Tag Archives: kitchen garden

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. Continue reading Drumelzier Old Manse – Open Day

Garden Bagging – Threave

Threave has been on my ‘to visit’ list for a few years, ever since one of my gardening club friends told me about it – it’s the National Trust’s Training Centre for future Professional Gardeners and is home to the School of Heritage Gardening. Continue reading Garden Bagging – Threave

The Potting Shed at Broughton – Garden Visit

Yesterday I visited The Potting Shed in Broughton in the Scottish Borders with a couple of local gardening ladies. And, what a lovely visit we had…

It’s a beautiful one acre garden, begun from scratch in 2008, on an exposed and steep hillside at 900 feet and it’s open in June and July on Wednesdays as part of the Scotland’s Gardens scheme.

It’s in a beautiful location and the views are stunning.

Sometimes you find yourself somewhere that you just don’t want to leave, this was one of those places. I was immediately struck by the striking red Scottish Flame Flower (Tropaeolum speciosum) climbing all along the evergreen hedge at the entrance. One of the ladies had bought one on a previous visit and said it’s done really well in her garden running through a conifer hedge. I ended up bringing one home with me as they had them on sale along with a number of other plants (a bargain at £4.00).

I was very envious of the kitchen garden area, lemons, currants, potatoes, beans, raspberries, rhubarb etc all looking like the quintessential cottage garden. The smell of the sweet peas was simply divine, I had to have a ‘drink’ or two of them as I went by.

There’s a courtyard with a pond and all sorts of wonderful climbing roses and shrubs around the outside of the house. There’s a fascinating photograph album there showing the work from ground zero to it’s current state, it’s an impressive achievement.

We headed up into the hill garden – everywhere you look there’s something to delight and admire, and against the backdrop of the lush hills, I dare anyone not to be enchanted. We had a very pleasant rest up in the ‘Sitooterie’ before continuing around the rest of the gardens.

I’m so glad to have found this little slice of heaven. I’ve added a few new plants to my ‘list’ and am hoping that the flame flower works it’s magic in Nine Mile Burn. I’ll be going back for another couple if it does.

The view from the Sitooterie

It’s only open one more day this season so you’ll have to be quick, or, add it to your gardens to visit in 2018. I know I’ll be going back.

14 June – 19 July 11:00am – 5:00pm (Wednesdays only)

There’s a £4.00 entrance fee  (Macmillan Centre at Borders General Hospital receives 40%, the net remaining to Scottish Gardens Beneficiaries)

Power of Food Festival – Events Programme – 17th-18th June

The full programme of events has now been launched, click on the image below to see what’s in store for this year’s festival…

The Power of Food Festival, a great celebration of community food growing, will be held in 29 gardens across Edinburgh on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 June.

2017 marks the third edition of the Festival and showcases community food growing as a way to promote greater societal well-being and environmental sustainability. The Power of Food Festival provides a unique opportunity to (re)discover the city and take the pulse of its vibrant and varied neighbourhoods.

There is a wide range of free entertainment for children and adults, including: music and singing, edible plants walk, yoga, talks & stalls about the impact of our food choices, bioblitz, bug hunt, dance performance, food-inspired poetry-making workshop, a drystone dyking course, as well as sharing in the pleasure of eating together.

Entry to the gardens and all Festival activities are free (food may be offered on a ‘pay as you feel’ basis), and all are welcome to attend.

There is a short film about the Festival which offers an insight into what the Festival is all about. You can watch it here.

The detailed programme includes maps for different parts of the city to help visitors plan their weekend’s exploration, sustainable travel information, and a schedule of timed events. The full programme is available here.


The story of The Power of Food Festival itself is a simple one. With so many inspiring food gardens springing up around the city, transforming individual lives and communities, the Festival seeks to highlight community food growing as a powerful force for social change – connecting people, building trust, doing something together that’s greater than the sum of the parts. It aims to raise awareness of the environmental and social impact of our everyday food choices. It centres around a joyful garden gate open weekend and offer an exciting programme of free events and activities at local venues. Hosted by community food gardens, the Festival is the opportunity to be inspired by positive stories of collective action. Unlike traditional food festivals, this event gives the public the chance to go on location and experience how food is grown by local residents in their own neighbourhoods.

The Festival is entirely volunteer-run and operates without any grant funding. It seeks to harness the great human potential of our city and draws on people’s energy, enthusiasm and talents. The Power of Food Festival team would like to thank all those who are working hard to make the gardens and this Festival grow from strength to strength. It is a heart-warming sign of the community empowerment the Festival aims to celebrate.

Petal, Leaf & Seed – Book Review

Screen Shot 2016-05-12 at 14.05.55

“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!)