Gardener's Diary Post

March 2024

As we enter Spring in all its elements…

Picturesque has been remade and installed at the end of the lochan. This single word carved on an old fence railing overlooking the water and hillside beyond is one of the simplest and most effective works in the garden. Its location and presence reminds us in its entirety of the idea of sense of place.

The decorative wooden trellis which sits amidst the wave form topiary in the Front garden has rotted through and collapsed – it will eventually need to be remade but a temporary fix is fashioned from a couple of supporting posts driven in and the honeysuckle which clambers over and through it tied back in.

The spring water source has been giving recurring problems. Blockages are cleared and all is running again, if somewhat erratically. Silt builds up in the pipes, gets trapped and then it is only a matter of time before the whole system clogs up. Added to this the other seasonal problem (as well as delight) of frogs and frogspawn – in the ponds we can now hear their full throated chorus, but they also manage to get themselves lodged where they are not wanted and cause obstacles.

All of the remaining clearance from winter tree felling is completed – timber is logged and stacked in the woodshed. It has been a bad year for losses, but hopefully the gaps left will let more light in to crowded areas and allow ground cover to reestablish itself in the woodland.

The Kailyard and Allotment are weeded out and top dressed with mulch ready for a new season. More space is cleared in the allotment and dug over to make a start with early onion sets which have been brought on in the greenhouses – and the rest to follow.

Also in the front garden all of the winter debris has been tidied out and the beds mulched with a seaweed enriched soil improver. A couple of Euphorbia ‘Silver Swan’ are planted out by the Siegfried line, and a few violas ‘Inverurie Beauty’ find their niche at the base of ‘Your Name: A Lyme Ketch’.

The greenhouses are now filled with pots and trays waiting patiently or impatiently for germination. 

We have had sleet, hail, frosts again and rain in all its forms. There is a biting cold easterly wind. As before there is no regular pattern to the days, which just adds a further complication to forward planning. 

One job which can continue is the jet washing of brick paths and patio surfaces – though this too is stalled by the sporadic water supply issues. 

The sheds have been given a lick of paint which just about keeps them held together, and the outside Loo building (the former donkey stable) refreshed inside from mould and damp built up during the winter months.

A sizeable bonfire gets rid of a lot of the brash wood and cuttings left from damaged and fallen trees.

The grass is given a quick once over before the regular round will begin again with the season. There are bare patches to be seeded, and further areas of wildflower mixes to be extended in the woodland and by the waterways.

There are more new shoots and dashes of colour – pulmonarias, daffodils, primrose and cowslip, a few bright sparks of gorse. Soon we will be in that full rush of spring, the waiting will be over, the garden will renew itself