Tuesday, May 29, 2012
The National Trust for Scotland's Geilston Gardens is about 8 miles away from us and there are many things I really like about this place. Essentially its a very small NTS property compared to many but there is such a wonderful variety of garden landscapes in a relatively small space that there is always a delight around the next corner.
We last visited a few weeks ago as the apple blossom was starting to show its beauty, I love the orchard and am always inspired to come home and when we planted our own (does 13 apple trees equal an orchard? - I'm hoping so) I came to Geilston for inspiration. Actually whenever I visit a National Trust or similar type property the kitchen garden and orchard are my favourite places. Aside from inspiration you can often buy great quality and good value plants; in summer months you can also buy surplus veg from Geilston, all the better for knowing the proceeds go to the charity.
Time flies by with all that sunshine keeping me outside rather than here by the laptop. Lots and lots of sunny days and the garden seems to be growing well after a slow start. Aside from the garden the sunshine has huge benefits; we've generated heaps of electricity via the solar panels and the hot water is abundant too and, to be honest, I've only just turned my mind to the veggie garden so a slow start to the season has been an inevitable consequence. One of the great things about living in Scotland is that while Spring comes more slowly than further south we do have fantastically long days through the Summer and there's plenty of time to catch up. We've planted out the rest of our potatoes (we're cultivating 3 varieties this year) as well as cauliflowers. We'll also sew some more salad leaves and quick crops, these will take a short while to come through but we've got pots of rocket and lambs lettuce to pick at which we established indoors. Away from our own patch we've been putting pots of herbs on the patios of the holiday cottages so guests can help themselves. Whilst we've popped a selection of dried herbs and spices in the kitchen of each of the cottages we know keen cooks will enjoy being able to pick their own. Plum trees have been planted at the edge of the patios so in time to come guests will be able to pick their own fruit, maybe for making a nice plum crumble for tea.