27 Feb 2014

Re-vamping The Old Rose Bed to "something completely different".

Digging out all the old and tired roses- keeping a couple-The City of London- and now we have a blank canvas to plan a new flower bed for your delight.

Joanna Swiers

 Complete renovation, this is exciting.
A whole new bed to play with..to be continued...


25 Feb 2014

Iris foetidissima citrina

 Tuesday 25th February 2014

This morning we have been digging up Iris foetidissima citrina also know as the roast beef plant, adders meat

and stinking gladwyn. Apart from the yellow flag Iris pseudacorus, it is our only native iris and it has a Royal

Horticultural Society(RHS) Award of Garden Merit.(GM)It has the constitution of an ox so will grow in almost any

situation, wet/dry conditions open/shaded site and it will tolerate neutral and alkaline soils but flourishes in an

organically rich,loamy soil that retains its moisture.
Our Iris has become huge in its space and the rhizomes are covered in moss,so we are digging up the whole

plant which you can do now ( Spring) Autumn or Winter, scrapeing off the moss , keeping the strongest rhizomes

with a healthy fan of leaves and replanting back in its spot with plenty of well rotted manure or leaf mould

(haven't decided which one yet) so it will continue to flourish here in the border in the Walled Garden at

Abbotsford.Long after its flowering, in the Autumn and through Winter it produces spectacular huge pods that

are full of orange/red seeds, which burst open and cling to the seed heads till spring which the birds completely

ignore.This plant was highly valued as a medicinal herb especially for making poultices for drawing out splinters

and the odd arrow head and it smells nothing like roast beef !

....To Be Continued.....

18 Feb 2014

The Orangery in The Walled Garden 2013

                                  The Orangery in the Walled Garden at Abbotsford
One of the most iconic walks at Abbotsford,leading from the Morris Garden up to The Orangery.
The Orangery has been called so, for many years and after reading the report from Historic Scotland there's still seems to be some confusion as to what it's name actually is.It has been referred to as The Conservatory,Greenhouse Peach and Flower House,we say it has been all these things over the years,a definite display area of what's the "trend of the time,we like The Orangery - sounds Romantic. With a view to its' future after much needed restoration, we see it as a beautiful centre piece in The Walled Garden. It is in itself a rare example of a Gothic Conservatory and there's only one other known.(in Fife,Scotland). We as gardeners see it as a fantastic opportunity to use it in so many ways. It will become a multi-functional working space which will bring it back into a more positive and dynamic use,in keeping with its historical character.It shall be the centre piece it needs to be and re-inventing it in lots of ways will suit the working needs and aesthetics of the Walled Garden.
It is the perfect Wedding photographic spot , a beautiful place to sit quietly and read or view the house and gardens or perhaps eat your lunch there.Inside at present we have one of the new wooden benches for you to relax on especially crafted for us by Tom Buckly,who has hand carved Sir Walter Scotts' initials into the back which makes them unique to Abbotsford.
Our aim is to create a beautiful space in there with perhaps a small area where you can watch us organise the cut flowers before they are taken up to the Visitor Centre for you or to the house to adorn the many rooms there.

Natures Patterns - Moss and Bark

Moss and Bark PhotoArt by Joanna swiers

Moss and Bark

Moss and Bark PhotoArt by Joanna Swiers


HorseChestnut Leaves PhotoArt by Joanna Swiers

16 Feb 2014

First detailed map of Scotland’s native woodlands (Scotland)

                                           The Woods at Abbotsford -Autumn 2013
Beech Trees PhotoArt by Joanna Swiers
First detailed map of Scotland’s native woodlands (Scotland)

The Woods at Abbotsford along side The River Tweed are beautiful especially in the Autumn. Walking along these paths you may remind yourself that you are walking in the footsteps of Walter Scott.A prolific tree planter his was and there are some Spanish/Sweet Chestnuts here that he surely planted.They are huge and have wonderfully gnarled trunks.

Some of the fallen on the forestry floor 

A Spanish/Sweet Chestnut

A huge windblown

A mix of Beech and Birch

14 Feb 2014

..and its snowing...

Heart Space

Heart Space

how hopeless one becomes
when love invades the mind
all other matters go out the window
to make room for irrational daydreaming time
logic, sense, what of it ?
disappears without trace
arousal, a warm knowing filling up its space

12 Feb 2014

Signs of Spring....

Signs of Spring in The Walled Garden at Abbotsford 2014

..making a start..
Stipa Splendens grass beside the Orangery
Phlomis seed heads looking wonderful in the cold

..with the aid of a wee helper..

10 Feb 2014

Apple Trees

"Unless a tree has borne blossoms in Spring,you will vainly look for fruit on it in Autumn"-Sir Walter Scott

Scotch Bridget  the oldest Apple Tree in the Walled Garden at Abbotsford-120-130 years old.This year all the Apple Trees will undergo some restoration pruning.

Grenadier Apple Tree


Tower of Glamis Apple Tree between 80 & 90 years old.

Lord Derby
Lord Derby

and if you need some info here's a link or two and some interesting stories




The Yew Trees

The Yew Trees planted at the entrance to the Walled Garden from the Morris Garden at Abbotsford
the home of Sir Walter Scott are needing some attention. Some re-shapeing and a trim is in order.
and so it begins

starting to take shape
the back side
tying in .....to be continued..