Welcome to my blog. Thanks for dropping by. Hope you'll stay and enjoy reading about where I've been and what I've been doing!

I don't mean this to be a replacement for personal emails, but it gives me the chance to put up photos and my scrapbook layouts, so I don't block up your in-boxes, or have to send the same photos and stories to everyone separately!
Thanks, and welcome, to the followers of my blog. I'm very honoured that you enjoy it. Drop me some comments from time to time! It's good to hear what you think about the posts. Come back again soon.

Thanks also to Mary of Mary's Mixes for doing all the work on the blog's heading. You are great, Mary!

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Merryhatton and Broughton.

Smeaton merryhatton 051Merryhatton is another of the East Lothian garden centres, which was where Linda and I stopped for a cup of tea on the way home from Smeaton.It was still raining, but maybe not quite so heavily as we drank our cuppie, looking out onto the barley field next door.   I love the fuzzy effect of the barley heads!

Smeaton merryhatton 052

Doesn’t this wisteria look good!  It’s artificial!  Very pretty though!

Smeaton merryhatton 056





So is this crocosmia!  Pretty, I mean, and it’s real! Possibly “Lucifer” by name?  It’s certainly redder than others I’ve seen.Smeaton merryhatton 058       

Smeaton merryhatton 059

Lavatera , right, is one of my favourite garden shrubs. I have one of these  just about blooming in my garden.  It goes on flowering for ages.  Smeaton merryhatton 066 Weigela is another I love, though mine didn’t flower much this year.  I think I cut it back too far last year, and now I know it flowers on last year’s growth.  In that case it ought to look bloomin’ marvellous next year!!!Smeaton merryhatton 070

Not sure what this is (right).  No, it’s not for me!   Smeaton merryhatton 071 I like the little erodium though . Nice for the edge of a border.  Mmm, I might get some of those!

So it was farewell to Merryhatton for the time being, with lots of “food for thought”.  I returned home with my hydrangea which Sam enthused about – thank goodness!  (Sam and her husband Paddy, with their assistant, Simon, are doing my garden, more of which soon!)

Now for the Broughton part!  Yesterday morning Jenny phoned to ask if I was interested in going in the afternoon to see a couple of gardens in the village of Broughton, not terribly far from Peebles, so, it being a nice day I thought it was a good idea. Broughton Place, Jenny drove us over there in the early afternoon, and at first I thought we might be heading for what used to be Broughton Place Gallery, now a private house, that was designed in 1936 by Basil Spence in 17th century baronial style, with reliefs by Hew Lorimer (of Kellie Castle). However I was wrong.  broughton SGS We drove up the drive towards the big house but found a sign for the first open garden, a bit before it. broughton house



A very solid traditional  18th century Scottish house, it had a large garden in front and walled garden at the back, so must have been a well-to-do house in its day.  Sadly the owner of the house and creator of this beautiful garden died earlier this year, but his family opened the garden as he had wished.bpfarm garden

The house is even more interesting from the back, and the colours in the walled garden are gorgeous – reds, greens, yellows, oranges, blues, pinks, purples, the whole spectrum is there!  bp wall garden

bpfarm yellow bluebpfarm garden viewbp farm viewbp farm view across garden





 Broughton is set in some beautiful scenery. 

Let me just show you a couple of my favourite individual flowers before I take you to Liz Hansen’s garden. bpfh lilies

First there’s this lily,

and then a pretty peachy pink rose.rose 



 Oh, just another two… geum

I lovegeranium this red geum and the delicate blue and white geranium

…… oh and what about these teasels!



 OK, up the hill and down the lane and we get to Liz’s house.  Liz is a photographer who produces cards from her beautiful pictures taken in and around our area.   She’s also brought out a couple of books of photos and her latest one is still warm from the press.  broughton cottages From a distance the house and its adjoining neighbours look quite plain, but once up close it’s really pretty.liz hansen's 



 Their garden is very wanderable,with little paths leading around and about, past driftwood and tree root “sculptures”,  a rock garden, pond,  flowerbeds…..liz garden

… and there are loads of birds in the plants growing near to the house. chickadee


They were all too quick to photograph, but I just managed to catch a little coaltit on one of the bird feeders.  It’s about the size of an American chickadee and looks remarkably like one too!  Pity that twig got in the way!liz garden3







liz root knotgarden2

The big tree root,  bleached by many a year of sun, I’d say, was cleverly used as a kind of knot garden, and here’s the pond.

liz pond


liz pond2

Another view of the pond, and interesting pieces of wood, below.

liz garden sculpture

The one on the left is a tree stump wrapped round with a piece of old rope and left to weather!liz wooden sculpture

And to finish off with, a couple of pliz garden2hotos of flowers.  The one below is St John’s wort but I don’t know about the one on the left.liz st johnswort

So there we are.  It was a lovely afternoon- and the rain stayed away!  Wonders will never cease!

Talk again soon.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

A day out in the rain

Smeaton merryhatton 008

Well,you can see that it wasn’t the best of days when Linda and I took a drive out to Smeaton Garden Centre near East Linton.  The rain was just chucking it down, and the poor flowers weren’t half taking a battering.Smeaton merryhatton 012 

Last time we were here we sat outside under one of these umbrellas, on one of the hottest afternoons.  No-one was venturing outside to eat this time.   Instead we had lunch in the old glass house cafe, and listened to the rain hitting the glass roof.Smeaton merryhatton 003 When we eventually came outside to have a look around, the rain was still pouring down, but we just had to put up with it and get wet! 

The beautifully trained apple tree growing flat against the wall made me think of what my own apple tree at home should look like!  It will – next year!  As you will soon see, my garden is getting a make-over, so I was on the lookout for some new plants.  Smeaton merryhatton 026 Instead of taking notes of names, the camera was put to good use taking photos of labels, so that I can look at them now and remember what they are and what they look like.

This little pink climbing rose would look good along the trellis at the back of the garden, or perhaps this one…Smeaton merryhatton 027

I also want a more unusual clematis, and think this might be the one  Not usually a fan of double flowers, I wouldn’t say no to this one. Smeaton merryhatton 038It’s very pretty!

So, what else do I want in my new look garden?  I couldn’t resist the lovely hydrangea paniculata,Smeaton merryhatton 029 and bought one to bring home.

It’s so delicate and lacy!

Maybe one of these spirea shrubs would be niceSmeaton merryhatton 067.

I’m not much into yellow and orange flowers but rather liked the vivid colours of the marigolds and… oh dear, what are they called again?Smeaton merryhatton 042



My brain cells are shrinking by the minute!!!  Now I really don’t know the name of this one!  It’s quite startling!Smeaton merryhatton 034 

I don’t know that I would want it in my garden though.  I do prefer brighter coloured flowers.  Smeaton merryhatton 024A rowan is a must for a Scottish garden.  Tradition is that it keeps witches away.  It works!  I have a rowan at the entrance to my garden and not a single witch have I ever seen in my garden!!!  This was an attractive one.  I thought I would remember its name – but I haven’t! 

Smeaton merryhatton 045I like coloured foliage too.  The rowan has a premature autumn tinge, but this is a beautiful coppery red all year round. Smeaton merryhatton 010 




Smeaton merryhatton 033

Back to the flowers.  I’m just going to add a few more photos before we leave Smeaton and head to Merryhatton.  Isn’t that a fabulous name!Smeaton merryhatton 035




Smeaton merryhatton 036






Smeaton merryhatton 048

 Smeaton Garden Centre is situated in the walled garden of the old house that was demolished some decades ago.  This is what it looked like, quite an impressive building.  Shame so many of these beautiful big houses have disappeared.

Well, I think I’ll save Merryhatton till next time, along with my photos from today’s Open Gardens Scheme.  Hey, I’m about caught up! 

Talk again soon.