In a Gatehouse garden 03/05/2019

Happy Spring greetings to one and all. I hope everything in your gardens is bringing you much pleasure . Speaking of which, last year I posted a blog entitled A most treasured view in which I chatted about the view from my window. Needless to say my view is back and here it is for all to share. It never fails to impress.



While on the subject of Lilac, if you’ve got a few minutes to spare  why not have a sniff of said bloom. This is what I was doing  one evening in the mystery garden – such a heavenly scent.


Also from the mystery garden, is this random shot of a rhododendron flower resting on a Potentilla it’s wonderful what one finds to enjoy.


If you are up and about early in the morning, enjoying the dawn chorus, take a look around the garden and  see what you can find to enjoy. I saw this beauty about 6.30 am.

A great start to the day!!!


Last time we met, I was doing a rain dance and lo and behold we got plenty of rain. I wish I knew how to do a dry dance to turn it off, as one day I went to mow a lawn twice, only to be met with heavy rain showers the minute I got there. So that lawn is at the top of the to-do list.


Some of the delights in my garden at this time of year are the peonies which I adore. I’m delighted to say they are now in full bloom and putting on a stunning show.


I’ve been up to my usual  horticultural adventures in the past fortnight and as you read along, you will see there is never a dull day here in garden land.

Down to the river 24/04/2019

Eat your heart out Tommo

In my younger days when I was in high school, I was once asked by the woodwork teacher Mr Tomlinson, or ‘Tommo’ (when he wasn’t in earshot) whether I smoked.        ‘No Sir’. I replied. ‘Oh’, he said, ‘well I once knew a fellow who smoked always with the cigarette in the left side of his mouth. Eventually he became blind in the left eye, so he couldn’t saw straight either!’

Ha, ha! Very funny I’m sure. I suppose nowadays, I could have made a claim for hurt feelings and the ruin of my aspiration to be a master carpenter, but back then, things were different and he was making a point. Guess what? I was never destined to be a cabinet maker, however I did have some fun recently with a young oak tree. A customer wanted it taking out as it was in the wrong place

Dead Good Wood!!!

But rather than cut it up she wondered if we could recycle the trunk and use it to replace the rotting part of the trellis.

IMG_8127So I got out my saw  and laboured away clearing the smaller branches, until I just had the trunk. It’s amazing how heavy oak is, but I must say it was an absolute pleasure to work with. The grain and texture are works of art in themselves.




Actually, a few days later I bumped into a joiner chum, who smiled when he heard what I’d been up to. I told him he need have no fear about any competition but we did have a good chat about oak.

Anyway I did complete the job and although it wouldn’t win any prizes, I thoroughly enjoyed myself.


No doubt Tommo is shaking his head from his celestial perch, at my sawing and having a chuckle, as he puffs away on his woodbine. But one thing I have learnt over the years, between then and now, is that you don’t always have to saw straight to be happy at your work. Perhaps they should have taught me that at school!

My customer was very pleased by the way, so that’s a gold star reward.

As I was taking the above photo, I realised what a beautiful evening it was, and how lucky I was to be in this particular garden. In order that you could join me, I made a short video. Enjoy.


Who’s been eating my plants ?

I was working in a garden recently when I spied a dead Heuchera..uh oh!


It should of course have looked like this.


On went my Sherlock Holmes deerstalker and after further investigation, I found it just lifted out of it’s pot – not a pretty sight. A quick delve into the soil revealed the culprits.


Yucky, it was the dreaded Vine Weevil larvae at work. What happens is, adult Vine Weevils lay their eggs and then the larvae develop and munch away at plant roots. Their Foie Gras of choice is either Heucheras or Primulas so if your plants are looking a bit peely wally( Scottish speak for sickly), have an explore and see if you can find any grubs. You can dispose of them how you wish. If you’ve got any  favourite methods leave them in the comments section!

As an extra precaution, I also disposed of the soil in the container. On replanting, I’ll add a layer of grit to try and deter the vine weevils laying their eggs. Happy hunting!

Bells of the spring ball


I had a question in the comments section recently on the best place to see bluebells around Kirkcudbright. I did have a few ideas, but the real answer is just travel around and I’m sure you’ll find what you seek.  Inspired by this question, off I went to explore the highways and by-ways and took my camera along. It was not just the bluebells I enjoyed but all the other flora and fauna I found, as I went on my merry way.

Here of course are some pictures to share.


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Flower photography – making it easy for yourself

As I was wandering about looking at Bluebells, I suddenly realised what was making the photography  so easy and thus enjoyable. The Bluebells  were at eye level, so there was no need for all the bending and crawling I usually indulge in. You can see below, they were on a bank, so this allowed me to get in close and take my time, without having to do a yoga pose to get the shot I wanted. I could then check the image and take it again if I wasn’t satisfied. See easy peasy, 123.




Bye for now 



Well that’s all for the present moment, my green fingered friends, and as ever, I can’t wait to see what the next fortnight holds. No two days are ever the same here, in garden land. Who knows there may even be the odd rose to admire the next time we meet. Until then,  Thursday 23rd May, I wish everyone well and much enjoyment in the garden. Best wishes Dave


Early one morning Soaperie gardens Kirkcudbright 25/04/2019