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

Thursday, 27 March 2014


You can imagine how my little heart did a tiny leap the other day when I read an email addressed directly to me that began like this

"My name is Janet and I work for an independent TV production company called Spun Gold TV. We are currently making a brand new ITV series with Alan Titchmarsh called “Britain’s Best Garden”. Our new series aims to find the best private / domestic gardens in Britain."

The 5 seconds of excitement I felt at the possibility of my garden having gained some attention was quickly followed by terror at the thought of how naff my garden actually is and then embarrassment as I realised that this was a generic email going out to many garden bloggers stating 

"We are seeking applications from the length and breadth of Britain with an array of horticultural wonders from the outrageous to the draw-droopingly beautiful, the grand and opulent to the small and perfectly formed, from the wildest to the most the meticulous - this is the series that opens the gates to gardens that are works of art, labours of love, flights of fantasy and feats of engineering.
All private, domestic gardens are eligible for entry and I am hoping that you will be able to help me find some really extraordinary spaces. Does any garden specifically come to mind? Can you think of someone who has created a truly staggering and original outdoor space? We are looking for a variety of different types, styles, sizes and themes and at this stage have no pre-conceived idea of what Britain’s best private gardens looks like.
If you were able to help our campaign and spread the word about our series that would be much appreciated. If you have a mailing list or twitter account please do spread the message and include the link below to the application form. If you have someone’s garden in mind who you think could be right for the series please do let them know and pass on my contact details. If you have any other suggestions of ways you think we could find some of Britain’s best gardens then please do let me know as we are always open to suggestions. Please also forward this information onto any who you think would be interested.

Feel free to contact me at any time on 02070656929 or at with any questions.

I hope to hear from you soon with some prospective private garden suggestions.

Many Thanks,

Janet "

So if you can help then the contact numbers are there for you to get in touch with Janet Atkinson.

Every year I promise myself that I will remember to take some photos of a particular grass bank in Wick that is a riot of yellow as the Daffodils bloom and every year I forget. This year though I just happen to have been to the hairdresser opposite the bank and got the opportunity to those pix, they seem to be thinning out in some places but the most of it still looks bright and vibrant.