Friday, 5 August 2016

Summer flowers, Romans and Abandoned Railways

We're entering one of my favourite times of year in the garden, where the plants have filled the borders and the late summer flowers of Persicarias, Astilbes, Sanguisorbas, Phlox and Thalictrums are in full flower. Then there's the foliage of Rodgersias, Hostas, grasses and ferns and annual fillers Cosmos, Nigella, Calnedulas, Nasturtiums and Ammi majus. The borders on either side of the path up to the nursery are full of such plants and it's lovely to see, enticing customers up with colour and scent. Pots and containers are overflowing with Nasturtiums and marigolds, Pelargoniums and Nicotiana.

Sanguisorba 'Tanna' and Stipa tennuissima

The wild flowers bankings are full of grasses, Ox Eye daisies, Clover, knapweed, bistort, field scabious and wild carrot, they make a great combination in the cafe vases. I have been doing some selective weeding, pulling out creeping thistles and annual epilobum. This won't eradicate them but will weaken them over time, it also opens up the bankings to let the smaller wild flowers thrive and open up the views to the new borders I've been making on the top terrace.

Pretty colours from the terraces for
the cafe flowers

The down side to this time of year are wasps. I knew there was one in my shed, wrapped around my string line, I think I shared a photo of it here a couple of blog ago. But there is nothing worse than discovering a wasps nest, unwittingly, by shaking the plants stakes it's attached to rapidly in a bid to free some to use in the garden! I got some unplanned excersise running around the garden trying to get away from them! Think one got me a glancing blow on the back though.

The wasp nest in amongst the plant stakes

The roses have been lovely this year, the scent has been fabulous, there are still a few left, if you have a space
needing filled in your garden

We've been recycling again, using an old wheelbarrow to make a planter. I've placed it under the willows and planted it up with small shade plants. A mix of Epimedium grandiflorum 'Lilafee', Hosta 'Blue Mouse Ears', Hosta 'Red October', Bergenia 'Bressingha White' and Omphaloides 'Cherry Ingram'will give interest all year.

Anything can be a planter at Quercus

Fruit trees are now available, time to create your orchard and fruit garden. We have a good range of dessert and cooking apples, greengages, crab apples ('Evereste', 'Golden Gem' and 'Red Sentinel') and Victoria plums. Apple varieties include 'Christas Pippin', 'Court Pendu Plat', D'Arcy Spice', 'Egremont Russet', 'Katy', 'Keswick Codlin', 'Rajka', 'Red Pixie', 'Scotch Bridget', 'Scotch Dumpling', 'Tower of Glamis' and 'Winter Banana'. White, Black and Red currents, blueberries, Tayberries, autumn Raspberries ans Strawberries are also available.


Gillenia trifoliata and Persicaria 'Firetail 'look good together in the office border

One of my favourite jobs is crating new borders, from the planning, to the digging over and removing of weeds to the placing and planting of chosen plants. Then watching it all grow together over time. I've been working on another border along the edge of the stock beds last weekend, taking it from 3 foot high weeds to bare dug over soil then planted. This one will be late summer flowers and grasses. Watch this space as they say.

Hard work and good excersise

Placing plants to get the mix and spacing right

Looking forward to seeing this bed come together over the next year or so

Nasturtiums and herbs 

Monday was a kind of half day off with an hour or so at the nursery at either end of the day. I went off to visit old friends, return crates and catch up on all the news. The weather was sunny, lunch was lovely, loud music in the car, a good day.

Sanguisorbas and Veronicastrums make a great combination at
this time of year

On Tuesday David and I took ourselves of on a wee road trip into Perthshire. We went to the Roman fort at Braco first, one of the best preserved of it's type in the country. As with all these things, they are always easier to see in an ariel photo! But the defences and ditches of this one are still very pronounced and they were also covered in wild flowers.

Defences at the Roman Fort, Braco

It's amazing these ditches are still as pronounced after so long

Harebells on the Roman Fort

From the roman fort we headed north west towards Comrie, taking a wee detour into Glen Artney. I've done a few hill walks from this Glen in the past and have always liked the drive into it. We took the Comrie road back out past the old World War Two camp. After a coffee with scones and jam in Comrie, we headed west and parked a couple of miles outside the town, at the side of the abandoned railway. This line once ran from Crieff to Lochearnhead as a tourist line. It is now a pathway and cycle way all the way to St Fillans at the east end of Loch Earn. We were in search of something in particular, an old bridge I'd seen in a photo online that I thought would be good to photograph. It was lovely weather for a walk and Bracken is always up for some walking. We walked for about two miles and then found the bridge. 

Walking through one of the old railway cuttings

There were plenty wild flowers along the way

There was also lots of old interesting farm implements  

Greater Burdock

The bridge I was keen to find and photograph

It lends itself to black and white

and in normal colours!

Once back a the car we drove to St Fillans at the east end of Loch Earn whre we stopped for some photos of the slightly eerie sculpture standing in the water on the shores of the loch. From here we drove back along the shores of Loch Earn, Loch Lubnaig and then into Callender where we stopped for fish and chips. A great wee day out in a beautiful corner of this lovely country.

Loch Earn from St Fillans

Looking down the loch

"Still" by rob Mullholland

Very atmospheric





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