Yirdit – Gardening in Scotland

Here are my musings, tips and advice from some decades of reluctant gardening in Scotland. Much of it done quite far north – around 56°N in fact. I discuss what works and what doesn’t; what to buy, what to avoid and how to deal with exposure. (Wear a woolly hat.)

Try to be green

By the way, what you won’t find on this site are any endorsements for weedkillers or gardening chemicals (though you will find affiliate links that bring in a tiny bit of commission).

Anyway, If you’re the kind who gets excited at the prospect of destroying wasp nests, then you’ll find nothing of interest here.

(Wasps are really beneficial in the garden, preying on grubs, aphids and caterpillars. But I think you knew that.)

Yes, we’re all going to you-know-where on a handcart, but gardeners can do their bit to slow the destruction of our planet by planning their plots (or plotting their plans) with wildlife and the environment in mind.

Giant lily - cardocrinum giganteum
Evening light on a flowering Giant lily – cardocrinum giganteum
Rose in flower
Flowering all summer – shrub rose (probably Pat Austin – but no label – grrrr!) still going strong on the last day of September. Two metres tall!

Clematis alpina in bloom

Clematis alpina in bloom 19th April 2020. Been in the ground since, oh, 2017. Three months later it was dead! Alpina, eh? Bit of a softii if you ask me. Meanwhile Clematis montana soldiers on. (More resistant to salt winds, perhaps?)

My cabbages once blew away…

To put it more graphically, once, in a westerly gale, I saw my well-hearted cabbages whip backwards and forwards. Then some were lifted bodily out of the earth (or yird) like birds taking off. Gardening in Scotland, eh?

But there are rewards too – long daylight hours in summer; a climate without extremes (usually!) if you live near the sea, as we do. Plus a variety of techniques to create shelter.

So it isn’t all horticultural masochism. For a start, Scotland has a great gardening tradition, and plenty of fine gardens are open to the public. And some of the great names in plant collection came from Scotland.

You could start by asking why we garden in the first place.

So let’s get yirdit!


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