Saturday, 5 June 2010

Gardening Scotland

I know I've only just got back from my holidays and I am already taking a day off from my own garden. But I think you'll understand. Gardening Scotland is Scotland’s national celebration of gardening and outdoor living and takes place every year. I've never been to it primarily because its emphasis was on flowers, rather than vegetables. But I recently read an article somewhere that stated that 'this year garden seeds have out-sold the sale of flower seeds in garden centres in Scotland'. This encouraged me and D to drive to Ingliston, near Edinburgh. Its the same place we went to last year for the Royal Highland Show.
Its not as big as the Highland Show, nonetheless, we were there for a few good hours.
There were a number of companies selling organic vegetable boxes, but most of them were based in the East of Scotland. This stall was showcasing Scottish asparagus, strawberries, tomatoes.Lovely.
Some encouraging new garden and growing signs.
Some old ones. This little area had a number of tiny plots and raised beds promoting growing your own, hence edible gardens.
I picked up some seed packets from the Italian Seed Company including the beautiful mottled seeds for the Borlotti bean. I won't be growing these this year. It will be next year now as space in my garden is shrinking fast.
I hadn't seen gardening jute string in different colours before. Did I buy some? No - I already have some at home. It would be false economy.
My favourite part of the show was The Pallet Garden area. This area hosted pallet gardens designed by chidren from across Scotland, taking part in the challenge to create the best mini garden. Here are a few that made me smile.
Little Buddhas Garden. My father-in-law would like this.
Its officially Gardeners Day Off! Just ask this wee fella.
Greenhouse Garden with tiny raised beds with growing labels.
Shed and fencing made out of lolli-pop sticks.
Sleeping doll. D was not fond of this one. I loved the way the roses surrounded her.
We stopped for a pastry or two. I had this extremely large iced almond pastry. It was so huge. I ate half at the show and the other half when I got home. In fact I finished chomping it whilst I was uploading the photographs onto my blog.
Here are some iced cakes of a different kind. Lovely aren't they? However, they are not edible. You see these are candles made from soy wax, a natural and environmentally sustainable product which does not contain parabens. These are designed by The Dippool Candle Company. They also have these beautiful vintage teacup candles. What I loved about these was the fact that these were not mass produced. Each was unique, as every teacup was recycled from charity shop. I was going to pick up something from the stall on my way out of the show, but forgot with all the hustle and bustle. Maybe next time.
Many charities were at the show too, including the RSPB of which I am a member.
These handsome wings were certainly impressing folk walking by.
The sun-shine was blazing, so to take a break from the heat as well as shade, (a change from the rain) we made out way to the Floral Hall, where nurseries from across the UK where exhibiting hundreds of plants including bonsai trees, orchids, alpines, clematis, and lilies. The colours and smell were lovely, but exhibitions on vegetables was a little disappointing with only one stall showcasing prized vegetables.

In the hall were a number of food stalls too, where visitors could sample some morsels and sips. I had a few tipples of whisky flavoured with redcurrants and cranberry, and a couple of bites of Welsh cheese at this Scottish event from the Snowdonia Cheese Company.
The last thing I absorbed in the hall was this stunning floral display. Now how can I walk away with them, without anyone noticing. Enjoy.


  1. Kinda want to eat those candles! :)

  2. That owl is awesome! Those cup cakes look amazing too!

  3. How beautiful. I wish we had events like this in our area. We have something they taut as a garden show but it's mostly recreational vehicles and camping equiptment and hunting.

  4. Thanks for sharing your photos...I feel as though I got to go along thanks. My sister and I have purchased seeds from the Italian Seed company with much success. They have unique veggies.
    Glad you had a good time.
    Happy weekend!

  5. Great photos! I especially love the mini gardens and the cupcake soy candles :) Thanks for sharing!

  6. looks like a great event. also, that pastry did indeed look divine!

  7. This looks like great fun! I would also really enjoy the garden pallet area. I like that the children are involved with it (hopefully wihtout too much help from gardening nut control freak adults!)

  8. I love the fact that 70 years later garden veg plots are seen to be dig for victory gardens. After all this time it's still important.

  9. Sleeping Doll is fabulously creepy! No wonder your husband wasn't fond, although personally I like her creepy quality!

  10. I agree Zhush. Just a shame they are not edible.

    -The own was unbelieveable, so big and those eyes amazing!

    Thank you Ribbit.
    Although I enjoyed myself, I felt it was let down by the lack of vegetables on show, but it is primarily a floral show.

    Maybe in time a place near you will showcase something similar.

    Your welcome Maggie's garden.
    I am so glad that you liked the photos, and it somewhat allowed you to experience a little of what I did. I know though it is no substitute for experiencing it for yourself though.
    Thank you for telling me that you've purhased seeds from the Italian Seed company. To be honest I had confused them with a company called Franchi and was doubting whether I made the right move getting them, but i feel much better knowing that you have tried and tested them with success.

    Thank you so much Green Gal.
    The mini gardens were my favourite part too. They cupcake soy candles are wonderful. I am kicking myself for not getting any :(

    Thanks Darlene,
    The pastry was delicious and moist and sticky and delicious. Oh I've already said that.

    Thanks Wendy.
    I have no doubt you would have enjoyed yourself there. The pallet garden was wonderful and perhaps the busiest part of the show. Some of the gardens really looked like they were made by children, others certainly looked like they had a 'helping hand' from grown ups.

    Thank you Cabbage Tree Farm.
    It certainly was a good day out and a nice break from my own gardening.

    Ruth - You are so right.

  11. Scarlett.
    I so, so agree with you. My husband actually went as far as to desribe the scene as morbid, but I wanted to believe that this was truly designed by children and their imagination and personal readings of fairy tale, rather than the influence of an grown. I would have given it a modern twist though and used a doll of colour to reflect the U.K ethnic diversity. Nevertheless, I still loved the way the roses fell around her. The colours were fabulous.

  12. I enjoyed following your day Mangocheeks. Those teacup candles are gorgeous. Too gorgeous to use, they would have to just sit around looking pretty :)

  13. Just love the cup cakes - how original and pretty and even better that they are eco friendly and from charity shops - beautiful!! Where can I buy them?

  14. It's always so much fun to see photos from your country, Mango. This looks like it was a gardener's delight. Those candles look good enough to eat!

  15. Thank you Jacqueline.
    Yes, I agree. If I had remembered to puchase some I think I would have just admired them.

    Cara, Glasgow.
    I have put a link on my blog.

    Thank you Barbara.
    This time of year, there are number of these events happening up and down the U.K. The candle have certainly interested many readers.

  16. fantastic day out - wonderful photos - and great inspiration for your garden - yet another reminder how much gardens reflect our own lives rather than just being leaves and twigs

  17. Thanks Johanna.
    Your so right abut how gardens reflect our lives. Def. more than leaves and twigs!

  18. Dear Mangocheeks,
    I missed so many of your recent posts.What a beautiful trip to the flower and vegetable show.Love all the photographs you have posted and the soy candles.Love the thought that kids can get very creative with their art and gardening skills.Thank you for sharing such lovely info.

  19. Thank you Kiran.
    It was a nice day out. I too enjoyed the kids creativity too. Its nice to see that some of them like getting their hands dirty too.

    The soy candles have certainly been grabbing interest.

  20. fantastic and wonderful photos, anyone can easily inspire from that photos..

  21. I absolutely loved your article and wanted to take time out to introduce you to we make organic, soy vintage inspired teacup candles


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