Gardener's Diary Post

June 2024

Midsummer / Midway…

There were a couple of essential jobs to be completed before we opened – clearing away all of the cut weed from the lochan where it had been piled up along its edges in huge mounds, and the rebuilding of the drystone dyke and resetting of the Loosestrife inscribed stone. Both done, both looking fine.

The month is marked by heavy showers and everything is soaked. Of course this does have the benefit of refreshing all new growth, which is somehow given as an excuse to avoid being totally fed up with the Scottish summer. Changeable is probably the most generous word to describe it.

Assorted containers have been potted up and brought out, the strawberries are renewed in the camouflaged trough planters by the entrance gate. The raspberry patches are also tidied, camouflage posts set out and restrung with red and blue twine.

We have masses of red Campion, herb Robert, purslane, foxgloves, saxifrage ‘London Pride’ – all are now flowering merrily. In the Front garden the creamy heads of monkshood bow demurely in the borders. The heady scent of philadelphus fills the air by the Cottage entrance gate and into the Roman Garden.

Planting is tidied up around the base of Apollon Terroriste – it is a boggy patch of ground now and the head itself will need to be levelled and reset, as he is starting to tilt slightly to one side.

Flag iris is in full flush around the lochan giving a bright yellow rim defining the waters edge, and once it is over the meadow sweet is already coming on to replace it.

The Hortus is given a tidy out and the blighted box is clipped into the best shape it can be.  Conditions in this space will be monitored over the rest of the season, pending a decision on how to proceed. The rest of the box throughout the garden thankfully remains in good condition, and is given a light trim.

The planting around The World Has Been Empty Since the Romans is freshened up – some more ferns set in amongst the broken fragments of the column and base, to hopefully look as though they have always been there.

The Temple Pool is weeded out and cleaned, along with the waterways in the Parkland as part of a continuing sequence of maintenance, still more to be done and the wooden aqueduct at the Lower Pond needs attention.

Some of the stone works are given a necessary wash to remove dirt and greening so the inscriptions remain clear.

We have had another repeat survey of birds insects and moths to keep updating these records.

Finally, our new sign has gone up in the carpark with a quotation used by Finlay himself from Heraclitus – “The way up and the way down is one and the same” – and has proved very popular with visitors in giving thoughtful directions – perhaps also igniting an unexpected revival of interest in the pre-Socratics