Fife · Garden · Gardening · Nature · Photography · Scotland

Friday photo: small gardens

This is Routine Row, a narrow lane of red-roofed houses, with colourfully painted window surrounds, in the village of Kilrenny in Fife. Its whitewashed cottages are all attached to each other, with very small front gardens. Despite the lack of space a few planted pots, hanging baskets and window boxes, added to some ground-level foliage, produces a cheering and welcoming effect.

DSC06568 (2)
Small gardens on Routine Row in the village of Kilrenny, Fife.
Advertisements
Flower · Garden · Gardening · Nature · Photography · Scotland

Friday trio: welcome home

I’ve been away on holiday, so I’m catching up on missed Friday photos by posting three today. Thanks to a long, warm summer and a remarkably mild autumn in Scotland so far, gardens continue to bloom beyond the usual time. When I came back from holiday I wondered if there would be any flowers left since it was halfway through October. I was delighted to find there was plenty still blooming, including the plants shown below. It’s turned significantly colder today and there might even be a touch of snow over the weekend, so I suspect this is the last hurrah.

cosmos
Cosmos ‘sweet sixteen’, a lovely mixture of pale pink and white flowers with soft yellow centres and delicate feathery leaves.
alyssum
White alyssum: there are large clusters of this around the garden and although it died down late in the summer, it surprisingly burst into bloom again just as I was thinking of pulling it all up.
passion flower
This passionflower has done remarkably well and seems to like its home, creeping up a sunny south-east facing fence. It’s the second passionflower I’ve tried to grow; the first one produced no flowers at all before it eventually died, so I’m especially pleased with this one.
Book review · Gardening · Non-fiction

Book review: ‘How to be a gardener’ by Alan Titchmarsh

I found this book for 99p in a second-hand shop and thought it might make a useful reference volume. When I got it home and looked at it more closely I decided I should read it right through from cover to cover.

How to be a gardener
‘How to be a gardener (book one)’ by Alan Titchmarsh (2002)

The book was brought out to accompany a television series of the same name sixteen years ago. I don’t remember seeing any of the programme, but in those days I wasn’t particularly interested in gardening.

This is the first in what I think is a two volume set, and it deals with the basics of gardening. In the first couple of chapters Alan explains what plants are and how they grow. This bit of the book took me back to school biology lessons and I was pleasantly surprised when things I’d forgotten I knew began coming back to me.

In the following chapters the book describes how to plan borders, design flower beds and deal with weeds. Going through each of the four seasons, it explains what needs to be done in a garden at certain times of year, and suggests ways to keep the garden interesting all year round.

Routine, and more specific, garden maintenance is gone into in some detail, including a whole chapter on how to look after lawns, and there’s quite a bit of information about how to garden organically.

I read this book over a number of days during my breakfast and each morning I learned something new and helpful. I hadn’t expected it to be such an easy and enjoyable read, and I’ll be keeping my eye out for the second book in the series when rummaging through second-hand bookshops.

Flower · Garden · Gardening · Nature · Perthshire · Photography · Scotland

Friday photo: sunflower

This lone sunflower fortuitously sprang up unexpectedly in the garden. For several weeks I’ve been watching with interest, waiting to see what it would look like when it flowered. A couple of days ago its petals unfurled and it’s been attracting bees ever since. I’m looking forward to collecting the seeds and planting more next year.

sunflower
An unexpected, and most welcome, sunflower in the garden.