Gardener’s Question Time Summer Party at The Botanics

This is VERY exciting, quick, get the 9th July in your diaries….

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It’s the gardening event of the year – and for the first time it’s coming to Scotland. BBC Radio 4’s Gardeners’ Question Time is celebrating the joys of summer by hosting its annual Summer Garden Party at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.

The day-long gardening festival offers visitors the opportunity to meet the GQT team face-to-face, take part in recordings of the programme, enjoy horticultural walks, talks, plant sales and demonstrations happening right across the Garden – ranging from pest and disease clinics to tips on how to maintain a healthy and productive herb garden.

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The garden party will feature the pick of the crop of gardening gurus, including GQT’s Bob Flowerdew, Bunny Guinness, Matthew Wilson, Pippa Greenwood, Anne Swithinbank, Matthew Biggs and Chairmen Eric Robson and Peter Gibbs. They will be joined by Scottish gardening hero, and star of the BBC’s Beechgrove Garden, Jim McColl.

We’ll have live entertainment throughout the day, with hands-on activities, demonstrations, food, drink and fun for all the family.

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There will be two recordings of GQT at the garden party, and BBC Radio 4 listeners will be able to hear all the highlights on Friday 15th July at 3pm (repeated Sunday 17th at 2pm) and Friday 22nd July at 3pm (repeated Sunday 24th at 2pm).

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TICKETS and Times

Saturday 9th July, 10am – 5pm

Tickets (inc. booking fee): Adult £10.50, children (5-16 yrs) £5, under 5’s free. Tickets available to buy online HERE

Please Note: The ticket price gives visitors access to all the events happening at the garden party. However, entry to the main marquee recordings of GQT is limited and seats will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis to ticket holders on the day.

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Spring arrives & it’s all gone bonkers!

In the week that saw us celebrate our 3rd anniversary of moving to our country cottage we saw a lot of changes in the garden.

 

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Our 3rd Anniversary in Nine Mile Burn

 

We have a pair of nesting blue tits in our bird box (yay), the starlings have already fledged and there are now sparrows in their old nest. The swallows are back swooping and darting all around and the geese have returned to the fields roundabout, some with young. After a seemingly never-ending Winter, Spring is most definitely here.

 

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Rhododendron- Golden Witt 

 

The garden has gone bonkers, everything’s growing and blooming and budding and it’s heartwarming to see! The cherry blossom is out and the beech hedge is finally turning, that fresh green really makes a difference in our garden.

 

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Setting up the new Potting Shed

 

The (short) spell of warmer, sunny weather was filled to the brim with ‘getting shit done’ in the garden – everything from getting the potting shed set-up to clearing, weeding and edging, sowing seeds and bulbs (better late than never) and I even made up some hanging baskets inspired by the book Crops in Pots, that I reviewed a while back.

 

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Our latest haul from The Secret Herb Garden

 

We had a lovely trip to The Secret Herb Garden (LOVE this place) to source new herbs as the chickens have self-seasoned and destroyed what we had. We got lemon verbena, lovage and borage (inspired by Petal, Leaf, Seed), several new rosemarys, chamomile, sage, lemon balm, oregano, fennel, jasmine and rhubarb, amongst others.

 

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Re-potting some plants for gifts

 

Our new front lawn is looking great and we’ve just bought a new mower and hedge cutter so we’re getting tooled up to tackle the front garden.

 

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Thank You Miracle-Gro for this amazing surprise box of goodies!

 

 

So much to do now but sadly the torrential rain is back so no idea when we’ll be able to crack on – we live in hope though, always hope!

 

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It’s been well over 20 years since our house was a pub (garden find)

 

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Jasmine potted in a vintage watering can! 

 

Petal, Leaf & Seed – Book Review

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“Cooking with the treasures of the garden” 

Have you ever infused a fig leaf in custard and had it’s coconut and elderflower scent waft up to you on clouds of milky steam? or picked a handful of fennel seeds when they are still green and fat and scalded them with boiling water for a sweet, grassy, anise-scented tea? Or maybe you have decorated a salad with bright purple sage flowers, with a flavour that’s deeply herbal yet honeyed? If the answer to any of these questions is no, this book will open your eyes to the hidden flavours in your garden.

Well someone clearly knew me when they bought me this as a birthday present! What a lovely lovely book!

On reading the introduction above I immediately  wanted to answer yes, Yes, YES to all of those questions! Just those opening words sent me off on a deliciously intoxicating foodie daydream.

Petal, Leaf Seed by Lia Leendertz does exactly what it says on the tin and offers up a whole heap of recipes from cocktails and drinks through to main meals and desserts with butters, tisanes, sprinkles and sherbets along the way. It covers Spring, Summer, vegetable and herb flowers, fruit leaves, exotic leaves, leaves from herbs as well as herb, vegetable & flower seeds.

 

It’s the most bizarre thing, but every time I’ve picked this book up, I’ve sniffed the pages as if expecting to release the aromas from the glorious photography within.

I have a feeling that this book might well be to blame for some of my next few plant purchases, I’ve already added lemon verbena and borage to my list. My new favourite recipe book for sure – a perfect gift for a gardening loving foodie! (Thank you G!)

Relisted as a Top 10 UK Gardening Blog

I was thrilled to receive an email yesterday telling us that A Pentland Garden has been relisted in Vuelio’s Top 10 UK Gardening Blogs this year (it’s even snuck up a couple of places!)

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I’ve had a wonderful time browsing the others from this list, whether they be galloping, thirsty, patient, frustrated or cynical, they all have great sites and I’ve subscribed to them all!

  1. The Patient Gardener
  2. The Frustrated Gardener
  3. the blackberry garden
  4. Real Men Sow (they deserve a prize for the name alone!)
  5. A Pentland Garden
  6. The Cynical Gardener
  7. The Middle-sized garden
  8. The Galloping Gardener
  9. Two Thirsty Gardeners
  10. Veg Plotting

Here’s the 2015 list in case you were interested, a number of familiar names but a few completely new ones too!

Getting Creative with a new Potting Bench

I’ve been going Pinterest crazy recently for all things gardening and one thing that’s been high on my to-do list, especially with our continued Wintery weather, has been to create a potting shed sanctuary.

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Our Summerhouse, which also acts as my home office and a general dumping ground for out of season garden furniture and chicken bedding/feed etc. will be the perfect spot, once it’s been cleared out a bit.

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I’ve been gathering lots of ‘pinspiration‘ and spotted something at last weekend’s local auction that would make a perfect potting bench – thankfully, we won it and it was delivered today, along with some other bits n pieces.

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I couldn’t quite wait for it to be in situ before got ‘potting’ so I planted up a set of vintage scales with some succulents. S didn’t quite ‘get’ my vision with this one so will be interested to see if he likes it.

We also bought a vintage watering can and an old Edwardian foot bath a few weeks back that are also waiting on some potting action.

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In other news, the spring onion ends that I put in some water at the weekend, have indeed started sprouting (yes, another idea from Pinterest), although the celery isn’t looking quite so successful just yet.

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The post was also a joy – I received a new book on growing and preserving fruit to review, a packet of wildflower seeds from this year’s Grow Wild campaign and a sample of Baby Bio outdoor. Along with the seeds from a friend, I have a lot to be playing around with.

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