Book review: The Secret Lives of Garden Bees, by Jean Vernon

Nobody loves bees more than gardeners. These valuable creatures pollinate so many of our flower and food crops, and it is devastating to read press articles about their marked decline and the role that humans play in that by using pesticides, insecticides and destroying natural landscapes such as hedgerows and wild flower meadows.  The bees…

Rose lip balm recipe

“To raise the spirits and cheer the heart”. According to Bartram’s Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine, that is what rose was traditionally used for in the context of herbs for health. It is the petals and hips of roses – particularly Rosa Gallica and Rosa Damascena – that are mostly widely used in herbal medicine. Rose…

Herbs for health and wellbeing

My garden wouldn’t be a garden if it stayed the same year after year.  What I love most about having my own outdoor space is trying out new ideas and having fun learning along the way.  If it turns out to be a complete disaster then at least I know never to do it again…

Square foot gardening and conserving Scotland

At the start of the year I was contacted by a company called Highland Titles – they aim to manage, improve and conserve areas of Scotland through land management, strategic partnerships and education at their nature reserves. They have two of these – one at Glencoe and the other at Lochaber. While much of the…

Designing A Garden To Match Your Home Style

I often get asked about garden design – particularly by people who have new build properties and have to design their garden from scratch.  Lucky them! So when Puma Landscaping in Edinburgh got in touch with me to ask about a collaboration on my blog I was really keen to get their ideas around different…

Feng Shui and your garden – Infographic

I’ve always been intrigued by Feng Shui – the idea that we can use energy forces to harmonise ourselves with our surrounding environment. That being said I’ve only ever thought about it in relation to indoor spaces, rather than outdoor ones. However, I’ve come to learn that the garden is an area which can be…

Haramaki – the key to staying warm while gardening

Anyone who knows me is well aware of how badly I feel the cold.  Winter is obviously the worst season but even a cold and wet day in late Spring or early Summer is enough to make my fingers and toes turn white and a bit numb!  For someone who spends most of their time…

Infographic – grow your own herbs

Fresh herbs are a great way to add flavour to meals and they are easy to grow from seed at home. Now is the time to sow seeds of lots of culinary herbs including basil, rosemary and thyme. Keep them on a warm windowsill or propagator until they germinate then prick the seedlings out and…

Edible Gardening Guide for Beginners

Gardening is a fantastic past time and spending time outdoors is a great way to keep mind, body and soul in great shape. Planting from scratch is incredibly rewarding and you’ll be treated to a riot of colour in your garden come summer. If you are interested in food and cookery then you should try…

Scotland’s gardens open to the public

Plantaholics, wildlife lovers and grow-your-own newbies are in for a treat this year as over 450 gardens open to the public for Scotland’s Gardens Scheme to help raise money for charity. Gardens of all sizes – in cities and villages, islands and lochs – will unlatch their gates  to welcome visitors throughout the year.  Fifty-seven outdoor spaces will…