I love gardening and find it very therapeutic, though I’m far from an expert.
Two weeks of glorious sunny weather have done wonders for my garden! It’s looking fabulous right now, even though I say so myself.
Over the years, my gardening style has become much more relaxed. My flower-beds are jam-packed with a riot of colour these days. It all looks amazing (in my opinion, at least!) but it’s certainly not formal or well-ordered.
These days, I try to choose plants that will attract wildlife. And also ones that are happy to grow in the east of Scotland! I’ve wasted too much time and money in the past buying plants that just aren’t suited to the soil and climate here.
That’s why I’ve started growing foxgloves this year. I’ve always loved them! And they grow in such profusion in the nearby countryside, they seemed like a good bet. They’ve proved a huge success, and the bees love them.
My lavender plants came from a local market years ago and are the focal point of the garden in summer. They are alive with bees right now.
I bought the white clematis growing up the fence from a tiny shop in Falkland. It reminds me of a much-missed late colleague who lived in that lovely little town.
Of course, when you try to attract wildlife into your garden, you have to be prepared to take a few hits.
The wood pigeons, for example, don’t know that my lettuces are not for them! If only I could tell them to stick to the bird seed . . .
And speaking of birds . . . A tragic drama played out in my garden this week.
Sparrows have been nesting in the eaves of the house. And a few days ago, I stepped out of the front door to find two feathered babies on the path.
Worried, I ushered them round to the garden, where they would be safer. And I was relieved to see the parent birds coming down to feed them at regular intervals.
But — after a day and a half of watching them anxiously — I heard an ominous scuffle out the back.
I got to the window just in time to see a tabby cat (not mine!) scarpering with a baby sparrow in its mouth. Nature can be cruel sometimes.
I do, though, console myself with the hope that the other baby found its wings in time to make it to safety.
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For gardening hints and tips from “The People’s Friend”, click here.