The new pond at Whitmuir The Organic Place is beginning to look less like a reservoir on a construction site and more like a place to find wildlife. Today, in rare gaps between cloudbursts, we transplanted around seventy clumps of native Scottish wildflowers (Scotia Seeds Pond Edge Mixture, raised from seed). If the young plants manage to survive being planted into what looked to me rather like potters’ clay, they will eventually flower, self-seed and spread. Watch this space. Even better, if you are lucky enough to be anywhere near Edinburgh, Peebles, West Linton or Lamancha, go and see the new pond.
As you can see, our work was closely supervised by The Management: ‘Just what, exactly, are you doing at my pond, young lady? And what have you done with my ducks?‘
More about Whitmuir Wildlife here
The garden at Dawyck, between Peebles and Biggar, is looking wonderful. The early rhododendrons have faded, but azaleas and later rhododenrons have taken over and provide plenty of colour. Swathes of bluebells replace daffodils, and in the meadow near the old chapel, where the last of the cowslips hang on to their blooms, wild orchids can be found in the grass – for now, only the new shoots and leaves, but there is plenty of colour up there in the form of male pheasants, strutting their stuff.
More Dawyck here
Ah… I almost forgot the beds of meconopsis – Himalayan blue poppies – that make gardeners in the south green with envy (and there isn’t much that grows well up here that won’t grow well down there).
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No, I am not referring to Professor Roy Watling who led the fungus trip around Dawyck (pronounced Doyk), the Royal Botanic Gardens of Edinburgh’s Estate near Peebles the other day. He is certainly no bogeyman, though he is a superb teacher. Anyone who can get me interested in fungi other than edible mushrooms (strictly the kind you buy in the shops to cook at home) must be good.
I didn’t go on the trip because of any particular interest in toadstools, I simply wished to support local events and now I am hooked on them – that’s the local events, not the toadstools – I had no idea I could learn so much in such a short time with absolutely no effort. I don’t pretend to know the Latin names for any of these fungi any more than I managed to remember the names of fossils when I studied geology.
Since I went on the trip I am seeing toadstoods everywhere, though the likely reason for this is that Autumn is the time most of them appear (not a lot of people know that). Oh… for my readers in the USA (I have a few) I shall repeat that bit: “the reason for this is that Fall is the time most of them appear”. ‘Fall’ is a particularly descriptive name for this time of year.
The photos were taken at: Top – Whitmuir Organics; Left – Dawyck; Bottom – my garden (growing in woodchip and looking suspiciously like an alien invasion).
Don’t ask me the names of any of these things. There are plenty of good books that will tell you. Here’s a beauty.