Tag Archives: garden visit

Drumelzier Old Manse – Open Day

On Sunday afternoon I was helping out at the Scotland’s Garden Scheme open day at Drumelzier Old Manse – I’d been excited about this one for quite a while as I’d seen photographs and knew it promised to be quite special.

Drumelzier Old Manse

It’s a traditional Manse garden in the Upper Tweed Valley (just along the road from the Botanical Gardens at Dawyk). They have the most gorgeous herbaceous border I think I’ve ever seen, bursting with colour. they even have their own Meconopsis ‘Hensol Violet’.

Drumelzier Old Manse

There’s a fantastic kitchen garden and in the lower garden they have a wonderful shade garden with a path along the burn. All of this within the most beautiful countryside, it really was quite idyllic.

Drumelzier Old Manse

I was on gate duty and we had over 200 people through within the first hour or so – clearly the sunshine, not to mention a couple of nice pieces of PR, had drawn people in from all over.

Drumelzier Old Manse

It was an absolutely super day, there was an organist playing and singing in the church next door, an excellent plant sale organised by Jane and Graham from The Potting Shed (another fantastic garden in the area that’s well worth a visit) and teas and cakes aplenty were served by an army of volunteers in the village hall.

Drumelzier Old Manse

Yes, I did buy more plants, although there wasn’t very much left at all by the time I got there. A couple of hostas, an ophiopogon (Black Mondo) for the rockery and a Lysimachia Firecracker. I already had an apple tree that I’d picked up from Quercus Plants en route filling my wee mini – it was like a jungle driving home.

Drumelzier Old Manse

Did I mention that I LOVE my job…

Drumelzier Old Manse

8 Halmyre Mains – Charity Open Day

A couple of weeks ago I helped out at the Scotland’s Gardens Scheme charity open day at Halmyre Mains. The garden is situated between Romano bridge, West Linton and La Mancha just on the edge of the Scottish Borders and they have been opening for SGS for a number of years.

8 Halmyre Mains

It’s a half- acre organic garden with deep herbaceous borders, raised plots, a keder house and polytunnel, greenhouse (I’m so envious of all this greenhousing space), not to mention a large pond all with lovely views straight on to the hills.

8 Halmyre Mains

It was my first time visiting and the sun was out. Before the visitors started arriving, owner Mike took me on a tour, what a gorgeous spot and there were so many interesting plants, many of which, I’d never seen before.

8 Halmyre Mains

As it turned out, they had a very efficient group of volunteers so I spent a very pleasurable afternoon, in the sunshine, chatting with the visitors. Of course, I couldn’t leave without buying some plants or cakes and went home with plenty of both.

8 Halmyre Mains

8 Halmyre Mains

The Explorer’s Garden in Pitlochry

Ever since I read Seeds of Blood and Beauty, a fascinating book about the preeminence of the early Scottish plant hunters, not to mention an abundance of untimely and sometimes intriguing deaths, I’ve been fascinated by these early pioneers of horticulture.

The Explorer's Garden in Pitlochry

Many of the plants we take for granted in our gardens are not native species and the Explorer’s Garden tells the stories of these astonishing men who travelled the world and endured extreme hardships to bring us plants and trees for cultivation, commerce and conservation.

The Explorer's Garden in Pitlochry

The garden is laid out representing areas of the world from where the species originated, along with storyboards shedding light on individual stories, travels and achievements.

The Explorer's Garden in Pitlochry

It’s still pretty early in the season, and having just bagged two snow clad munroes (Ben Macdui and Cairngorm) the day before, I knew it wasn’t going to be at its best but it had been on my ‘to do’ list for so long I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to visit that our Easter weekend away presented.

The Explorer's Garden in Pitlochry

The garden has a lovely feel to it and it’s quite a bit bigger than I’d been expecting. The volunteer on the gate was super-friendly, telling me where she’d seen red squirrels that morning and showing me where the first yellow meconopsis had just bloomed the day before (they host the National Meconopsis Plant Collection). There was also a lovely exhibition of photographs celebrating modern Scottish plant hunters in the pavilion.

The Explorer's Garden in Pitlochry

Whilst it was still beautiful with plenty of points of interest, architecture and spots of colour I think that in a few weeks time this garden will be absolutely stunning – I really hope to be able to return again and see it then, although I suspect I would have to trade the pleasure and solitude of an out of season visit to be able to see it at its best. The red squirrels were a charming bonus.

The Explorer's Garden in Pitlochry

A wee plug while I can – whilst you can visit any day (in season), the Explorer’s Garden are opening in aid of Scotland’s Garden Scheme on Sunday 2nd June, when it should be looking absolutely fabulous, so, if you fancy visiting it, please consider doing so on this day as the money raised does so much good for the charities being supported.