my spring garden in Fife, Scotland

<clematis alpina

I had clematis alpina in my old garden, the one I worked in and planned for 26 years, and since moving to the new and at first very empty garden I’ve been planting a lot of my old favourites again, this one was a must have. I love everything about it, the shape, size, colour and the fluffy seedheads when the flowers have finished.

Amelanchier canadenis

Amelanchier canadensis (above) is one of the several trees I’ve planted, in fact I probably have too many trees, if that’s ever a possibilty. The flowers don’t last very long but they’re worth having, very delicate looking and pretty, I’ve planted another specimen by the back fence but I think I might grow that one as a large shrub, hoping it’ll become nice and bushy.

apple blossom

I’m fairly sure that the blossom in the photo above is apple, but then again it might be plum. Whatever, I’m just chuffed that several of my fruit trees are flowering for the first time since I planted them three years ago.

quince flowers

The photo of the ornamental quince above is a bit blurry, sadly this one doesn’t have the fab scent that the apricot coloured one in the old garden had. I’m still trying to track down a specimen of that one.

Below is a wee anemone, it survived the winter well and I’ve bought some more of them for the front garden.

Fritillaries, I love them, but quite a few of the flowers have got holes right in the middle of the petals, it looks like something has chomped its way out of the buds. These ones are fine though.


The auriculas below are plants that I’ve never grown before, I had always thought they wre too delicate and tender to be left out over winter in Scotland but these ones are thriving and will need to be split up when they stop flowering, which won’t be for ages. There was quite a craze for these plants, especially amongst the French Protestant Huguenots who fled to Britain to avoid persecution from the Catholics in France.

If you want to know a bit more about the plants and the Huguenots have a look here.

My Garden

We’ve been having some decent weather for a change here in Fife. It seemed like we had non stop rain for three months or more, and I really did think that a lot of my plants would have been drowned over the winter, especially as my new garden is mainly heavy clay.

my garden

But by the looks of things just about everything has come through the winter fairly well. I think that within the next few weeks there’ll be quite a difference in the place when all the deciduous shrubs should be in leaf.

my garden

The main thing I want to do this year is finally cut away the last of the turf that I want to get rid of. Then I can concentrate on getting good edges on the flower/shrub beds and then plant some ground cover plants to try to help keep the weeds down. That’s the plan and hope anyway.

Earlier this week I planted some more Dutch iris bulbs, lily bulbs, dwarf daffodils, Alpine wallflowers and some more aubretia.

It’s still a work in progress, like all gardens. It should look good when it all gets going though, the change in our clocks this weekend will give us lots of lovely daylight. Then we’ll just need a bit more warmth!

my garden

My garden – in Fife, Scotland

garden Summer house
The photo above was taken a couple of weeks ago and after all the rain we’ve had since then the garden has grown quite a lot more luxuriant, or should I say wild! It was just at the time of the year when everything in the garden changes from predominantly blues and yellows of spring, to deep red, purple and orange of summer.


It’s still a work in progress of course, like all gardens.


Above is a fancy new hydrangea with deep maroon leaves, I believe this was Chelsea’s plant of 2015. It was a birthday gift to me, I’d much rather have a living plant than cut flowers. The ground is looking a bit empty in this part of the garden but the sparrows have been having a whale of a time there, having dust baths.

insect house

The day after I bought this bug hotel I read in Dave Goulson’s book A Sting in the Tale that insects or particularly bees never seem to take up home in them. Maybe bees don’t, why would they when they can make such beauties of their own? but I did see a hoverfly crawling in to one of the holes. I just hope it doesn’t fill up with such creepy crawlies as earwigs or forkytails as they are known in some parts of Scotland. I had in mind a whole colony of ladybirds moving in when I bought it.

garden Summer house

I’ll get around to taking more photos of the inside of the summer house/shed soon, particularly the books. It has been inundated by midges which must have crawled through every teeny gap, probably trying to get shelter from our incredibly bad weather this so-called summer – then they promptly died, so I’ve been sweeping them up. It does get very hot in there, even on a dullish day – honest!

Swallows, Deer and Garden Update

I was showing my sister around our new place today and we were looking at the garden from the kitchen when we suddenly realised that there were birds swooping and circling all around the garden. The swallows have arrived, they definitely weren’t here yesterday. What is that saying? something like – one swallow does not a summer make. Well umpteen of them were swooping, in fact in Scots you could say that there was a wheen o’ them, meaning a lot. I suppose that means that it is really summer, but not going by today’s weather it wasn’t!

Unfortunately they move too fast to get a photo of them, but a few hours later I was upstairs, still trying to unpack books and find places for them, when I realised that a deer was walking very close to our garden fence, I rushed to get the camera and was lucky that it was in no hurry to move on. Then I spotted another one following the first one. We’re certainly more rural here than in our old place.
Deer 2
The one above was a bit of a contortionist so it looks really weird. But the photo below looks more normal, I’ve seen more deer than ever before this year, often just standing in fields or lying down in the sun by the edge of fields.
Deer 1

I was thrilled to bits to see them but I suppose I’ll eventually get blase about them.

And here are some garden update photos. I’ve been busy trimming the grass edges and I’ve used the excess turf to make an oval in the grass, roughly the shape and place that I want to put a rockery, eventually. That’s going to be a long term project. You can see that I’ve begun to put the bones of the garden in place, in the shape of small trees. It’s beginning to feel like a garden already.
garden 1

The photo below is of the garden beyond the circle, we have decided to put some sort of structure on those concrete blocks, probably a summerhouse as that was what was there before, it’ll make a nice focal point. I suppose I should have taken my washing line down!

garden 2

Beyond the fence is the land where the deer were walking.

I’ve just looked up that quote and it turns out it was Aristotle who said it.

House and Garden

Well, I’m still not into the swing of things yet after our big ‘flit’. Today I took some time away from the boxes and house stuff to do a bit of gardening. I say gardening but there wasn’t really anything in it except grass and one very small tree, possibly a plum or dwarf apple – and a lot of grass. Jack took these photographs of the emptiness a day or two ago.

I’ve planted some climbing roses along the bottom of the back fence. I’ve also planted the small acers and the liquidamber tree which I brought from my old garden. I’m not at all sure if they will survive the move though, not so much because of being transplanted but I think that the soil here might not suit them so well. It seems quite clay -ish and heavy, they liked the light sandy soil of Kirkcaldy. I also planted some foxgloves, day lilies, a small pyracantha, euphorbia, deutzia and pulmonaria.

The garden is bigger than I thought it was and I’m not sure what to do with it. I have to have a good mix of plants to entice birdlife in but I don’t want anything which will turn out to be too labour intensive as you know what it’s like – as the plants get older they get stronger whereas as I get older I’m definitely getting weaker!

Spring Garden

I was walking along to the shops a few days ago and I don’t know if it was the early morning sun (yes it was sunny!) hitting the dew on the plants or what – but suddenly everything smelled of springtime, all fresh and green. It seems that spring is here and for once we really can’t complain about the winter because it was an unusually mild one. The only snow I’ve seen was at a distance, a smattering on the Pentland hills behind Edinburgh.

I know, having said that we’ll almost certainly get inundated with snow at Easter, it certainly wouldn’t be the first time. But for now I’m just grateful for the sunshine and winds which don’t feel as if they’re whistling through my bones.

My garden shouted to me to come and redd (tidy) it up. So my brown garden rubbish bin is now full to the brim. This photo was taken before the big clean up.

Back Garden and path

This is the path from the other end. I’ve always liked paths with the slabs placed diagonally and it’s very easy to do. I laid weed suppressing fabric before laying the slabs and then bought bags of river pebbles from a garden centre, although I must admit that I did nick some bigger stones from a nearby beach. Too naughty, but I can’t stop myself from scanning the shore for pretty stones. For me it’s the best thing about going to a beach.
Path and House

The reason I was out taking photos was because we just had our old cast iron guttering replaced last week with nice new shiny black guttering – and not before time. Half of the old guttering fell down during that second big hurricane which we had last month and as you can see the back wall has been getting really wet. That wall is now part of the kitchen, which was originally the old wash house, the small square window used to be covered with a wooden shutter instead of glass as it was the coal hole/bunker. Unfortunately we couldn’t get the right size of guttering in grey to match the guttering on the left and right sides of the house but I don’t think it looks too bad as they are offset and don’t adjoin the black stuff. As you can see our house is an unusual design, almost as higgledy-piggledy as the ones I was taking photos of in England.

Back garden and house
The weather hasn’t been good for the plants in my garden, they haven’t coped well with the mild one day and frosty the next. The snowdrops lasted no time and the crocuses resembled burst balloons after a couple of days of dodgy weather. But these primulas are nice and bright, even if my photo is blurred.