Plants, Produce & Wildlife
We have ambitious plans for the gardens here at Bannockburn House (find out at our Master Plan page) and we have been fortunate to receive financial support from various organisations including Climate Challenge Fund (CCF), find out more about that here, the Mushroom Trust, Paths for All and National Lottery Community Fund to name a few.
As part of the CCF funds and support we want to establish 4 acres of vegetables, soft and orchard fruit and we can only do this with the fantastic support of our volunteers and gardening team.
Before this financial support was in place, we had already begun to grow some produce in the kitchen garden, starting with heritage varieties of potatoes. We have been able to retrieve a grape vine found in the old greenhouse which produced a small harvest in 2019, revive an ancient pear tree called “Souvenir du Congres” which produced 26 pears in 2019, and we have been working to restore blackcurrants, raspberries and ancient apple trees which were discovered growing in the vegetable garden and orchard.
To create shelter for the new gardens we planted a native hedgerow of hawthorn and sloe, and planted many other trees and bushes, including oak and rowan, (a total of 821) to do our bit for the environment. We have spent this winter (2019-2020) creating the new vegetable garden and polytunnel growing area to provide food for our intended cafe and we have planted 27 fruit trees and 160 fruit bushes.
Our gardens are full of various plants, trees and bushes and we couldn’t possibly name them all on here. We have a significant collection of heritage daffodils, thousands of snowdrops and many wildflowers and we have many holly and hawthorn trees which provide berries for winter birds. There are still many rabbits and deer in the gardens so that restricts the flowers we want to grow.
Here are some pictures of the beautiful flowers and plants in our gardens.
Our overgrown gardens have been a haven for a range of wildlife including bumble bees, honeybees, butterflies, ladybirds, buzzards, kestrels and sparrow hawks, foxes, deer and rabbits, to name a few.
One of the baby rabbits got lost one day and ran into the house. He hid behind the fireplace in the main hall and was found and caught by one of our volunteers (Jim). We felt the baby bunny was too vulnerable to be set free, so he was taken to the SSPCA in Fishcross for care and release by the experts. The little bunny was lovingly named ‘Bunny Prince Charlie’.
If you have been to the gardens up at our house, then you have probably seen our resident cat, Susie. Susie has been the Bannockburn House resident cat for almost 12 years and has lived here all of her life. She knows our gardens inside out and is often following the gardening team around keeping an eye on their work and hoping for some attention.