Tales from the garden

The adventures of a wandering gardener

Gardening Tips

Tips and suggestions to get the most from your garden


Lift and plant snowdrops in pots.

The key to replanting anything is not to disturb the roots. If you can do this a plant won’t know it’s been moved and will continue happily growing away.

At this time of year it’s fun to lift some snowdrops just make sure you don’t tear the roots of the bulbs. This you can be done by digging down under the bulbs keeping some soil between the bulbs and your trowel.

Simply lift them and then just place them in a pot with compost in the bottomn. Cover the bulbs with compost and add a top layer of grit. Place them in the green house or  on a windowsill and this will encourage them to flower a little earlier than the ones in the ground.

The advantages of  doing this is  that it will brighten your day, you’ll be able to admire their beauty  up close and you will be able to smell their delicate scent.

After they have finished flowering you can dig a hole and place them back in the grounds.

Simple but rewarding.

A garden Diary

Keeping  a gardening diary or a scrapbook can be endless fun. It  is a great way to build up knowledge and chart your gardens develpment. They can be as  simple or as detailed as you wish.You could include the following.

A record of what you’ve bought and when you bought it. This will give you an idea of how your purchases have grown over time.

Keep the labels off plants to remind you what they are.

Take  regular photos to remind yourself of your sucesses or to plan improvements you wish to make.

Write down names of plants you think you might like to add to your garden.

Record when you sow seeds and when they flower.

Make a list of your favourite annuals and perennials to remind you which seeds to buy.

Cut out pictures  and articles from magazines to inspire you.

Over winter take time to enjoy your dairy and plan for the year ahead.

 Three must haves for the winter/ spring garden

I’m often asked what to plant in the garden for winter/spring  scent and colour here are three of my favourites. Be advised that they all prefer a shelterd spot,in full sun or partial shade and they all prefer a moist but well drained soil.  check their height and spread and allow them plenty of space to flourish.

Sarcococca confusa

This is often known by its’ common name winter box. An evergreen plant it comes into its’ own in early spring when the small white flowers realease a heavenly scent. it is best planted in a shelterd spot near a doorway or path where you can catch a whiff of its’ fragrant scent. later on in the season you will be rewarded with little black berries which will fall and overtime produce seedlings.

Magnolia stelatta

We all have our favourites and this is mine. I enjoy the new  tactile hairy buds over winter and am overjoyed when i see it’s star shaped flowers in spring. Later on in autumn the leaves provide interest. Every garden should have one and porbably will at least in Kirkcudbright

Hamamelis Molis

Commonly know as whitch hazel it’s has delicate looking blooms and it’s scent reminds me of a jasmine scented Arab bazzar. Simply delicious.

Tip – Place the shrubs in the border while still in their pots let them flower and move them around the garden until you find the perfect spot for them.

Keep tidying

As spring approaches  plants that you kept for winter interest will start to look  a bit bedraggled. With this in mind  get out into the garden, when the weather allows, and start  to tidy up old foliage.

May- Prune Clematis montana shoots

As the buds begins to swell on your Clematis montana they can often be overwhelmed by vigorous new shoots.


The solution is just to snip off the young shoots.


By doing this it will mean all eyes will be on the flowers.IMG_8574

Sit back and enjoy the show.


Pinching out sweet peas

If you want masses of sweet peas all you need to do is simply pinch out the tops of the plants. The video below shows you how.

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