Potting up Irises and hanging baskets not….. reading in the shade

Forecast was for another sweltering day….. so I thought do not be too ambitious- so like no digging or heavy work….. something slower…. So thought some potting up would be about right….. needed some soil first but this wouldn’t be too bad as all I had to do was lift a bit of ‘ground covering material’ for keeping down the weeds.  This is my significant others favourite garden plant and planting method… black plastic. Would it be cruel to show photographic evidence.

Ok got the soil…. Now to get the Irises I dug up in March during the last heat wave… found them abandoned by the path with the weeds growing up around them at least they had not dried out too much.

An Iris escapee out by drive

My irises are not in flower in the garden yet probably because they are living in overcrowded conditions they don’t like that. This one is just outside the gate on the drive…… mine do look like this when they flower….. So which variety are they I think they are an old variety. Opinions please on how much they do look like the image below.

Is this it

Taking photos outside and then a photograph of a page of a book has its limitations….. the colours are not quite the same.  But in real life looking at the marking and the true colour of the iris as I see it this is a really close match.

Why is it important to be certain….. (1) They need to indentified (2) The book this image came from is shown below….. therefore these irises could have been growing here for over 3oo years. (3) I need a picture to take with me to show people at what they look like and what variety they are when I go to the Makers Market next Saturday in Newburgh. I hope to sell a few of the Irises I have dug up (hence the potting up) … to make money to buy other plants. Oh should also mention that the SO has given me permission to flog a few of his wee Heritage Pear Trees there too.  Wonder if he will give me a commission.

My significant other got this book on line a few days ago…… It is wonderful… can’t put it down

Any way I had to abandon my task of potting up the irises……

As the temperature soared I stuck the lot into a shady spot behind the cold frame and went inside for lunch

Going to go back outside now that I have had lunch….. I will get the parasol out and sit under the shade of the giant bay laurel and put the herbs and tomato plants into the hanging baskets instead (I started to do that last week but then we had a forecast for frost and snow…. so they have been on the kitchen window ever since…. they should of been in the greenhouse but it was Full of Wee Trees see previous blog The greenhouse is Full).  If it is not cool enough to do that I will carry on with my swotting up on plants….. see below for the books I am carrying around the garden at the moment.

I am searching for the ultimate book on gardening in Scotland…. it has to concentrate on Scotland as stuff that does alright south of the border does not survive for very long here…. couple of winter like we just had and they are gone forever. It also needs to cover stuff that rabbits do not like, old heritage plants grown in Scotland, making your garden more self sufficient…. ie less digging and weeding and more relaxing and enjoying watching stuff grow on its own.

So in my search for the ultimate book all suggestions are welcome.

At the moment the Broons is the best guide…… the other books have you planting stuff out way too early and suggesting stuff that we do not get a long enough season to grow here in the Kingdom of Fife.

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Hot weather in Scotland I must be dreaming….

After all the moaning about the rain here I am in the middle of the afternoon hiding inside from the sun. It is 28 degrees centigrade outside, it was 32 degrees in the greenhouse, and the kitchen inside the house in full shade is a balmy 20 degrees.

Some photographic evidence is required

I told my significant other those wee trees will have to go outside….. they are pear trees not orange trees

I only got the temperature in the greenhouse down to 28 by opening all the windows and doors….. Lucky the grapevine is providing a wee bit of shade.

Outside on the window sill by the kitchen door….

Yes, I am in Scotland and yes, it was only 9 degrees three days ago and that was discounting the wind chill factor

Tasks I have abandoned and I am about to return too right now….

Seeds, seed tray, pots, compost, gloves,……. check But it is too hot stay out there

Thought I would cool off by washing some pots……

I did not know we had so many pots…… feels like doing the dishes but at least the water is cold to cool me down

Right got to get back out there it is 4pm….. must have cooled down a bit surely.

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Underneath the cherry tree and unexpected gifts

The weather was sunny and warm again today so I thought I would burn some weeds so I got the bonfire going. Then once it was smouldering away I decided to do some digging under the cherry tree .  I am going to put a vegetable patch there and then build a fruit cage over it all so I can protect both the Cherry Tree and the vegetables from birds, rabbits and any other creatures that would like to nibble on them.

The veg patch before I dug it

Found some greenfly on the cherry tree put there by ants who farm them….. they carry the aphids (greenfly) up the tree and place them on the tips of the branch and then protect them so they can live off the secretions the aphids produce….. Need some organic pest control

Guess what I found while digging the veg plot underneath….. so I put it on the cherry tree….. result organic pest control

Then I got distracted by a series of unexpected visitors bearing gifts….

I gave my friend this rhubarb from my patch to use

Today she arrived with these…..

Rhubarb cup cakes…. they were yummy

As I went to put the kettle on to make a cup of coffee to go with the Rhubarb Cup Cake, a man appeared at the gate…. a German tourist who was visiting Scotland with his Wife and four small daughters on an Agate collecting holiday. They wanted to have a look around the castle. So I showed them some maps, old drawings of the castle and an old book on agate collecting and gave them tea and coffee and a tour of the castle and garden.  The man was a Stonemason to trade and has promised to return next year with a cut and polished agate my son gave him. He also promised to give my significant other a helping hand with the castle. We are going to keep in touch by email and I am going to copy and send to him some pages from the Agate collecting book.  As they left they gave me a bottle of German White Wine…… it was a real surprise. What a nice couple.

Anyways despite all the distractions I did manage to dig over the veggie plot……

The freshly dug veg patch…. ta da…

Any way it has been a really good day and I still managed to get all today’s goals achieved I am off now to have another cup cake…. think I will save the wine for later.

Posted in Botanical, Castle, Garden, heritage, Heritage plants and Fruit Trees, Orchard, Organic pest control, Walled garden | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Compost heaps and bluebell love

After much debate a site was chosen at the bottom of the garden for the new compost heap. The old compost heap now being the site of one of the garden sheds and as the temporary compost pile is under threat as it is to be the site of a new lawn. I thought I had better get on with it.

Several hours later……. a new compost area.  Just needs to be filled up with vegetation and weeds to make compost… but wait a minute I just pulled loads of weeds out.  Sigh……… Don’t you just love gardening. I never pulled the Bluebells out though I left them alone.

This moth landed on this wee bluebell in front of me while I was having my tea break from digging out and constructing the compost heap. It seemed to gaze at the bluebell in adoration. I love bluebells too.

I love Bluebells because they remind me of childhood walks in woods in Springtime….. I love they way they just pop up any where in the garden. This tiny little one shown above has pushed its way up on the side of the path…… I hope my significant other doesn’t rip it out.

Here are some more

I love bluebells they remind me of childhood walks in the woods…. they grow where they feel like it in this garden and they love the shady bits

It seems that a lot of other bloggers love them too as I found out  a few moments ago when I was testing out to see if I was managing to get to grips with tagging my posts.

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The Greenhoose is full

The green house full to bursting with wee trees

The greenhouse is full to bursting with wee trees

I cannot get on with growing my cucumbers, tomatoes, herbs and salad this year as there are over 200 grafted pear trees in the green house!!!!

More evidence in close up!!

This one is a grey Benvie

This one is a Grey Benvie

The Grey Benvie is a Scottish Heritage pear and hails from a very wee village just ootside Dundee.
Soon they are getting ‘pit oot intae’ the big wild world.

Cold Frame

Watch this space… This is where they are going.  Sooner rather than later…. can’t stay in the greenhouse much longer. It will get too hot.

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The Orchard

The Orchard

Most of the trees in our orchard are probably about 100 years old. As they are coming to the end of their lifespan they will soon need to be replaced. So my significant other has embarked on a project to replace some of our existing trees.

Pears for your heirs  He has begun with the  pear trees.  He started off by sourcing scion material from pear trees in a 10 mile radius around here on both sides of the Tay. Then grafted these scions onto Pyrus Communis rootstock.  No mere task…..  it took weeks of planning and preparing as the scions had to be collected before the pear trees came into bud. Then the scions were stored awaiting the arrival of the rootstock and the exit of the frosty weather.  He had ordered 300 rootstock and it took him 5 days to do all the grafting. We were still getting quite cool nights so he put them into the greenhouse to keep them cosy…….

They are still there……..

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A garden in the Kingdom Of Fife

I live in the Kingdom of Fife and I am starting this blog as a wee sister to my friends’ A French Garden Blog.

I think my friend has come up with a wonderful idea that of using her blog to get to grips with her garden. She is doing this by sharing her experiences in her garden and asking others for help and advice so I would like to join in.

It is a another miserable “driech” day here on the East Coast of Scotland and I thought I would start by catching you up with what I have achieved in the last couple of weeks and give you an idea of what already grows in my garden without my intervention.

For those not familiar with Scots lingo

driech = dark, overcast with clouds and raining. The type of rain varies it can be:- pouring down, drizzle, horizontal, stoating, etc.

My first choice of photo is Wild Garlic since I have given my blog a french title and it is in flower in the garden this week.

I took this photo a few years ago but as it is too wet to go out today and take more photos this one will have to do. It is a good representation of the weed problem in the garden, as you can also see a wild bramble too.  Brambles are annoying because they catch you round the ankles and trip you and can also get through the thickest of leather gloves. But on the upside the fruit makes wonderful Bramble Jelly.

The Tattie Patch  I started scribbling down notes for my blog on the 3rd of May which was a warm sunny (the day of the Council elections) when I stopped for a break.  I got out pen and paper after digging over a small area approx 3m by 3m to plant “tatties”. As the soil was wet and heavy I soon needed a rest and had to make a plan of which order to plant the potatoes in ground. The varieties I chose were Pink Fir, Shetland Black, Arran Victory, Golden Wonder and Kerrs Pink.  This is a mix of salad, 2nd Early and Main Crop and Late Varieties.  So after a bit of thought I have put them in the order that they should be harvested.  But, I did not get that done until the following Tuesday after that it rained solid from that day on.  (No,  I fibbed as it didn’t really, but I skived off on the only decent day on the Saturday to go and see the artists Open Studios in Newburgh).

Red Currant Bushes  I was given some red currant bushes by a friend and ended up planting them in the rain on the May Day Bank Holiday as they would have died if I left it any longer.  I have since been informed by my other half that the Gooseberry bush has an infestation of Saw Fly which also like Red Currant bushes.  The gooseberry bush has not had this problem any other year and I think they Saw Fly may have arrived with the Red Currants. My other half says that there are too many to pick of by hand.

Oh dear…..

with that I will leave you as I go to track down some cure for the problem. 

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