Blooming weddings!

‘Those hazy, lazy, crazy days of summer’  Really? Nat King Cole clearly hadn’t experienced a Scottish July.  Depressing, particularly for anyone depending on good weather for a special event. Earlier this month gardeners in nearby Gifford unwittingly scheduled their Scotland’s Gardens open day for an afternoon of hopelessly wintery squalls AND Andy Murray’s Wimbledon triumph.  A forehand volley of bad luck. My own modest ambitions to have our garden looking half decent for our wedding at the end of August, are going the same way as some of my star plants – horizontal. I had imagined the lawn might host the...

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Loving and laughing in our best British gardens

Welcome to our new look blogsite, introduced because we hope to be slightly less useless at operating this version. Modest ambitions but apparently unachievable so far. We’ve also persuaded my mate Louise, who knows more about good plants than anyone else we know, to get the Growbag groove and write a monthly piece on what is Simply Terrific this Month.  Elaine grows Louise’s choice for July in her Normandy garden and totally agrees with her, you should find this treasure at the3growbags.com Fingers crossed…. Can it be true that it’s 17 years since there was any published research on garden visiting in the UK?...

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Listen up, don’t buy a house in France

Listen carefully. DO NOT buy a house in Northern France.  Do not be seduced by old stones, a deeply-rustic position, cheaper house-prices, friendly natives, quiet roads, sandy beaches six miles long, or the availability of fabulous wine for tuppence-ha’penny. If you fall for these sirens, you’re in trouble.  You will be condemning yourself forever to endless ferry-discussions, and indifferent weather, huge long car-journeys to get anywhere at all, a project that occupies most of your waking thoughts and many of your sleeping ones too, and ……and…..cacophonous birdsong..and……oh I can think of many more….. We bought our wreck of a...

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Scotland is a gardener’s paradise – it’s a matter of flax

Still in recovery from the rigours of making my garden sufficiently presentable for its open day,  we’ve taken a few days off. Being a farming family we endlessly enjoy the British countryside so our holidays are invariably taken here in the UK.  With five of our seven dogs we are currently on the Isle of Islay in the Southern Hebrides, a rocky and windswept outpost of the British Isles with actually nothing between us and America. A less hospitable environment for creating a garden would be difficult to imagine. But put up a wall and something magical happens. The passing Gulf Stream provides a mild...

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