A garden visit…

Visiting Scotland and staying with grandpa meant looking for things to do in the middle of the post pandemic shutdown. I read an online report that described the top things to visit and Cambo gardens on the Fife coast came highly recommended. It was a wet day so the kids got to spend the day in Broughty Ferry.

We bought tickets online and drove to Kinsbarns nr Craill and arrived just after opening but the last space in the car park was ours! It was very well set up and there was a really nice gift shop and cafe.

A heron kept watch on the stream.

The garden was mainly in a courtyard but all laid out differently with occasional signs explaining areas under renovations or under weed extermination. There were veg herb and fruit beds and vines and cordons. For the end of August there were lots of blooms (my fave agapanthus) and considering the reduced garden staff due to the pandemic it was in quite amazing luscious conditions with bright colour swatches with swathes of grasses.

We had a healthy plate of salad made fresh from the produce – some peas were definitely saved – and the walk from the garden through woodland led straight out to the sea (over the golf course tee and green).

Definitely a good garden to visit if you’re near St Andrews. And combine it with the botanical gardens and butterfly house (that we visited last year) makes for a real gardeners paradise.

Sea shore
Healthy lunch
In the conservatory
The woodland walk down to the sea: quite a gentle walk with one steep stepped stretch.

Swapping jobs today!

I am trying to finish a paint job I began under lockdown… it’s involving climbing up ladders and trying to stay stable which as most MSers with vertigo know is not as easy as it sounds. Roof lights were asked for but I always thought we’d get someone to do it? In fact when I first took our collie for a walk and she went for someone before I pulled her back, the man she lunged at turned out to be a decorator. A year in and she is much calmer on walks and doesn’t seem to need to protect us, her current herd.

High old skylight… I still feel shaky!

Husband has shifted the greenhouse and in a definite reversal has been in the garden all morning. He is going to purchase some Perspex panels to save the glass from dropping apples. But it looks like the shed is going to be built over the herb garden after all. Which was the original intention?

A marrow!

It also means losing, or cleverly sculpting, the two trees in this corner which we haven’t identified. And replanting some of the herbs.

New home for greenhouse…

The greenhouse frame was moved by three of us, while I held back the roses. We are dismantling the arch which was rusted through and again that changed the vistas through the garden. I feel like I am now keen to finish the painting and get back outside!

Bindweed corner…
Arch will find a new home? Or will go to the tip?

Weeding again!

Rome wasn’t built in five years, and wandering round our shambles I felt despair and anger! But I’ve given myself a talking to. And started in on the mares tail. Front garden full of lots of seed heads from alliums and other beauties we have enjoyed this year but the mares tail, bindweed valerian and other pests also threatened to do away with the things I have planted. Nothing a bit of elbow grease and perpetual vigilance won’t do away with.

Must give you some flowers…
Look at that mares tail!

I’ve read on forums that some of these thugs need to be beaten over a long period and I have left them alone because I’ve been working and down in the dumps. I’m not blaming anything in particular but my screen time has been through the roof. And the weeds are overpowering every area I have worked hard to clear.

Clearing an area where we have the littlest shed, I asked a question. My other half has been planning to build two more sheds, but I think we are still better to use the area I’ve planted herbs. I can replant a herb garden and we can move the quite diddy greenhouse onto the cleared slab? Hubby has agreed to rethink. Well I think we both are, as this garden is still a work in progress and doesn’t have a particular area which gives me joy. Working on it! Calla lilies are shooting up in some boxes atm. Yay! More flowers to come…

Hope it’s not a weed!
Phormium is getting strangled. Think it’s vine weevil…

Not sure whether life is trying to be normal again?

Having done two days of work, I do feel like life has kind of returned to a pattern which is basically what I have done before everything shut down. Normal it isn’t though, nothing about life is secure and measured and predictable. Even the weather is joining in and letting us have rain, sun and storms. I have to say it’s more comfortable now than the heatwave several weeks ago. I want to do more to change the garden but the slabs and digging is easier in the dry, not so hot weather. That was this morning but afternoon had some rain.

Lily we planted last year.

I wandered round the garden and the neglect has caused some new flowers to make appearances.

I’ve also been looking at some of Letchworth’s gardens which were to have been open to the public in June and they’ve been released as a virtual display and I’ve now looked round about ten. They give me some hope for mine but many are actually 25 years or more under the same family and show me that I need to start building more plant areas and thinking about introducing more plants.

Www.letchworth-vog.org is the website to view!

Wild bindweed on a walk through fields last night. Almost pink outside.
Cornflower is purple – yes!

I’ve made some chocolate brownies and fingers crossed I managed the ingredients correctly but I have a horrible feeling I added an extra egg. That’s the MS I’m afraid. In 25 minutes I shall find out. Been doing the same Brownie recipe for 20 odd years (from the Independent) and I doubled it and confused myself. I also need a new brownie pan as it looks like all my baking trays have been used for roast vegetables and burnt to within an inch of charcoal. (Again not my domain, as I never seem to get the roast timings for all the parts together!)

Curry plant has so many buds…
Bramble flowers
First courgette!

But life is looking up, isn’t it? If you can get out in the garden you don’t have to worry about life on the outside, and the brownies are out of the oven in time for a good olde worlde high tea! And they were v tasty!