I once had a customer tell me I had a very cavalier attitude to gardening. It wasn’t a rebuke, simply a recognition that some of my methods were a bit, shall we say, out of the ordinary.

I liked the term ‘cavalier’ and  it fired my up imagination, as I pictured myself roaming around the garden, kitted out in full regalia, swashbuckling and swinging my sword to and fro, as I tackled weeds and fought against unruly borders.

The way it came about was all a bit less Charleston Heston/ Hollywood and more of   George Formby/Carry-on gardening.

On asking me to divide a Hosta, my customer was surprised when I said ‘no problem I’ll just get my axe’. I then proceeded to give the Hosta a good chopping into useable divisions.

Sure enough a few months later, all was well and the divisions grew away, perfectly happy.

You see people who don’t work with plants don’t always realize, you can treat some of them mean, to keep them keen. Some plants relish being divided or cut back hard. You’ve just got to know  what you are doing or at least make it look like you do.

Happy gardening ‘mi hearties!’


A few of the many blooms to be found in Kirkcudbright

Investing for growth – Viburnum tinus

Hopefully my plants will turn into these

I recently saw some small shrubs at a local supermarket for the bargain price of £1.79.    Always one for a horticultural bargain, I gave them a closer look and noticed one of the shrubs on sale was Viburnum tinus.


As I was thinking about buying some to fill in some of the gaps in my hedge, I thought it would be fun to grow them on for a while, before planting them.

A word of warning here, if you place a small shrub straight in the soil it may struggle a little, due to its small root system, but if you grow it on in a pot letting it establish itself, it should cope a lot better.


Before going any further lets stop to admire the root system.

All you need to do is fill a 2 litre pot with a mixture of grit and compost and then place the plant in the pot.


Don’t forget to tease out the roots


Hey presto!!

Off we go!!

The very thought of you

While pottering about in the garden the other day, I spent some time admiring our Magnolia soulangeana , which we inherited from the previous owner. What enthralled me so much, was how wonderful the velvety  buds looked as they  were beginning  to open.


I’m sure I will enjoy the show for a few weeks to come.


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 A river run through it – Nature Strikes back

Over the last few years one of my customer’s gardens has developed something of a water feature.


It wasn’t intentional and  is caused by drainage problems, which are unfortunately beyond the customer’s control.

Never the less, I was excited to notice that nature is now taking its course – first we had pond weed and now the frogs have begun to spawn in it.


What happens in the future I don’t know, my customer thinks the problems may affect the value of the property, but on the flip side I suggested actually taming the water and making it a feature, may actually increase the property’s attractiveness.

Spring in the Mystery Garden

Somewhere among the green pastures of Galloway lies the mystery garden.

Over the hills and far away – a Galloway view

It was October when I was last here and at that time, the garden was going into its winter slumbers. Now the month of March is with us and the garden has once again sprung to life. As I’ve said before, you need to take your time and keep your eyes open because you never know what you will see.


One of the things I love so much about the mystery garden, is the fact that it is not manicured and this means there are lots of wild flowers to enjoy such as Celandine and Lamium.



The celandine I noticed, combined beautifully with some Chinodoxia.


Further along I came upon the star of the garden a Daphne mezureum  with wonderful lilac scented flowers. IMG_7696

I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.


Who knows what delights await us when we have our next visit.

Early ‘Birds’

It wasn’t just me who was enjoying the early afternoon sunshine in the mystery garden. As I was engaged in photographing, I spied some ladybirds preening themselves amongst the spring blooms. It was delightful to see so many of them and I’m sure they are looking forward to a summer of aphid munching!!



Bye for now

Well that’s all for now. I hope you enjoyed the blog and look forward to your company on Thursday 4th April when it will be time for another passion of mine, that of mowing the grass. I know, bet you can’t wait!!

Until then, may the sun shine on you all, as you potter about in the garden, enjoying all that nature sends our way. Best wishes and happy gardening Dave.

Taking it easy after a morning mowing the grass.
Gatehouse of Fleet Sunday 24th March 2019