Archive for tag: Seasonal Interest

Tree planting tips

These tree planting suggestions may seem obvious to seasoned hands but sometimes the simplest of tips can go a long way to making a difference.

- If you have a small garden, choose bird cherry, hazel, holly, hawthorn, rowan or crab apple.

- Smaller shrubs and hedgerows provide year round interest for us humans plus shelter and food for the birds and abundance of wildlife you will   attract!

- Keep the larger trees to more open spaces, e.g. beech, lime, Scots pine and oak.

- Remember to be aware of any underground pipes, overhead cables and buildings in the vicinity of your planting area. Probably not a good idea to plant the trees too close.

It is almost the end of November and we are heading into Christmas.  We are having Christmas at home this year and obviously want the house to feel cosy and decorated in a warm homely way.  I am thinking about a natural theme: garlands of willow, twigs of beech nuts and hazel.  Dotted through with dried poppy heads, lightly touched with a spray of silver and snow effect.  Entwined with fairy lights - sounds good?  Well we'll keep you posted!

Forest Walk

A gorgeous autumn day provided the perfect backdrop for a walk around the Hartwoodmyres forest plantation.

Some of the younger spruce trees that have been planted.


Looking down an internal line of the forest plantation.  The forest is so deep with these mature trees, very little light gets in and when you call out there is an impressive echo!


We spotted these bright jewels of a toadstool on the fringes of the forest.  There were quite a few of them nestled in the moss between the rows of trees.  I believe they are a type of Amanita fungi but will seek clarification on this.  The scene was reminiscent of a pixie cartoon.  (admin note: We have secured identification on these fungi! Thanks to First Nature: they are Russula emetica - The Sickener)




The Yarrow (Achillia millefolium) was still flowering.


Not sure what type of bumble bee this is but at least it was putting the Ragwort to good use! #HappyPolinators


Where they harvest the trees, it does look like a scar on the landscape but it is remarkable just how quickly new trees are planted and the speed of their growth.



The Heather (Calluna vulgaris) has finished it's purple display of flowers and now hosts dew covered cobwebs.


The timber harvest is stacked up ready to go.


We lost count of all the logs!


Knapweed was growing and flowering on the verge of the track.


Seasonal changes in species

Out and about around the garden today I have noticed quite a few seasonal changes with the plants and trees.

Spiky friends are appearing on the Horse Chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum).





The Elderflower (Sambucus nigra) berries have formed and are just beginning to change colour.  The red stems look great at this stage against the green berries but we look forward to seeing the glistening deep red-black berries in weeks to come.  Apologies for the rather grainy image - will make sure the next elder berry photo is taken on a still day!



The Crab Apples (Malus sylvestris) have fruit and are colouring up into a nice shade of red.




The Rowan berries (Sorbus aucuparia) are still glistening on the trees in their clusters.  Rowan berries vary in shades from orange to deep red.


Beech Nuts

Out and about today and spotted the beech nuts on the Fagus sylvatica. We don't believe they are edible - lots of reports online about tummy ache so we wouldn't recommend them but apparently they were used as a coffee substitute during the war...




Rowan Berries

Can you spot the Rowan Berries peeking out from the fringe of this young wood? We have a Rowan (Mountain Ash, Sorbus aucuparia) on the edge of our lawn and it adds interest all year round - berries, leaf colour, flowers. It's a pretty good tree for just about any sized garden.

The berries are perfect for making your own wine or jelly. If making jelly, try adding some crab apple to help it set.



Wild Cherry blossom

Finally our wild cherry trees have started to blossom! The season has got off to a rather odd start with the recent climate but our trees at home in the Borders are now catching up.


First signs of red berries

Ooh what do they say about the red berries? The earlier and plentiful they appear, the harsher the winter....Take stock, winter is coming! We are seeing lots of red berries from the holly (ilex aquifolium) and hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) here. Our seasonal interest page is turning rosy!

On another note, We're getting lots of questions about the Ash dieback. See our earlier blog post about it and view the pictorial symptoms checker.

Holly plants

Holly plants and hedging

Hawthorn hedging

Hawthorn hedging

Seasonal Hotties!

We have put together a new seasonal plants category. It is not seasonal in the sense 'now is the season for planting' but more of a shortlist of what plants and trees are currently grabbing our attention and you may want them in your garden or hedgerow too. The highlights in our neighbourhood are: the falling Sweet Chestnuts, start collecting for your fireside treats and Hazelnuts or Cobnuts but you need to be quick before the squirrels get there! Rose hips in the hedgerow and the start of the bright red berries on the Hawthorn.  The leaves are just beginning to turn on the Maples and the Larch is changing colour. Oh and don't forget to pick those Crab Apples!

Click to view our Seasonal Interest page