Tuesday, 29 April 2014


The weather is very confusing just now. I don't know what the rest of the UK is experiencing but here in Caithness we seem to be going from one extreme to the other - yesterday it was swimsuit weather and I found myself doing more sunbathing than gardening and then today it's thermal underwear weather - so cold!

Things are pottering along nicely at the moment both inside the PT and out in the garden, I do worry that the extremes in weather will do some severe damage though especially to the Dicentra which is flowering outside here - it usually flowers a bit later here.
The lawns have had their first and second cuts of the year (again usually much later here) and I've finally accepted that I need to begin tackling the second half of the garden before the summer gets here. The problem is that I cannot make up my mind as to whether my plan will work or not.
The finished half of the garden is quite formal in that it's all straight lines but I don't particularly like formality so wanted to make the second half of the garden all curvy lines with brick edges. But would it work? Is it possible to combine curves and straight lines in one garden in this way?
The formal part looks nice enough (except for that ruddy pond), everything straight and structured with sleeper edges but I love curvy gardens with blousy plants falling over the grass and jam packed with colour. Would such different concepts look OK in one garden? And if so how would I integrate the two where they meet?
Here's the part I need to get started on

It may not look it but it's a very large area. All the sleepers have to come out and all that stone has to come up as well as the plastic underneath it.
These are the bricks I spied on Mr TG's trailer and put to one side for myself :)  Make a fab edging.

Well if I haven't been wasting time sun bathing lately or taking too many pictures of Tulips I was wasting even more time (an hour to be precise) watching a mouse. A mouse! Though I enjoyed taking its picture as it kept sneaking out from its hidey hole to eat the seed dropped by birds, I think it was more a case of while I can see it I am not afraid of it - if I can't see it, it could be waiting to attack therefore I fear it. Yes, my mind works in very strange ways

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Tulips everywhere

My first year growing Tulips - what took me so long, they're gorgeous!

Monday, 7 April 2014

Dunrobin castle

There is quite alot going on outside at the moment, we made the mistake of borrowing a friends quad bike to hook a tiny trailer up to so that we could clear all the land of rocks and boulders before it's turned over and levelled. The mistake being that we all had so much fun on that quad bike that we're now desperate for one of our own - great fun!
Today however was full of blue skies and so I decided to take a drive to Dunrobin castle with both of my daughters - one had a day off work and the other has just moved back in with us.
Dunrobin castle has amazing gardens in the summer, the Gunnera there is absolutely mahoosive however this time of year the plants are more muted and less zingy.
The daffs looked amazing and there was some kind of shrub with lovely peachy coloured flowers, a few witch hazels in flower but the box hedging and Beech arches really stood out without the competition elsewhere.

Entrance Dunrobin Castle, Sutherland.

I know the name of this but I forget.

Loving these double flowered daffs.

Part of the gardens opening out to the beach/sea.
It's a shame I couldn't take photos inside the castle because it's amazing in there, a real step back in time of how the other half lived hundreds of years ago. It takes quite a while to go round all the available rooms and take everything in but we were aware that the last Bird of prey display was at 2pm so we made sure we were in the designated area well before that time.
The guy that does this display is a mine of information on Birds of prey and has the perfect sense of humour for getting people interested. He had the birds flying between the spectators and got the kids involved by allowing the birds to fly to them - kind of has more patience with boistrous unruly kids than I ever could.
Andy has an impressive array of birds of prey including an Eagle, 2 Steppe Eagles, various Falcons including a rare hybrid, Harris Hawks, Eagle Owls, Barn Owls and many many more - a brilliantly informative display.

Bengal Eagle Owl

Bengal Eagle Owl

Andy and his 30 year old Eagle

Saker Falcon

Steppe eagle

Dunrobin castle really is a fabulous day out for the whole family, I had a brilliant time with both my daughters and love the bracelet they bought me from the gift shop - hearts that have real Forget-me-nots inside. Leanne chose some drop earrings with real Heather inside and Stacey chose a necklace with a four leaf clover inside.

Real flower jewellery


Leanne & Stacey

Stacey & Leanne