The Bonnie Gardener on YouTube

At the start of the Covid-19 lockdown period I was unsure whether I’d be allowed to work, so I took time off while I waited for the government to announce what would and wouldn’t be permitted. During this down time, I really missed visiting gardens and seeing my clients – many of whom have become…

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…

Staying warm for Winter

When it gets to late Autumn in Scotland the cold temperatures dip and start to bother me, but never enough to put me off gardening.  Gardening is what I enjoy doing most and it’s also how I make a living so I’m always eager to find out more about why we suffer from the cold…

Neonics and how they’re killing our bees

Any gardener worth their salt knows the importance of bees, and there’s something heartening about seeing them buzzing around the garden helping flowers and plants pollinate far and wide. However, you might not be seeing quite as many bees around these days, and that’s because bee population is in decline. It’s been an issue for…

It’s nearly show time! Gardening Scotland 2017

Tomorrow marks the start of Gardening Scotland 2017– the nation’s biggest and most established garden and outdoor living festival – taking place at the Royal Highland Showground, Ingliston until Sunday 4th June. Hot on the heels of the Chelsea Flower Show, the festival is guaranteed to stimulate all the senses, with something to inspire and…

How to plant a hedge – advice from Hopes Groves nurseries

If you’ve decided you want to add a hedge to your garden but you’re not sure where to start, I have the answer for you. As you’d expect there are a few things you need to bear in mind when planting. Hedges are great at providing many different attributes to a garden – they can act…

Creating a wildlife-friendly garden

Having a garden gives you a daily opportunity to see and learn about the wildlife that is living around your doorstep. There are things you can do to increase the amount of visitors your garden gets and here are a few tips: Plant a tree or shrub Having a tree or shrub in your garden…

Competition launches to find Scotland’s best gardener

The organisers of Gardening Scotland – the country’s national outdoor living show and garden festival – have launched a brand-new, nation-wide competition to find Scotland’s best gardener. The Gardener of the Year award is open to anyone with a passion for creating inspiring outdoor spaces, from novices to experts, young to old and amateurs to…