A Tractor with 2 Wheels!

28 August 2018

Yet another open day has passed here at Balcaskie Gardens and once again the weather has been less than favourable. Rain in the morning is not helpful even if it does clear in the afternoon as people will tend to make their decisions for the day early. But having less than perfect weather did not stop us from having a very positive opening.

Recently developed areas of the garden where looking at their best and a lot of very complimentary feedback was received. We managed to raise £100 from plant sales for the charity, this was mainly from just potting up a few little seedlings or bits of roots that we came across when doing our maintenance work. As far as next year goes it looks like that any open day is likely to be a sole affair for Balcaskie as Kellie is no longer going to partake in the Scotland’s Gardens Scheme we will keep you posted on any decisions that are made.

Well in contrast to the open day most of the challenges for the summer had been with lots of sunshine and the work involved with keeping newly planted areas irrigated. All the plants were brought safely through that period and I am also pleased to say that all the areas of very brown grass were back to a very healthy green and growing very fast in time for the open day. Like all these things we are now having to find much more time to mow lawns and we are also finding that due to the rain a lot more weeds are germinating in the flower beds.

We recently went to the Colinsburgh flower show to exhibit an arrangement of flowers these mostly came from the new florists’ border in the bottom terrace. This border has taken off very rapidly in the last few weeks and attracted a lot of comment at the open day. The very quick growth and establishment undoubtedly happened due to the very thorough preparation and manuring that took place beforehand. It is also helping as a nectar source for Toby’s bees who are housed only a few metres away behind the South wall. Also at least in part due to the quality of the growing conditions the exhibit at the show won first prize and we will be having a cup coming our way soon with Balcaskie engraved on it!

Whilst writing this blog our newest piece of kit is taking part in its first big operation, the 2 wheeled tractor is chugging around the drive meadows taking down the dried heads of the grasses and wild flowers. As we have extended the areas of meadow to include the copse of trees near the house it means there is a lot more areas difficult to access with a conventional tractor, so this is where the 2-wheeler comes in handy and it is so much quicker than strimming. This year as a trial we are going to let the cut stems lay in situ.

We have just started a gardens apprentice by the name of Irvine Laing fresh out of Waid Academy. A keen rugby player and recently back from a world challenge to Peru trekking and doing community projects. Irvine is very keen to work outdoors and is very interested in agricultural/horticultural machinery, so he should be able to give Gavin plenty of support.

Having got the open day behind us and the children back at school evenings getting shorter etc. it does feel now as we are in a different season. However, it does mean we can move on to different tasks and some improvement and development project over the next few months. More about them in the next blog.      Enjoy your gardening Duncan and the gardens team




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