Well Hello! Thanks for popping over to read my first blog post! Its the middle of March and we are still in the clutches of winter up here in Scotland, with the last month seeing temperatures of down to -12 across the country. Our first Scottish winter in over 13 years has been a baptism of fire to say the least, with the largest snow fall I’ve seen since I was a child, we’re talking 15 inches chaps! One things for sure it was pretty magical in December, and a white Christmas in our new home was literally the icing on the cake of a pretty momentous year. You can read more about our move here.
But as I was saying March is here, spring fever has well and truly set in and I am desperate to get past the garden clean up stage and move on to planting! I seem to follow a vast number of gardeners over on Instagram that live in the balmy south. Needless to say, I’m envious of the masses of seed sowing activity going on down there. I’m ready to join the party!
The one thing that’s kept me sane throughout the longest winter ever (apart from a sneaky week in Dubai) is the process of planning out the garden. I’m a huge fan of researching, making plans along with endless lists, so the past 6 weeks has been quite a lot of fun in that respect and also a steep learning curve. Did I mention I’ve never grown anything from seed before?!
Anyway, I started off by drawing out an overall site plan, please excuse its rudimentary form. Andrew (husband / gardening partner in crime / the one with horticulture qualification, he’ll have you know) and I then walked around A LOT and debated the different spaces and what to do with them.
We pretty much knew we wanted to create individual garden rooms within the generous 2 acre plot. Different spaces for relaxing, eating and of course spaces to be productive in, where we could grow our own produce and become somewhat self sustaining on the veggie front.
The landscape really decided for us where the natural rooms would be best developed, so we’ve gone with the flow for the first phase and came up with the below “room” plan;
- The Woodland Walkway – the established limes, beech and other yet to be identified trees that take you from the front drive around to the back garden. The trees need some major love and unfortunately a couple are past their best, but we have some fun projects planned to give the area a new lease of life.
- A Rose Garden – currently home to only two rose bushes, variety unknown. It’s the only place they’ll grow according to the previous owners. The hefty South westerly has a lot to do with that I suppose.
- The Kitchen Garden – already in situ and protected from the worst of the weather by a well established beech hedge; and with 81 sq metres to play with, its likely I’ll spend most of my time here.
- Rocky Road – the area along the back of the house along the gravel path with established rockeries. I can’t wait to add some vibrant annuals to this space!
- A Formal Front – this is where we created a new planting area in the past few weeks. Here we want to add structure and a burst of colour to welcome visitors as they round the corner of the driveway.
- Compost Corner – the spot that needs the most work and where we hope to produce enough compost, leaf mould and organic fertilisers, so we never need buy them again.
- The Fruit Orchard – Currently only home to a wildly overgrown raspberry bush, which we have guessed is an autumn fruiting variety and shall be romping back shortly. It’s only one year without fruit I suppose if we’re wrong! Fingers crossed!
- Cutting Flowers Courtyard – The spot by the existing greenhouse and patio where I dream of overflowing rustic pots and beds full of Dahlias, Scabious, Zinnias, Alliums, and Peonies to name a few. Here’s hoping the Scottish weather is generous enough to grow them outdoors. Otherwise, the greenhouse will be stuffed to the brim!
Apart from one bed we’ve clawed back from the evil Snowberries in the front garden, and some much needed tree surgery this past week, we will be leaving the front mostly untouched for the next year. As much as we want to dive in and tackle it all, we also want to do the garden justice and that takes time, patience and invariably money.
As I said, we (mostly me) are fairly new to the art of gardening, so with that in mind (and putting my perfectionist tendencies aside) the main objective for 2018 is to have fun experimenting. We will be learning what grows in our zone 4 / H5 climate, starting seeds off in the greenhouse and outdoors and recording the progress throughout our first growing year. To focus our efforts, we’ve also made a more specific set of goals we would like to accomplish.
- Overhaul the kitchen garden and grow a season (or 2) of crops
- Create a cutting garden that replaces the weekly supermarket flower shop for the summer
- Produce the first batches of leaf mould
- Plant a formal bed of structure and colour
- Create a wildflower meadow
- Give the trees some TLC
- Complete the yew hedge
- Add colour to the rockeries
- Grow Pumpkins!
Well that’s our overall plans for the year! Although, we do have a ton of smaller projects we are looking forward to tackling and sharing as we go! I’d love to hear what you’re planning for the coming year, so if you like leave a comment below and we can chat.
In the next post we will be in the kitchen garden. I’ll be sharing our design for the space, what we’re planting and what we’ve been up to so far. If you want to see some of that now, head over to my Instagram where you’ll find a highlights reel of some of the jobs we’ve completed so far this year.
Thanks for stopping by!