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Sunday, 22 May 2011

Garden centre

There is so much to catch up on!  I was almost caught up when I posted my last entry and started this one, but time has whizzed by again – I just seem to have been so busy with one thing or another!  No time to blog!  Well, now I’ll get back to the entry I began ages ago! 

I just love Garden Centres – especially if they have a cafe with good food!   I have to say that Paddock Farm, where Colin hangs out, was up there in the top ratings for food,  but locally, well fairly locally, there’s Dobbie’s!  Met Linda there the other day and after a nice salad lunch we went wandering!  She needed plant supports and I wanted wild bird food.  Her plant supports weren’t hard to find but in the meantime I made for the bird feeding section.  Loads of choice of this-mix-of-seeds and that-mix-of-seeds-with-suet, etc, and then I saw the bird tables!  My downstairs neighbour has asked me to move the feeding trays on the balcony that the birds have been using all winter, as she says she is having to wash her windows every day, so I thought I would put a bird table further inside the balcony, and to discourage the pigeons, and crows, put a netting round it so only the small birds could use it!  Well, there was one rather nice bird table on display – probably expensive, I thought – and so it was.  However it was slightly damaged – only in that the roof was missing a length of wood on a corner to cover the edges of adjoining slate tiles.  Well, the assistant offered it to me for below half price!  I couldn’t believe it!  balcony bird table So now it stands on my balcony, well back from the edge, and so far the blackbirds have discovered it!  The pigeons are frustrated at not being able to use it  and the crows are considering what to do next! ---- but back to Dobbie’s. 

I knew I had to restrain myself when it came to buying plants – I have to get my garden in order first!  Changes to be made, then plants to be bought – so I contented myself with taking photos.   The rhododendrons in pots were beautiful – rhoddy I was so sure I would remember the name of this variety, but I haven’t, percy wiseman en masse




but the next two are Percy Wiseman and Albert Schweitzer.albert schweitzer

Then there were the hibiscus plants – in varying shades too - red hibiscus red,  pink,  yellow, ………..




pink hibiscus

yellow hibiscus

bottle brushes

These bottle-brush flowers reminded me of my trips to Australia.  I’d be surprised if they’d survive here in Scotland!  fountain

There is so much to look at at Dobbie’s, not just pots and pots of plants but garden layouts and paths with wisteria dripping pergolas over them.wisteria   Isn’t this just glorious? 

potentilla red robin



Among my favourite shrubs is the potentilla which also comes in so many different varieties and colours,  pink, yellow, tangerine, lemon, white, and my favourite here – Red Robin!yellow shrub   Here’s another couple of  plants I liked.   I’ve forgotten the name of the yellow onemandeville


but the pink one is a Mandeville!  Sounds like it’s going to eat you if you get too close!

I always seem to get garden ideas here.  pot fruits I like the idea of growing my rhubarb in a wooden box cum basket ,with strawberries in a pot, and some herbs in wee pots, all grouped together.  Maybe I could group them on the steps up to my front door.patio planter



Petunias and dianthus look good in this old metal watering can too.  I bet they cost the earth these days, as everyone seems only to use plastic watering cans !

The kids loved the duck pond – and so did some of the adults, who chased around trying to get pictures of the ducklings.  Mother mallard had five youngsters but being in a safe environment she didn’t need to keep them close by her all the time … and they were all over the pond!  And can they move!!!  Some were almost out of shot by the time the shutter clicked!ma and baby duck










From outside we wandered back into the main building for a quick look at the pets, Linda to look at the birds and me to find the wee critturs.  loppylugsNo moosies or hamsters to be seen, only a lovely loppy lugged bunny,  so I moved on, to find the bearded dragon lizards in glass fronted cages.  I think they are absolutely gorgeous.  These were probably youngsters, about 4 or 5 inches long, and they were very curious, coming up to the glass and pawing at it, as if it would let them through it!  bearded dragon Unfortunately none of the  close-up pics were very clear when I saw them on the computer screen, but this cute little guy stood and posed  He’s much the same colour as the sand, but the markings on his back are  so pretty.

Now believe it or not I left Dobbies with only my bargain bird table and some bird food.  Since it has been on the balcony for a while now, the house sparrows have found the hanging things and are as agile as any of their bluetit and great tit companions.  The crows, the pigeons and the rooks are still visitors to the balcony – but I rather think my neighbour won’t have to complain about messy windows as it’s the balcony rail they perch on, and the edge of the balcony that I will have to go and clean up later!

Talk again soon.

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