My love of herbaceous perennials

Since we moved to our new home in December 2015 I’ve been keeping a watchful eye on the garden. While I’ve been desperate to make a number of changes since day one, I’ve tried to remain patient (much to my frustration) and simply observe what happens in the garden from month to month, making a…

December in the garden

I’ve been terribly neglectful of The Bonnie Gardener blog over the past couple of months, but I would like to assure you that that doesn’t mean I am not gardening or thinking about gardening. Quite the contrary, in fact – I have been kept fully occupied over the Autumn pruning, clearing out herbaceous beds, doing…

Spending time outdoors in Winter

Even at this time of year it’s great to get out in the garden – it’ s a perfect opportunity to take stock of how it’s looking, spend some much-needed time outdoors and have a look at the wildlife you share your home and outside space with. Now that the growing season is over, it…

Pruning acers in the dormant season

Most gardens have space for an acer of two. These beautiful maple trees come in a huge number of varieties and offer interest in many ways, whether that’s attractive bark, delicate leaves or fantastic deep red autumn colour. Autumn is the time to prune acers because they tend to bleed heavily when they are in active…

Create a garden for adults and children

Particularly at this time of year, the garden should be considered an extension of the home – a space to relax, get back to nature, socialise with friends and play with the kids. Make the most of it during the summer – it’s a great opportunity to get away from the TV and spend some…

Top tips for updating your garden

If you love the idea of sitting out in the garden with dinner and a glass of wine, but hate the thought of having to do any gardening, then read on.   Most of us have busy lives and have little time to relax which means the garden is often neglected and can look a…

Creating colour using flower beds and pots

One of the most common questions I get asked is how to make a garden more colourful and interesting. I personally think that regardless of budget or the amount of time you have to redesign your garden, one of the best ways to add beauty is through your flower beds. These can look fantastically bright…

How the Royals used flowers to symbolise love

How Queen Victoria and Prince Albert used the symbolism of flowers to express their love for each other and their families is one the many themes explored in a new art exhibition on display at The Queen’s Gallery in Edinburgh – Painting Paradise: The Art of the Garden. The gift of flowers to send a…

Himalayan balsam – invasive species identification

One of the jobs I was asked to do when gardening this week was to find clumps of Himalayan balsam (Impatiens glandulifera) in a lochside garden and pull it out of the ground before the flowers went to seed. Like Japanese knotweed, Himalayan balsam is an invasive plant, which tolerates low light levels and often…

Top tips on Summer entertaining – The Cut magazine

Summer is the perfect time for a spot of outdoor entertaining. While July may have been a bit of a wash out, there’s guaranteed to plenty more sunshine on the horizon over August and September so now is the time to get organised for your next outdoor bash. If you are in need of some…

Date for your diary – Ayr Flower Show, 5-7 August 2016

Following a very inspirational year at Gardening Scotland – the country’s national outdoor living show at Ingliston, which took place at the start of June – it’s good to know there’s still another fabulous gardening event on the horizon for us Scots to look forward to. This year sees the Ayr Flower Show celebrate its 56th…

Take part in the Big Butterfly Count

Over the next three weeks (15 July – 7 August) we should all put aside 15 minutes to monitor the number of butterflies in our gardens – taking part in the UK’s Big Butterfly Count. Launched in 2010, this nationwide survey aims to help experts assess the health of our environment.  Butterflies react very quickly…