2015 Plant Catalogue Now Online

 The New 2015 Plant Catalogue for Abriachan Nurseries is now online and landing on doorsteps around the country.
We hope you enjoy this years selection, the plants we list in our catalogue have proven their worth as good garden plants, or are part of one of our collections such as Auricula & Helianthemum
We also like our plants to have a little “je ne sais quoi” whether that be lovely scent, a flash of subtle colour, or just looking right in the place or association where they grow.
Click here to download the pdf of the catalogue
This year has the addition of a new Falkland Island Page where we have increased our selection of plants from this remote, unique and beautiful part of the world.

And my garden ideas for this year, I am going to re-read the books of Christopher Lloyd. As his years matured he introduced more colour into his garden. And that is where I am in 2015, the year of colour. I love annuals and will be planting all I can, additionally Dahlias and Lilies and who knows what else.
Watch our Flickr site and my blogs for ideas and progress.
I am also working up some “planting recipes“, a selection of gardening ideas for you to consider trying, along with instructions and prices.  They will be on our web site.
Good gardening
Margaret Davidson

A snowy Spring

 February and we are open.

We actually had a couple of hardy souls visiting the garden today…but the snow showers beat them

Of course it is magic and tomorrow we are promised winter sunshine. We have the first of the snow drops and Aconites out for sale, even though they have a thin crust of snow on their pots.

Activity levels are pretty high. Hamish has been cutting down and chipping trees, in preparation for the start of the new hydroelectric scheme that will be installed by Dulas. All rather exciting and I will tell that story soon.  Donald has been tidying and burning (always favourite) and moving dead and fallen shrubs. 

Considering the post-Christmas gales we got off lightly……a lilac and a shallow rooted oak tree, and lots of branches.  

So we came back from New Zealand and have adjusted remarkably fast to cold and snow. Just so long as it does not go on too long! 

A walk through the garden shows the spears of snowdrops pushing through everywhere. The witch hazels are wonderful and the evergreens are looking splendid as they always do in mid-winter.

And me, I am finishing the catalogue…..Cat has done a great cover and we are almost go for 2015
Margaret Davidson



Autumn Reflections
We wake up to a changed world in Scotland ...... but reassuringly gardens will continue to grow.
The warm dry autumn means that colours and displays are wonderful. Nerine and Colchicums and Schizostylis are providing vivid colour; Rudbeckia, grasses  and Kniphofia are giving form and interest and everywhere the autumn colours are coming in slow and steady.
We have a really good selection of plants to offer…some we have not had for years like Romneya and others such as the old Primroses and Auriculas looking great for the spring. 
Time to plant, the ground is still warm and for sure it will rain soon. Time to plan for the spring and plant some of our very good value groups and time to snap up some plants that we only occasionally can offer,  before they are sold out.
Happy trails. I will add autumn blogs as we go. It is a wonderful season. Right now, life goes on and I have to skin and freeze a sea of tomatoes.

Click here to go to the Abriachan Nurseries website page to see the Autumn Supplement Online

http://www.lochnessgarden.com/catalogue/htmcatalogue/Autumn%20Supp%202014.htm        http://www.lochnessgarden.com/catalogue/htmcatalogue/Autumn%20Supp%202014.htm

http://www.lochnessgarden.com/catalogue/htmcatalogue/Autumn%20Supp%202014.htm       http://www.lochnessgarden.com/catalogue/htmcatalogue/Autumn%20Supp%202014.htm


ROCK ROSES - The Helianthemums

Abriachan Nurseries Helianthemums - Rock Roses

The Sun loving Rock Roses
The rock roses have always been favourites of our and a look at our catalogue will show a whole range of varieties to choose from.
Abriachan Nurseries Helianthemums - Rock Roses
We love them because they thrive in our sandy, sunny beds and look just wonderful when the sun comes out through June and July. The yellow form is one of our native plants and that would explain a lot.
Abriachan Nurseries Helianthemums - Rock Roses

They grow fast and have a great mat-forming habit that excludes weeds.  What more can you ask?  Well to top it all they really put on a great show.
A couple of years ago we; well Donald really; decided we needed a new wall in the car park area and once neatly finished, we discussed what to grow there. Of course we could plant a new rockery, but knowing all too well how difficult it can be to keep up with weeding we came around to a Helianthemum wall.  It is a great success as you see.
Abriachan Nurseries Helianthemums - Rock Roses

My favourites are the vivid orange colours such as Henfield Brilliant and the rich yellows, like  Sterntaler, but there are days when the clear pink of Rhodanthe Carneum,. Or the modest double pink flowers of Annabel attract the eye.
Abriachan Nurseries Helianthemums - Rock Roses
There was a range of Helianthemum named for some of Scotland’s highest mountains, the Bens. Hence we have Ben Macdhui and Ben Mhor and Ben Ledi etc. You can collect them after you climb them 
Two other Scots specials are Broughty Beacon and Broughty Sunrise, both named for an area of Dundee and they really do have the bright flickering colours of the ends of the day as they would be seen along the Firth of Tay. 
Abriachan Nurseries Helianthemums - Rock Roses

Maybe the manufacturers of Iron Brew should sponsor a new variety as that particular orange would look very well as a rock rose colour.

Midges - Scotland's worst kept secret

Midges...Scotland's worst kept secret...but people still often looked surprised when first bitten.
Yet they are rather like childbirth, you forget about them when they are not about.
Midge hood - Abriachan Nurseries
Well today is really odd...28 degrees in Scotland and no midges on 25th July.
It is too hot for them!

These are the three best things.......if it is too hot or too cold or too windy then  - NO MIDGES.

And what a relief. I get pretty sulky some evenings because I know we can't eat outside, as before we are even 20 minutes in, they will arrive en masse as uninvited dinner companions.
One of the best things about being on holiday in Australia or New Zealand is that you can eat outside, or even simply have the windows wide open in the evenings.
If the House & Garden magazines are to be believed, you can eat outside in the evenings in the cities and also sometimes in the stylishly quaint villages, I suppose there is less vegetation...but you definitely cannot do it in a garden close to water...so that us out, or rather in!

Midgies - Abriachan Nurseries
Her Revenge
So how do we live with them?

Well you do get used to them. So for instance if you are out for a walk, you do just that, keep moving briskly. That leaves them behind...except for the odd persistent one.
You use midge repellent and over the years we have tried them all. The citronella ones, the ones based on bog myrtle, that smelt nice and the ones with evil sounding DEET as the insecticide ingredient.
I can't say I have been impressed with any of them.
Having said that I am currently using one called SMIDGE.......it is the best yet and does seem to help. I just don't like using anything chemical on my skin too often.
This smidge has been researched and formatted by the guys behind the Scottish midge forecast ..so maybe they do know a thing about the wretched blighters

The other and preferable method of protection is the midge hood. This is a fine mesh hood , that keeps them out and you can see through.
Of course it darkens the world and gets a bit hot and sweaty after a while, but basically works well. They work well and we have had a couple for some years now, and still going strong.
When our daughter Cathy came back from working in Canada she bought a gift of a full ...or any way half-body net protector.
This will be designed for mosquitoes; and the mossies in the Arctic Circle do sound like man-eaters . It works well and Donald as you see rather suits it. However I have seen more than one startled visitor come across him suited up in the garden.
Midge half body net - Abriachan Nurseries

Beyond that, tuck your trousers in your socks, wear long sleeved and high necked tops, all methods not really designed for the heat and so it is as well they go away over about 25 degrees.

There is also the midge catcher idea and I recall we bought one about 6 years ago. It only works, and only partially and over a small area and you have to keep replacing the propane gas as it is the CO2 they are attracted to.  We gave up on that.  Jo who works for us always offers to do any summer barbeques...as the smoke is a great midge repellent. Of course she will end up smell like a smoked kipper, but you cant have it all ways.

But don't let the rotten old midges put you off coming to Scotland,. Some years are worse than others and this summer is pretty good. But if you wonder why Highlanders retreat indoors and close the windows on summer evenings...now you know.
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