27 August 2020

We may be having one of the wettest Augusts on record, but Bannockburn House gardener Margaret Pollock is back with another blog to brighten your day:

Although it’s only August, we have had such intense rain recently that the Doocot Loch, normally only visible during the winter months, has reappeared in the farmer’s field and is once more hosting geese and seagulls. It is odd to have small flocks of geese flying overhead in summer but they are just local Canada geese taking the opportunity for a quick change of scenery, some fresh, young grass and access to the private waters of the small loch. I guess, like any holiday-makers they’re enjoying the pleasures of a quick break before the main winter visitors arrive and who can blame them.


Doocot lochNormally it would be September or later before the field begins to flood but this year the water has already begun to collect in the hollow. The cows and their young heifers seem to thoroughly enjoy the novelty of standing in the water to have a cooling paddle, as well as a readily available drink. If you’re depressed by rain in August just remember that ‘August rain raises honey and wine’.                                                             



Aubergines in bloomWe’re very busy in the vegetable garden as the majority of our crops are now in full production. There are potatoes, tomatoes, courgettes and peas on an almost daily basis, and salad leaves growing like triffids. Our first aubergine harvest is not far off now. Having never grown them before, I have been fascinated to watch these beautiful vegetables appear. First there were the unusual thorny stems, followed by the dramatic mauve flowers with their egg-yolk yellow centres, then the tiniest, round, dark purple, baby aubergines formed, shiny like glass marbles or large beads for a necklace. Now these have gradually lengthened until the characteristic elongated pear shaped fruits have appeared with the glossiest skin imaginable. They look too good to eat!  Are they real? What will our Scottish grown Aubergines taste like? When do we pick them? We’ll find out within the next few weeks and, of course, we’ll let you know as well. 


Tattie harvestThanks to those of you who participated in our tattie growing project for your amazing harvest photos. It is really is exciting to turn out the contents and rake through the compost to see how many potatoes there are and for us it is great to see how many of you have had a successful harvest. We hope you’ve enjoyed growing your own food and especially eating your own tatties. If you’ve enjoyed it then why not think about getting a couple of larger containers or preparing a small part of your garden for growing more vegetables next year. We’re already thinking about what plants we can help you to grow so watch this space.