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Thread: Hello From New Caithness Gardener

  1. #1

    Default Hello From New Caithness Gardener

    Hello Everyone,

    I moved to Caithness in January, from Perthshire. I'm sure I'll be asking questions from time to time, so I thought I'd introduce myself. I love gardening & if I had nothing else to do all summer I'd be quite content.

    However, right now I'm finding the prospect of starting a new kind of garden quite daunting. I know I'll have to change my style, to fit in with the climatic & ground conditions. It's going to mean learning all over again. At least I have a blank canvas - just grass & thistles, not as much peat as I imagined, but plenty of rocks & plenty of water.

    I've been looking at other people's gardens, to see what grows well & I see that very many of them have something that looks like a remarkably robust version of New Zealand Flax Phormium Tenax. I've only seen it in winter & it has tall stems, with black seed pods. I'd really like some of this & wondered, if anyone had a small division of one that I could have, or swap for something? My main currency is eggs!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Your nightmares!
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkbothy View Post
    Hello Everyone,

    I moved to Caithness in January, from Perthshire. I'm sure I'll be asking questions from time to time, so I thought I'd introduce myself. I love gardening & if I had nothing else to do all summer I'd be quite content.

    However, right now I'm finding the prospect of starting a new kind of garden quite daunting. I know I'll have to change my style, to fit in with the climatic & ground conditions. It's going to mean learning all over again. At least I have a blank canvas - just grass & thistles, not as much peat as I imagined, but plenty of rocks & plenty of water.

    I've been looking at other people's gardens, to see what grows well & I see that very many of them have something that looks like a remarkably robust version of New Zealand Flax Phormium Tenax. I've only seen it in winter & it has tall stems, with black seed pods. I'd really like some of this & wondered, if anyone had a small division of one that I could have, or swap for something? My main currency is eggs!

    Hi, welcome to Caithness and the org.

    You're right about the New Zealand Flax, I've seen loads of it up here but I haven't managed to get up the courage to ask anyone for a bit yet. lol. Someone near here at Lybster has a garden wall surrounded by it, it's a really nice thing to see and just shows how hardy it is because we live slap bang next to the sea.
    I understand the problems you're going to be facing, I have the same woes. I moved here from Lincolnshire a few years ago and it's taken me this long to finally concede defeat and admit that I have to change my planting ideas if I want stuff to survive. I love gardens that are jam packed with plants and I have acres of room here so I'm now getting very impatient cos I have to start all over again.

    Anyway, I've found Hebe does very well - I have one approximately 5 ft tall and the same wide and although it can get stripped of leaves with the winds sometimes, the leaves come back straight away and it flowers constantly throughout the year. Plus it's amazingly easy to take cuttings from.
    Cranesbill does great too - I only have the boring usual pink and blue variety at the mo but I've just bought a white one, a purple one and a dusky one of Ebay - again easy to divide and propogate.
    Apparantly Olearia does very very well by coastal gardens as it's virtually indestructible. I've just bought one of those of Ebay too so I'll be interested to see what happens to it.
    I had a Fatsia out in the ground here for a few years but this last winter has killed it. I shall replace it and just protect it in winter.
    Basically try whatever you want, it either lives or dies, that's my motto. Other plants I have (still alive) are Caryopteris, pampas grass, roses (do very well strangely enough), Leycesteria (that one suprised me), Hydrangea, Day Lily, Iris, Bottle Brush, Broom, Bleeding heart, Fuschia, plus loads others.

    Anything you think is going to be too tender just bring them in for winter. I only do this with Lilies, Lavender etc.

    Good luck with the gardening. It'll certainly be a learning curve for you.
    Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.

    http://thetenaciousgardener.blogspot.co.uk/

  3. #3

    Default Fab Lybster Garden

    Yes, I've seen that house in Lybster too. It's just fabulous isn't it? I'm really tempted to knock on their door & ask them for a wee division. What's the worst thing they can say, "Go away"? Do you know the people who stay there?

    You sound like a gardener with a similar philosophy to my own. I'll also try anything, with occasional unlikely excellent results. I've also bought stacks of plants on ebay.

  4. #4
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    Your nightmares!
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    Haven't a clue who they are (at least I don't think so, it could turn out I've known em for years. It's how it goes up here sometimes).
    They're very reminiscent of Triffids aren't they. lol.

    I've bought a few plants off EBay now and so far I've had good results. I've just bought a bamboo out of Woolies - not something I normally do cos they don't look after them in there but it was cheap - hopefully it'll take if I pot grow for a couple of years first. Once it's big enough I'll divide it and plant some out, see how it does.

    I think we need a plant swap up here. I have loads of plants I could divide or propagate to that purpose.

    The other thing that grows in abundance up here is Gorse (whin) and I hate the blooming stuff. We have 4 acres and when we bought the place it was thick with gorse, we literally couldn't get anywhere on the land. We spent the first year with our digger pulling the stuff out and burning it.
    The dratted stuff is already starting to come back through.
    So if ever you want any...............lol.
    Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.

    http://thetenaciousgardener.blogspot.co.uk/

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkbothy View Post
    Yes, I've seen that house in Lybster too. It's just fabulous isn't it? I'm really tempted to knock on their door & ask them for a wee division. What's the worst thing they can say, "Go away"?
    I would ask them. Most people would be fair delighted you were admiring their plants (I know I would be) and would give you a bit. Maybe in summer you'll see the people outside and so wouldn't have to knock on the door. Good way of getting chatting to people - gardens. I don't know what the NZ plant is you're describing so I must not have any.

    Porshiepoo - plant swap would be a great idea. What are you looking for in particular? If I have some I could split some off for you.

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