In my eight years in this part of the world, I can’t remember an April like the one we are just coming to the end of. It’s been dry and sunny and has felt more like May, with everything flowering away, making everyday a joy to be out in the garden. My mowing endeavours have paid dividends and I’m getting cuts, that some years I can only dream of.

One of the highlights of the fortnight, was as the sun was sinking one evening. It was just a case of wandering around the garden enjoying all the flowers. My favourite was of course a pink tree peony. If you are wondering about the difference between a tree peony and a herbaceous peony, a tree peony has a permenant wooody structure while hearbaceous peonies are cut to the ground in the Autumn.



A delicious pink tree peony

However, the lack of rain may cause problems later in the season so keep an eye on your plants making sure they receive water when they need it. Plants in the greenhouse will need regular watering and it is worth providing some shade from the afternoon sunshine to stop them drying out.

Anyway here are a few more gems from the garden for your enjoyment.

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A Spring treat from Gatehouse of Fleet

One of the pleasures of the job, is an early morning drive to Gatehouse of Fleet along the A75 from Kirkcudbright. At this time in the morning you rarely see anyone and if you do, it’s likely to be another trades person on their merry way to work. The scenery is always glorious and a feast for the eyes.

As one approaches Gatehouse, there is a glorious sight, on the right hand side as you go down the hill into the town, it is the most wonderful Rhododendron.



The best thing to do is park in Gatehouse and wander back up the hill to enjoy this beauty in more detail.


I’m sure you will agree it is well worth having a drive to see it.



A Star is Born 

If there is one plant you should have in a garden, or at least a Scottish garden, it’s Magnolia stellata or the Star magnolia. This plant originally comes from Japan and lights up the garden in mid to late April. It isn’t fussy, so long as you give it acidic soil, that is well drained and give it a bit of shelter from cold winds. There is another bonus in autumn, when the leaves put on a show all of their own. So make space and treat yourself.

They are in plentiful supply in this locale but I particularly enjoyed this one combined with some grasses.



Compliments, compliments

A lady I know, was telling me how her husband was complimenting her on her brilliant gardening skills, telling her what a genius she was, for creating such a lovely combination of planting, as you can see below.



She told me it was of course a lucky chance and probably the good weather causing them all to flower at once. I told her to just smile and bask in the glow.

A Red Rhododendron, Prunus ‘Kojo no Mai’ and Berberis darwinii a winning combination

Bye for now

Well the wonders and demands of being a full time  gardener never seem to stop and it will be November before things slow down.  So I ‘m out the door for another spot of mowing… vroom vroom. Until  we meet again on Thursday 9th May happy gardening and enjoy the sunshine. Best wishes Dave

Living the dream, Kirkcudbright 13/04/2019