Suburban Sue

Garden inspiration - and breathe!

I managed a short UK vacation, just before second lockdown, getting away for a few days to South Ayrshire on the west coast of Scotland. Staying a short walk from Culzean Castle and with lovely views across to Arran and Ailsa Craig. Yes we had good weather and in September the need to water the pots is less and can be trusted to those left behind.

Apart from the great coastal walks in the area we also were able to enjoy Culzean Castle estate and Dumfries House despite the houses being closed.  Both have mature woodland and walled gardens and a variety of interesting features. 

Looking at great gardens can inspire and intimidate at the same time. Enjoying the views, the adaptation of landscape - I didn’t go round looking for weeds but it’s sometimes comforting to see them and know that one is not on your own in the battle for some space.

At Culzean the glasshouses were open with a display of Tomatoes, aubergines and peppers - well labelled. Nice to see varieties that I have grown or heard of. Cucamelon on the vine, Tender plants such as coleus, streptocarpus and indoor cyclamen.

In Dumfries house the glass house showed them off in a layered look - using the staging for giving them suitable conditions. Streptocarpus on more shady lower shelves, geraniums up high managing the hotter temperatures.

The walled garden was a lovely tiered mix of vegetables, soft fruit, espalied apples and pears riddled through with herbaceous perennials and borders of annual bee and butterfly attracting plants. It also has a new arboretum amidst an estate of well established trees and walks.

Topiary yew at Dumfries house garden 

In the first lockdown my son, a non-gardener, on one of his local exercise walks found some unusual flowers he didn’t recognise and took me to see them. A lovely passion flower tumbling over a fence and giving a lovely display to passers by. It was our gain that he looked up and observed and shared the good things.

Passion Flower

While the shows have not been happening this year you can still get out to get some fresh air and fresh ideas wherever you are and keep a lookout for interest as the seasons change.