Erskine Newsletter

Erskine Newsletter

July 2014

Jim re-glazing the greenhouse

We got last month off to a challenging start as we took delivery of beautiful swathes of plants and wildflower grasses from the hospital to nurse until their planting area is ready in the hospital grounds. We have been diligently checking and watering as the donated plants formed a show garden at Gardening Scotland. 

The veterans made a brilliant job of re-glazing the greenhouse – it looks amazing and, of course, is filled already. The polytunnel is almost there – a wee bracket has been problematic in sourcing but it’s on its way now and we can put the last bit of the base rail in place. We had a beautiful sunny Friday recently and a group of staff, volunteers and veterans replaced the cover. Days of preparation had taken place during the week beforehand and it now looks wonderful as part of our shady wildlife garden.  The tomatoes and cucumbers have filled the polytunnel up as we catch up on lost time.  The veterans and volunteers have been busy making a removable framework that we can use year on year for supporting tomato growth.

Wendy and George harvesting

Our morning harvests are continuing with vegetables, lettuce, mixed leaves, herbs, rhubarb all either being sold at sales, taken over to the hospital kitchens or washed chopped and turned into chutneys.  We really enjoyed eating the first of our harvests in a tasty stir fry cooked up by ISS chef Derek.   Our seed sowing and transplanting moves on with lots of iceberg lettuce for the hospital kitchen and with the sun beating down on us watering is of priority as the crops grow, swell and mature.

This brings us to definitely one of the highlights of our month – our visit to Duntreath Castle to learn about their bog garden.   Lord and Lady Edmonstone could not have been more welcoming and we had the most inspiring morning looking around the garden with Lady Juliet (or Julie as she insisted).   But the best was yet to come – we came home with the car absolutely loaded with bog plants for our new bog garden.   One of which is quite rare – a Veratrum. They are now all planted and settling in nicely and as our blue tits have finally fledged from our bird box we can get on with our bigger plans for the shady wildlife garden.  With each wildlife adaptation we are seeing an increase in biodiversity – from insects to the resident wren broadening its foraging area.

Edi, Julie and George at Duntreath Castle bog garden

Armed Forces Day saw us cooking up the one pot curry with veterans and volunteers attending, then two events were attended, one at Rouken Glen and the other George Square in Glasgow.  At the end of the month, another of highlight was a visit by Scott Ward from the BBC – ‘BBC Scotland on the Road 2014’.   He was filming in the garden for a programme on ‘unusual gardens’.

Hope you’ll all be watching!

Karen and Wendy


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