Tag Archives: bonsai

Gardening Scotland 2016

Was I the only one who was disappointed with this year’s Gardening Scotland Show? Not at all by the sounds of it.


We were so excited about going, it was amazing last year, but it turned out to be a little bit of a let-down. The show gardens weren’t that ‘showy’ (or that many either) and both the craft tent and the main indoor hall also seemed to be lacking in both the number of stalls and their ‘substance’ in comparison to before.


There were still some lovely stalls in the main hall and we thoroughly enjoyed listening to Hamish from the Secret Herb Garden talk about weeds/medicines, and the weather was perfect.


So although we had a lovely afternoon with our friends  and we did still all come home with armfuls of purchases (and some absolute steals from when the stands were being broken down) I think I’ll have to demote it back below the Royal Highland Show which is coming up in the next couple of weeks.


Next year we’re going to try Chelsea instead. Maybe the shows are just too close together and people are choosing Chelsea over Gardening Scotland….


These are a few purchases, we haven’t given up on the Bonsai and have even bought a couple of new ones too! Predictably a succulent and cactus also found their way home.


Crassula Pelucida Marginalis


Jade Bonsai (Money Tree)
Japanese Holly Bonsai


For ‘Fox’ Sake – RIP Ivy & Etta

We’re just back from a lovely trip around the Highlands and sadly lost our two new girls to a fox while we were away.

Ivy (L) and Etta (R) taking sentry duty

These things happen, but it does go to show that we really need to get the roof of the chicken run sorted, it collapsed under the heavy snow we had at the end of April and as the chickens are shut in a coop at night, we hadn’t quite gotten around to fixing it back up properly.

Screen Shot 2016-06-02 at 09.39.57

I saw this gorgeous one in a gardening magazine a couple of weeks back but at £800 it’s a serious investment. Think I’ll need to hop onto Pinterest and see what else is around. In the meantime, we’ll have to make sure that both S and Cosmo are peeing in the garden to keep the fox away. Yes, it is true that male human urine is an excellent fox deterrent.


In other sad news, the Bonsai that we recently took to our local Society  has well and truly died – they did warn us that as they’d cut away so many of the roots it might happen so RIP Bonsai too.

Looks like the nice weather is set to continue for a few days and I’m on holiday so itching to get back out in the garden.

An evening with our local Bonsai Society

I’ve always been completely fascinated by the art of Bonsai – I guess my ‘Beautiful Bonsai’ Pinterest Board says it all.

I’ve unsuccessfully tried to keep a couple before but after a very long chat with a very enthusiastic member of the Scottish Bonsai Society at last year’s Gardening Scotland we came out with two lovely new Bonsai and a couple of pots, our only job was to keep them alive until March 2016 when we could then pot them.

How on earth are we going to get that in to that pot?
How on earth are we going to get that into that pot?

March arrived and we only had one surviving Bonsai and looking at the size of the plant and then the size of the pot we realised that help was needed so we looked up our local Bonsai Society group in Penicuik – the next meet wasn’t until April, hopefully not too late!

What a lovely evening we had – there was some amusement at our specimen as it was overly-wired (not by us), unidentifiable, very very dry (but looking very happy on it), and with a huge root system. Basically, it was a rather unpromising start for our wee fella.

Dave takes control of the situation
Dave takes control of the situation

After much chat between the members they decided ‘surgery’ was in order and Dave, the organiser of the group got to work digging down and cutting back to see if there was any noticeable root structure (very important to have good visible roots in Bonsai) that would then define the front of the tree and then how it should be developed.

It was absolutely fascinating, some decent roots were found (things started to look up) and we now have what looks much more like a tree, some wiring was removed and some new wiring was added and some pruning took place and now there is hope!

The beginnings of the all-important visible root structure


We now need to let it recover from it’s ordeal (fingers crossed) and we’ve been advised to tease out the root system with a chopstick and then sit it in a pond basket along with bonsai grit (or Sanicat cat litter) and feed it (with Miracle-Gro) and see how the shape of it develops over the next few months.

Loved meeting these local enthusiasts, some of them are working on 50 or so plants of their own, very inspiring and I have a feeling that we will now also be on the look-out for some more to start nurturing and learning from. We’ll definitely be going back to the Penicuik Bonsai Society meet as well.

The results of it’s session with The Society

You can find out more about your local Scottish Bonsai Association groups & meetups here.

We were also recommended the Bonsai4me website as an excellent resource.

Pots and Pots of, erm, well, Pots!

We’ve recently started heading down to the auction in Peebles, it’s great fun and there are some real bargains to be found. Previously we’ve come back with things for the house but this time around we went totally garden potty!
 8 beautiful big blue pots, some with plants already in them (Lavender & Rhododendrons and something as yet unidentifiable) for £82 – considering we paid £100 in Dobbies the previous weekend for just 3 big planters (and they were all on sale) that’s an absolute steal! I was loving it when two folk were jealously watching us load the car – turns out they’d popped out for a coffee and missed the lots so apart from some online bids, we had no competition.
We also managed to snaffle a Victorian foot bath and a vintage watering can – both of these are also destined to become planters!
 I finally found a really unusual plant worthy of putting in the lovely Kew Gardens pot that The Orchard sent me, a succulent called Sedum Cristatum, I think it looks like a brain and it’s hard not to touch it.
Next week I’m heading off to the Penicuik Bonsai Society’s monthly meet to see if they can help me re-pot the Bonsai we bought at Gardening Scotland last year – it was supposed to be done in March but hopefully it won’t be too late.

Gardening Scotland – my new favourite show!

Last weekend was Gardening Scotland – we’d never been before and it was BRILLIANT.

The Secret Herb Garden’s ‘Herbie’

From the show gardens to the school’s entries, the craft hall and especially the main hall, I was in paradise! So many beautiful shapes, colours and inspiration all around – it was quite heady!

Continue reading Gardening Scotland – my new favourite show!