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Author Topic: Notes from the Cruickshank Botanic Garden  (Read 113650 times)

Cruickshank Friend

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Notes from the Cruickshank Botanic Garden
« on: January 18, 2013, 08:07:46 PM »
The Cruickshank Botanic Garden is situated in the medieval burgh of Old Aberdeen on the King's College campus of the University of Aberdeen and is a partnership between the University and the Cruickshank Charitable Trust.  The Garden is in a sheltered situation between St. Machar's Cathedral and King's College, about 1 mile from the sea, with relatively mild winters and not much frost.

  "For the teaching and study of Botany as pure science, and as applied to the Arts and Industries, and for the furtherance of University interests and the public good."
 Deed of Trust, 26th April 1898.

 

It was founded in 1898 with a bequest  and land from Miss Anne Cruickshank, given in memory of her brother Dr Alexander Cruickshank. Their father had been Regius Professor of Mathematics in the University. The original Deed of Trust specified that the Garden was to be 'for the furtherance of University interests and the public good'. The Garden is true to its origins, and provides an educational resource both for University students and for the thousands of schoolchildren who visit the Natural History Centre, as well as a wonderful amenity for staff, students and the general public.



This beautiful and peaceful  eleven  acre Garden offers year round interest to visitors.
The garden comprises: a sunken garden with alpine lawn, a rock garden built in the 1960s complete with waterfalls and pond system, a long unbroken herbaceous border, a formal rose garden with drystone walling, and an arboretum. It has a large collection of flowering bulbs and rhododendrons,
 and many unusual shrubs and trees.  It is sometimes known as The Secret Garden of Old Aberdeen.   http://www.abdn.ac.uk/botanic-garden/about/tour/



The Cruickshank Botanic Garden is an internationally important collection of plants, a valuable educational resource, and part of the heritage of the University and City of Aberdeen.
The Garden, which is open to the public free of charge, exists to promote an appreciation of the beauty, diversity and importance of plants, and an understanding of their role in the natural world
and is  dedicated to understanding and conserving our natural world.



The Friends of the Cruickshank Botanic Garden were established in 1982 to provide a forum for those 'interested in the well-being of the Garden'. The Friends provide support for the Garden in kind, through volunteering and acting as advocates for the Garden, and financially, by the purchase of equipment and plants.  A wide range of events is organised for members during the year and Friends receive a quarterly newsletter and an annual seed list.
They also fund summer student placements and the Friends Horticulture Bursary.  The recipient of that Bursary for 2009-2010 was SRGC member Kate Barnard – who previously had been awarded an SRGC Grant for a placement at Dunedin Botanic Garden in New Zealand -    http://www.abdn.ac.uk/botanic-garden/news/173/

                                             

Botanic Gardens are at risk everywhere as University budgets become tighter  - this thread, dedicated to the Botanic Garden of the University in Aberdeen, is intended as a tribute to the work of those running these gardens, those from outside who volunteer to support such gardens and as an example of what is available in the form of such gardens and how different groups can combine to  offer mutual support.
Contributions for a similar thread for other Botanic Gardens around the world are more than welcome.
Regular readers of the Forum will be aware that we have among our number a former gardener at the Cruickshank, Roma Fiddes  and the Garden Notes here have been contributed to the newsletters of the Friends of the Cruickshank Botanic Garden by David Atkinson  from Aberdeenshire,  who has , in the past, served both as the Convenor of the SRGC Aberdeen Group and the President of the FCBG.
 
We thank  David Akinson, the Committee of the FCBG and Mark Paterson, Curator of the Garden for their support.

Some photos by courtesy of the CBG/FCBG website.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2013, 07:09:45 PM by Cruickshank Friend »
Cruickshank Botanic Garden, Aberdeen
http://www.abdn.ac.uk/botanic-garden/

Friends of the Cruickshank Botanic Garden
http://www.abdn.ac.uk/botanic-garden/friends/

Cruickshank Friend

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Re: Notes from the Cruickshank Botanic Garden
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2013, 08:11:23 PM »
David Atkinson's Garden Notes - reports of what takes his eye as  he walks around the CBG- begin in Winter 2009.....

Cruickshank Garden Notes - December 2009

So here we are after a white Christmas - everyone’s dream - with the ground hard frozen, slithering around in a winter wonderland, thinking more of scraping windscreens, clearing tracks and jump starting cars than hands on horticulture. Hopefully the gift exchange frenzy has brought, at the very least, some new gardening books to inspire and inform next year’s activities.

Until our current wintry blast, the descent towards the shortest day, though wet, had been very gentle with few frosts.  Deeside in particular had beautiful autumn colours, grass continued to grow and a number of what are usually winter flowerers bloomed weeks earlier than normal;  Mahonia ‘Charity’, Viburnum x bodnantense and Winter jasmine, Jasminum nudiflorum, were all in flower in October, Witchhazel buds were showing yellow well before Christmas and the foliage of spring bulbs was, possibly unwisely, in evidence far earlier than usual.
Snow has a very neatening, unifying effect on the landscape, covering blots and blemishes, softening shapes and making the effect of humans less pronounced, so on the wintry day I visited the Cruickshank Garden. Between swirling snow showers it appeared more of a sculpture park than busy garden, work done and undone both invisible under the ample white blanket; very calm and strangely quiet, the sound of the traffic somehow deadened by the snow.  Thus it was really the overall effects that struck me more than individual plants, though even in the snow the benefits of strong structural evergreens - like the many hollies and for instance the Japanese umbrella pine, Sciadopitys verticillata, came to the fore.  Similarly the red peeling bark of the excellent Acer griseum provided a pleasing shock of colour in the monochrome scene.


Photo of Sciadopitys verticillata by Trond Hoy

Enjoy the elegant weeping foliage of the large Juniperus recurva var coxii - the coffin juniper - dominating the eastern end of the sunken garden. Don’t bother to try the fruit of the medlar, Mespilus germanicus in the bed to the left of the shrub border by the boundary wall, as although reputedly edible when softened by frost – bletted - I remain to be convinced!  Another shrub whose very name warns off potential nibblers, the Killarney strawberry tree, Arbutus unedo, can be seen in fine flower with masses of small white bells in the shrub border against the warm brick wall, whilst further along Mahonia x media ‘Charity’ is still exhibiting its spikes of yellow flowers.  The winter grey-green catkins of the evergreen Garrya elliptica can already be seen by the entrance to the rock garden, where the story is in general of future promise rather than current display; the furry flower buds of Magnolia wilsonii, in the bed at the bottom of the slope, showing it will yet again carry a fine crop of its elegant pendant flowers.

So a slippy, chilly drive home to enjoy the illusion of order provided by snow cover and to bask in glow of as yet unbroken resolutions to stay on top of the garden work next year!
                              David Atkinson
« Last Edit: January 19, 2013, 12:13:03 PM by Cruickshank Friend »
Cruickshank Botanic Garden, Aberdeen
http://www.abdn.ac.uk/botanic-garden/

Friends of the Cruickshank Botanic Garden
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Re: Notes from the Cruickshank Botanic Garden
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2013, 12:16:30 PM »
Cruickshank Garden Notes         Spring 2010

The snow seems finally to have gone.  It feels as though we had a very long January and suddenly spring is springing up all around and grass cutting is just around the corner.  Out at Craigievar- in the Arctic zone- the snow came a week before Christmas, and apart from a brief thaw in mid February only left in mid March leaving behind a fair amount of death and destruction.  The low temperatures have seen off a number of old friends - sages, rosemary, a buddleia or two, a Daphne bholua looking sick and many more.  But more striking this winter is the physical damage caused by the sheer weight of the snow, particularly in the absence of wind to blow it off plants and other structures.  The tally here includes two lean-to greenhouses, various gutters and a now ‘M’ shaped polytunnel, plus of course numerous broken branches, split shrubs and so on.

   
St. Machar Cathedral, from the Chanonry

However let us return to our nascent spring and a bright if chilly morning in the Cruickshank garden.  In many locations in the garden at the moment it is of course spring bulbs which catch the eye, from the snowdrops on the lawn just inside the Chanonry gate, to the patches of iris and cyclamen in the rock garden. Viburnum x bodnantense and Hammamelis spp must be about the most reliable winter flowering shrubs and deserve to be in any thinking person’s garden - situated near the house, otherwise their blooming may pass unnoticed in the depth of winter.  One of the above viburnum’s parents, Viburnum farrerii  is still in flower in the recently cleared bed next to the Chanonry entrance, near a Hammamelis mollis ‘Pallida’, still brightening the garden with its pale yellow scented flowers - the first of number in flower around the garden.

The normally robust New Zealand daisy bush, Olearia macrodonta, in the signpost bed in front of the Cruickshank Building, is showing signs of winter damage with crisped leaves and dead shoots, as is the slightly tender Rubus lineatus - a lovely foliage plant with leaves silvery and silky underneath - despite its warm position in a bed beside the building.   However the winter flowering Iris unguicularis, nestling at the foot of the building has still managed to produce a respectable display of large pale purple flowers.  On the other side of the path in front of the Auris building the branches of the excellent wide spreading flowering cherry, Prunus ‘Moerheimii’ are covered in swelling buds as is its neighbour and relative an unnamed small cherry.

The Witch Hazel relative, Parrotia persica, on the left of the path through to the sunken garden, is studded with small red petalless flowers, its pleasant flaking bark visible in its leafless state.  The peeling bark of the paper bark maple, Acer griseum, also stands out well while the surrounding trees are leafless. The purple hose in hose, primula massed in a bed near here remind one of how valuable primrose and polyanthus forms are at this time of year, so must split the ones I still have and purloin some more!

Have a look at the ‘ancient’ hedge along the northern edge of the lawn where the old order beds used to be, now expertly laid by the head gardener - ready to restrain livestock!  It will be interesting to watch its progress and recovery from what looks like drastic treatment.  While we are on the subject  of hedges, I was struck by how well cut and in good condition both the holly hedges round the rose garden and the hornbeam one round the old kitchen garden are; smooth and tapering to the top.

The herbaceous border looks pleasingly ready for action, cut down with new shoots just visible as are the buds on the spectacular Paeonia rockii on the south facing terrace, whereas Garrya elliptica, the evergreen shrub by the gate through to the rock garden is in its full glory, draped in long grey-green catkins (my specimen is another winter casualty I fear).  On the way to this enjoy the sight and scent of the excellent Daphne bholua in the bed in front of the wall, wreathed in headily scented pink flowers - a good bet for a reasonably sunny sheltered position in town,  if a bit challenged by the more arduous conditions further inland.

In the rock garden, enjoy the patches of numerous different bulbs (corms, tubers etc – but let’s not get too fussy!) - the grouping of Cyclamen coum at the foot of the Monkey puzzle tree is particularly pleasing, then home to your own garden to prepare for the impending growing season!
                                                                                                               
 David Atkinson
« Last Edit: January 19, 2013, 01:22:03 PM by Cruickshank Friend »
Cruickshank Botanic Garden, Aberdeen
http://www.abdn.ac.uk/botanic-garden/

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Re: Notes from the Cruickshank Botanic Garden
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2013, 12:26:56 PM »
Cruickshank Garden Notes Summer  2010

Well, the long hot summer we all seem to feel we deserve after the long cold winter we enjoyed, has yet to materialise and had better hurry up if it is going to be long. There have been some very pleasant warm moments and even whole days, but a lot of very chilly ones with icy northerly winds and too much wetness- what a joy it is mowing sodden grass!  The unfolding of the season has revealed further winter casualties - plants apparently all right but unable to sustain new growth; either because half broken branches could not support the extra windage that a new crop of leaves brought, or because roots or bark  were more damaged than they had first seemed.  I have lost, in addition to the plants mentioned in the last notes a three metre sweet chestnut, a large Paulownia tomentosa and even a dwarf Scots pine and various Deutzia.  In addition gardeners have had to contend with the damage hungry rabbits and deer have caused in many country gardens - a rabbit fence is a poor barrier if there is three feet of snow, and apple and rowan bark is tasty enough to a starving grazer.  On a much more positive note however those trees and shrubs which survive the winter are flowering profusely, native Hawthorn, Rowan, Gorse and Broom are joined by Rhododendrons, Viburnums and more, presumably as a result of last year’s conditions- a reasonably warm and moist summer with a slow and measured descent into autumn and winter.



Paulownia tomentosa thriving in Australia, photo by Fermiano de Sousa

Thus to the Cruickshank on a pleasant Thursday evening when the lowing herd – if there had been one – would undoubtedly have been winding slowly o’er the lea, where the big beech by the Chanonry entrance is already laden with a heavy crop of mast, and embryonic berries can be spotted on the rowans nearby.  The Weeping ash, Fraxinus excelsior ‘Pendula’ on the corner encloses a pleasing green space beneath its branches as do the very satisfactory two Weeping elms, Ulmus glabra ‘Camperdownii’ on the northern edge of the old order beds.  All three of these much more satisfactory and dignified than most weeping trees because they were either grafted high or trained vertically before being allowed to weep. The bed by the south west corner of the Cruickshank building has been planted with a diverse selection of Aquilegia species and forms. The bed is colourful and interesting now and it will be amusing to view the results of their promiscuous mixing in years to come!  In the nearby peat bed the  New Zealand native, Bulbinella hookeri with bronzy foliage and spikes of egg-yolk yellow flowers, like a mini red hot poker, is thriving in the coolish dampish conditions, shaded from the south by a well and fragrantly flowered dwarf lilac Syringa  meyeri ‘Palibin’- an excellent, very hardy and easy-going choice for any garden.  This bed, as with many others in the garden is enlivened at the moment by self sown specimens of Dame’s violet, Hesperis matronalis, with musky scented flowers in shades of lilac - another plant that should be in all but the most rigidly controlled gardens.

As you wander through to the shrub border leading to St. Machar Drive, note the spectacle of Laburnum x wateri ‘Vossii’ , common enough to be overlooked, but marvellous when wreathed in its long dangling racemes of yellow pea flowers. Enjoy also the large white flowers on the Medlar, Mespilus  germanica at the eastern end of boundary  border and the nearby red flowered hawthorn, Crateagus laevigata ‘Punicea’(aka Crimson Cloud).

In the west facing side of the shrub border one of the garden’s specimens of the Chilean fire bush, Embothrium coccineum, Lanceolatum Group, is exotically  covered in profuse orange red flowers, near the golden Philadelphus, P.coronarius ‘Aureus’ on the point of filling the air with the heady scent of its largish white flowers. This plant is another reliable garden plant, tolerant of pruning and thriving - though more lime green than golden - in even quite dense shade. Two pinkish flowered Lilacs Syringa emodi from the Himalaya and the Canadian raised S. x josiflexa ’Bellicent’ are also fragrantly thriving here.

The Rose Garden is just yawning and stretching with pleasing early blooms on, among others, the excellent Rugosa hybrid, the vigorous, scented magenta flowered Roseraie del’Hay, the species Rosa moyesii and the tall white flowered Rosa pimpinellifolia (now R. spinosissima) ‘Altaica’.  Don’t forget to admire the excellent and beautifully tended hedges which bound this area.

The herbaceous border, mulched and staked is already charming with patches of early perennials and the promise of so much more; a group of a whitish Foxtail lily  (Eremurus?), Paeonies, Geranium,  a tall yellow Meadow rue, Thalictrum lucidum, the crimson-flowered Thistle, Cirsium rivulare, and much more on an almost daily basis.

The terrace wall is delightful with another specimen of Embothrium coccineum, a Bladder senna, Colutea x meadia with copper coloured pea flowers with faces like a Disney cartoon character, Wisteria and the splendid Californian currant, Ribes speciosum, with dangling fuchsia like flowers, waiting hopefully for a humming bird to come and pollinate them!

Finally to the Rock Garden where the spring display is quieting down, though much of interest remains, including a group of the African violet relative, the Chasmophyte, Ramonda myconi in the Dawn redwood bed, dactylorhiza orchids here and there and a fine stand of the native Flag iris I. pseudacorus, here in water in the bottom pool but surprisingly tolerant of drier conditions.



Close-up of Paulownia flowers

And so to bed - hoping that by the time you read this we will be basking in sunshine and looking forward to a refreshing glass of Pimms with not a jumper or fleece in sight! 
                                                                                                                                     David Atkinson
« Last Edit: January 19, 2013, 07:08:29 PM by Cruickshank Friend »
Cruickshank Botanic Garden, Aberdeen
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Re: Notes from the Cruickshank Botanic Garden
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2013, 12:44:10 PM »
Cruickshank notes – Autumn 2010

Another growing season reaches its climax - fruit ripens on trees, harvest time nears and those provident ants among us make jams and other preserves to sustain themselves through the long winter months.  It seems to have been another good year for trees and shrubs; those that survived the snow and cold have in general flowered well and their branches are now weighed down with berries or other fruit.
 
The large beech tree by the Chanonry gate has, accordingly, a huge crop of mast and the two rowans on the other side of the path, a pink-berried form of Sorbus cashmeriana and a white- berried Sorbus forrestii are laden with fruit, as indeed is the fine weeping ash, Fraxinus excelsior ‘Pendula’ on the corner of this bed, ready to provide the gardeners with lots of weeding opportunities next season.  The ‘notice board’ bed has a white agapanthus in flower at the moment as well as the exotically flowered New Zealand flax, Phormium tenax – a reasonable bet in Aberdeen, though in my experience it does not survive the winters inland. Unfortunately the more excitingly-coloured foliage types are forms or hybrids of the less hardy Phormium cookianum, which struggles even in town.  Also in this bed is a plant of the herbaceous berberis relative Podophyllum hexandrum, usually thriving in a coolish moist situation- indeed there is a good clump in the sunken garden, with pleasant, large mottled leaves, largeish pink flowers and at this time of year very striking plum sized and shaped bright red fruits which are allegedly edible when fully ripe - ‘juicy but insipid’- but I’m not sure I fancy trying one!

 Actaea rubra in flower, Canada - Cohan Fulford

The unequivocally poisonous berries of Actaea rubra, the baneberry, similarly bright red, can be seen in a number of places in the garden, cheering up shady corners.  There is an interesting brief account of the effects of a deliberate experimental self-intoxication in the Wikipedia entry for this species - but don’t try it at home!  The youngish specimen of the Chinese shrub, Decaisnea fargesii, has large crop pods, green like broad beans at the moment but soon to change to a remarkable metallic-blue.  This is a very hardy large shrub though prone to damage from late frosts, with elegant, large pinnate leaves and racemes of yellow-green flowers.  Nearby the two weeping elm specimens, Ulmus glabra ‘Camperdownii’, continue to defy Dutch elm disease and provide shady bowers from our searing summer sun.
The maidenhair tree, Gingko biloba, does less well though it must be at least 30 years old.   It is a scrawny specimen suffering here from our cool maritime summers, though thriving as far north as Levens Hall in Cumbria.

The large beech on the lawn between the shrub border and the rose garden is in danger of overwhelming the other residents - the horse chestnut relative, the American Aesculus parviflora is almost under its canopy, though the elegant Chinese Tetradium daniellii to the south of the beech is still managing to flower profusely, its corymbs of small white buds about to release their fragrance into the late summer air.

The South African bed on the northern side of the sunken garden is delightful at the moment with forms of the cape figwort Phygelius spp, Agapanthus and Eucomis, whilst the bed in front is a flower filled mass of annual marigolds, cornflower, and quaking grass, Briza maxima.

However, the major impact in the garden at this time of year is provided by the herbaceous border, still not quite at its peak, it is nonetheless a splendid celebration of the sheer diversity of form, colour and habit of plants that thrive in Aberdeen, with its size allowing planting in bold blocks for maximum impact.  Here can be found Phlox paniculata  forms in purple, white and shades of pink, tall Eupatorium in purple, pink and white, blocks of agapanthus in a very good blue, forms of spikey foliaged Crocosmia x crocosmiflora and much more besides.


Eupatorium maculatum in bud,  Canada, Kristl Walek

The rock garden is by comparison relatively restrained though its evergreenery is as ever pleasing and restful.  However even here clumps of the ginger relative Roscoea spp. provide exotic floral pleasure and the large leaved hydrangeas, H. sargentiana and H. aspera in the border along the southern edge are parading their tasteful lilac lace-caps.  Enjoy also their neighbour, the handsome Clethra delavayi with dark green leaves and long racemes of lily of the valley-like flowers - worth trying in a very sheltered spot even inland, flowering with me for a number of years.  Finally, there was just one Cyclamen hederifolium flower visible, but by the time you read this the early autumn display should be well under way.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                 David Aktkinson
Cruickshank Botanic Garden, Aberdeen
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Re: Notes from the Cruickshank Botanic Garden
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2013, 01:11:53 PM »
Cruickshank Garden notes, January  2011

 
One of the CBG Camperdown Elms in the snow

What a lot of snow we have had for a second year, straight down with no wind and arriving in November when much autumn clearing work was still to be done, leaves cleared, hedges trimmed, hatches battened down and so on.  After the snowy demise of our polytunnel last year we assiduously cleared the considerable quantities of snow from it every day and it has survived, though our gutters have fared less well. There is a lot of physical damage to trees and shrubs and the freezing temperatures have clearly caused many casualties though the full extent won’t be apparent for a long while yet.  However as I write this the sun is shining, it is 8 degrees in the shade, the snow is disappearing fast and if you didn’t know better you’d think spring was just around the corner!

So to the snowless Cruickshank Garden, where the spring awakening has yet to take place, the bulbs in the grass by the Chanonry entrance are not above ground, though the winter pansies in the containers by the greenhouses on the left are cheerfully flowering away and the flower buds on the double gean in the courtyard promise future pleasure.  The New Zealand daisy bush, Olearia macrodonta, not yet recovered from last year’s winter has been knocked back again.  The berries from Sorbus cashmeriana cover the ground under the tree uneaten despite the harshness of the weather, Sorbus vilmorinii seems to have berries similarly unattractive to birds.  Nearby is a good specimen of the very hardy prostrate Siberian conifer, Microbiota decussata, its foliage in its winter brown - a useful ground cover conifer.
The Witchhazel, Hammamelis mollis on the left as you continue your tour, one of a number in the garden, is just starting to reveal its fragrant yellow flowers.  As with other winter flowering plants it is a good idea to place this somewhere near your house where you will see it in the course of everyday life, otherwise its glory can pass unnoticed.  Next to it is a relative Parrotia persica, with pleasant flaking bark like a London plane tree.  This is another very hardy tall shrub, though it has yet to flower with me, its small red petal-less flowers not yet on show in the Cruickshank Garden either.  The winter flowering viburnum V. farreri, with sweetly scented white flowers opening from pink buds can be seen in the bed above the sunken garden.  This is one of the parents of the better known and excellent Viburnum x bodnantense, not as vigorous as its offspring but it still merits garden room.  In the same bed winter rosettes of monocarpic meconopsis enliven the scene.
The dry stems and seed heads of Honesty, Lunaria annua, - an excellent ‘casual’- cheer up the shrub border leading towards the boundary wall, aided by the startlingly red berries of the shade tolerant evergreen Skimmia japonica.  Another shade loving evergreen Butcher’s Broom, Ruscus aculeatus, with many spiny stems though no berries can be seen nearby in the border along the wall.
The absence of flower power throws one’s attention onto the shapes and structure in the garden and the very well trimmed hedges round the rose garden are pleasing to contemplate as is the tracery of deciduous branches against the sky, masked by the foliage later in the year.  The conifers at the eastern end of the sunken garden, where the bulb lawn is still sleeping, similarly provide an interesting integrated picture of contrasting textures, form and colour.


Galanthus reginae-olgae
Roma Fiddes: "Galanthus reginae-olgae (corcyrensis) has emerged still flowering from the melting snow. The form pictured was called corcyrensis till Aaron Davis did his PhD.  It starts flowering in November and can keep going till February".


Another winter flowerer, though not a good performer in colder inland areas, Mahonia x media ‘Charity’, is about to flower against the warm wall by the gate to the rock garden, where apart from the odd cyclamen and a pleasing group of the very early snowdrop Galanthus reginae-olgae in the dawn redwood bed, the story is again of structure, texture and shades of green.
So let us enjoy the illusion that there is plenty of time to plan and prepare for the next growing season and hope for a real summer to go with the real winter - four distinct seasons in the right order would get my vote!
                                                                                                  David Atkinson

« Last Edit: January 19, 2013, 01:32:40 PM by Cruickshank Friend »
Cruickshank Botanic Garden, Aberdeen
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Re: Notes from the Cruickshank Botanic Garden
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2013, 02:10:16 PM »
Cruickshank Garden Notes, Spring 2011

The clocks have sprung forward giving us light evenings, snow is retreating to mountain tops and every day brings new signs of the season to come.  It is still a bit too early finally to pronounce on the casualties of winter though the prognosis is not looking too good for a variety of shrubs - some of which have survived many a year. Phormiums, even the hardier P. tenax have been hit hard, many Ceanothus have bloomed for the last time and many Cistus have given up the unequal struggle. 
I, in common with many of you, have rather a lot of ‘planting opportunities’!
However, fortunately there are still many floral pleasures to be found in the Cruickshank Garden on a crisp spring morning.  On the beech lawn just by the Chanonry gate, daffodils have taken over from the snowdrops whilst on the other side of the path, the early rhododendron, R. racemosum, is well covered with dark pink flowers, protected from late frosts by the overhanging Sorbus cashmeriana branches already  bearing burgeoning buds.  The Iris unguicularis, at the base of the south facing wall of the Cruickshank Building, is full of flower as every spring, revelling in its dry sun-baked (well, relatively!) position - it has only managed an occasional flower out here at Craigievar, though its near relative Iris lazica from Crete, another early flowerer, has done far better. However, other denizens of this courtyard area have fared less well, many of the leaf tips of the normally elegant juniper J. recurva var ‘Coxii’, are burnt brown and I think the second hard winter in a row has finished off the New Zealand daisy bush, Olearia macrodonta in the notice board bed.


Rhododendron racemosum in the Victoria, Canada garden of Diane Whitehead

Small delights are appearing in the nearby peat beds, some attractive double primroses, a pleasant corydalis, C. cheilanthifolia,  sundry small bulbs and the strange purple fruits of Pernettya mucronata, a very hardy evergreen from Chile with marble-like berries varying in colour depending on the clone from white through various pinks to purple and crimson - arguably good for a mass planting but somehow not very exciting - in the same category for me as Skimmia and Potentilla fruticosa; plants I feel mildly ungrateful for not liking more!
Other early spring pleasures come into view as you wander towards the weeping elm, Ulmus glabra ‘Camperdownii’ itself lovely with its bare branches covered in purple petal less flowers. There are more double primroses, hellebores, a fine white-flowered Daphne mezereum, beautifully scented which, if occasionally short-lived,  should be in everyone’s garden, doing well even in quite dense deciduous shade. In a bed on the upper edge of the sunken garden Bergenia is flowering well and looking far less moth-eaten than I can ever manage it, next to a very well flowered specimen of the  pale yellow dwarf Rhododendron ‘Chink’. Nearby admire the hedger’s skill in the well-laid ‘ancient’ hedgerow, new low growth springing from the horizontal, almost completely severed trunks. The evergreen hedges of yew and holly round the quiescent rose garden should also be admired, beautifully trimmed into text book shape, broad at the base and tapering narrowly to the top.
The bulb lawn in the bottom of the sunken garden is filling with colour, dwarf daffodils, Narcissus minimus among others, dog’s tooth violets, Erythronium dens-canis, a pleasant Cambridge blue grape hyacinth inter alia. Though a fierce-some  spreader by seed - as here- Chionodoxa luciliae- ‘Glory of the snow’- makes a wonderful sea of bright blue in the bed at the eastern end of the sunken garden, the nearby raised bed is home to Trillium in variety and some very good Corydalis, whist other recently cleared beds wait eagerly for their new plantings.
 On the terrace the many flower buds on the sumptuous tree paeony, P. rockii (formerly P. suffructicosa  ‘Rock’s variety’) are already discernable. This tree paeony I have found to be much hardier and a far more reliable performer than the Japanese named forms – ‘Flight of Cranes’ etc. that seem to languish in our chilly northern climes, whereas P. rockii increases in size and number of flowers, which are fully eight inches across and wonderfully coloured, white with basal splashes of maroon, even at Craigievar.  P. lutea and P. delavayi also thrive in our area with very good foliage and good numbers of albeit smaller flowers somewhat hidden by the foliage.
The evergreen Garrya elliptica, gatekeeper for the Rock Garden entrance is still adorned with its long catkins, unworried by its shady situation, a restrained contrast to the bright patches of colour in the rock garden. Scilla turbergeniana is splendid with pale blue flowers with a darker stripe down the middle of each petal, various colour forms of the common and easy drumstick primula, P. denticula stoutly advertise themselves, and a particularly fine ring of Cyclamen coum, with lovely mottled foliage and charming pink flowers with reflexed petals can be seen at the base of the large monkey puzzle, Araucaria araucana- an interesting juxtaposition!

 
Cyclamen coum in the Vienna garden of Franz Hadacek

Do go and look for yourself though, so much happens every day at this time of year and we can all enjoy the sense of renewal that opening buds, new leaves and emergent shoots bring before the hurly burly of grass cutting, weeding, staking and so on take over.
                                                                                                                 David Atkinson
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Re: Notes from the Cruickshank Botanic Garden
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2013, 02:20:30 PM »
Cruickshank notes,  late June 2011

Nights are drawing in but we have not really had many balmy summer days yet.  The early dry period in April and May has been followed by plenty of rain and rather low temperatures. Grass growth has been slow – silage crops are not bulky - though native weeds are all too flourishing.  Winter damage has continue to reveal itself; as well as the already dead, further casualties have become apparent as they fail to come into growth, a number of eucalyptus, cistus , ceanothus,  Clematis montana  particularly older ones) buddleia and many roses inter alia have passed on.  Others have come back from the dead, shooting from apparently lifeless branches or from the roots - the Olearia macrodonta in the ‘noticeboard  bed’  being a case in point, an abundance of shoots breaking from the first foot or so, though it will be several years and milder winters before it reaches its former glory.  Nearby in the bed to the south of the Cruickshank Building by the peat beds the tenderish  Rubus lineatus with pleasing leaves composed of five leaflets, dark green  above silver and silky below has been pruned of its dead stems and looks well, if diminished.



Olearia macrodonta-from native plant specialist, David Lyttle, Otago, New Zealand

At this time of year in many established gardens the benefit of 'casuals', garden plants that gently sow themselves around enhancing or pleasingly subverting the careful plans of the controlling gardener, are very clear. Aquilegias cheerfully interbreed and provide a delightful variety of form and colour, less varied but well scented Dame’s violet, Hesperis matronalis lights up many shady corners.  The various forms of the biennial Honesty, Lunaria annua fulfil a similar function.  All are easily weeded out if their chosen spot does not please the vigilant gardener.
In the pond in the north-east corner of the lawn area by the Auris Building - the old order bed  area, the ? native Water soldier, Stratiotes aloides, has floated to the surface from its winter rest at depth and is vainly showing its all female white flowers in the clear water left by the vigorous Flag iris, I. pseudacorus, still with the last of its yellow flowers.  Nearby, on the other side of the Weeping elm, Ulmus glabra ‘Camperdownii’, still mercifully unaffected by Dutch elm disease, the recently laid ‘ancient hedgerow is growing as intended, thickly and vigorous , looking convincingly stock-proof.
The Rose Garden is a pleasant place to wander at the moment, particularly if you can catch a rare sunny spell.  The roses  to the south on the upper level are flourishing; 'Dundee rambler', 'Stanwell Perpetual', 'Rose-Marie Viaud' among others, enhanced by the sweet peas that are threading their way through.  Similarly the beds on the upper  level at the North end are full of delightful old roses in a range of subtle pinks and dusty purples. Unfortunately the floribundas/hybrid teas in the beds in the sunken terrace are starting to show the effects of age and infirmity, and are possible candidates for replacement - funds permitting!
The replanted bed in the Sunken Garden, where the overenthusiastic gaultheria was removed, has been replanted with a range of herbaceous plants, Gaura lindheimii, Coreopsis verticillata, and various Penstemon among others,  promises to provide a welcome splash of colour soon.
The Bladder senna, Colutea x media ‘Copper Beauty’ on the brick wall next to the summer house, is delightfully adorned with copper-orange pea flowers, while the herbaceous border is just getting into its stride, the early geraniums, pyrethrums , thalictrums and so on soon to be joined by the full summer panoply of phlox, eupatoriums,  and ‘daisies’ in profusion.
After its spring extravaganza the Rock Garden delights are calmer now, the shapes and subtle shades of green please and floral gems are still to be found.  Various species of the hardy ginger relative Roscoea spp and exotic looking Incarvilleas and much else beside, justify a diligent wander here before the demands of your own garden call you back home.     
                                                                                                                                David Atkinson
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Re: Notes from the Cruickshank Botanic Garden
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2013, 02:32:10 PM »
Cruickshank notes Autumn 2011

So that was summer?  Summer’s lease has had a rather short day this year.  The horse chestnut trees alongside the Alford road by Dunecht are displaying the yellows of autumn, colchicum, cyclamen and autumn crocus are starting to bloom, flowers are already appearing on Viburnum x bodnantense ‘Dawn’ and I’m looking for recipes for green tomatoes.  On the upside, the sweet corn from our tunnel is ripe and deliciously sweet, and there are 15 large ripening fruit on the true quince tree, Cydonia oblonga, also grown with benefit of polythene! The ample rainfall has brought considerable growth to many trees and shrubs though the lingering effects of the cold winter, as well as completely killing some conifer hedges, has meant that many remaining ones have only made half their usual extension growth.
There were no mists, but some mellow fruitfulness on the day I visited the Cruickshank Garden; there are many different sorbus- rowans, whitebeams etc.- in the garden with a splendid variety of coloured berries.  On the left as you come through the Chanonry gate, is a blush pink-berried Sorbus cashmeriana next to a white berried Sorbus forestii while at the far side of the courtyard is a more usual white-berried Sorbus cashmeriana, excellent as a multi-stemmed small tree.  A number of plants in the ‘noticeboard bed’ are still showing the effects of the winter, there is a moribund Phormium tenax-  New Zealand flax, with a few straggly leaves - one of many to have suffered mightily in and around Aberdeen, and an Olearia ilicifolia which is a shadow of its former self though Agapanthus in both white and blue is flourishing.  The self-seeding biennial / short-lived sea holly, Eryngium giganteum, Miss Wilmot’s ghost, enlivens the beds around here while a small-leaved rhododendron in one of the peat beds, is unseasonally covered in blue flowers.  Round the corner, the west wall of the Cruickshank building is resplendent to the top in the deep reds of the magnificently vigorous self-clinging Virginia creeper, Parthenocissus quinquefolia (or possibly P. tricuspidata, Boston Ivy, I didn’t look closely enough).
The bed on the eastern lip of the sunken garden is full at the moment, of dinner plate sized light brown fungi ( species?), whilst the nearby red berries of the red baneberry, Actaea rubra and the pale yellow ones of Daphne mezereum f.alba provide alternate sources of poison!  While further on from here, in the shrub border leading to St. Machar’s Drive, the very shade tolerant Skimmia japonica has this years red berries (not edible but less poisonous than the above) and next year’s buds simultaneously.  Nearby the excellent evergreen Eucryphia x nymansensis ‘Nymansay’, a hybrid between two South American species is wreathed in large multi-stamened white flowers.  This, though hardy in Aberdeen where it flowers best with some sun, is not a good long term prospect for higher, more inland gardens, where severe winters will finish it off.  I grew its much smaller Tasmanian relative E. milliganii successfully at Craigievar till the winter of 1999 took it out, since when despite several attempts I have failed to re-establish it.
Though the well cut hedges and hips on the species roses please, there is not much flower power in the rose garden at the moment.  The floribundas in the sunken section which might be expected to keep the rose flag flying through late summer, are at the end of their useful life and their flowering is desultory at best.
In the sunken garden, the bulb lawn is shorn waiting for the autumn bulb display of colchicum and crocuses, whilst in the bed nearby the impressive bright red dangling fruits of the Himalayan damp-lover, Podophyllum emodi, stand out.  A large patch of the North American woodlander, Disporum smithii can be seen under a nearby rhododendron, a member of the lily family, with white Solomon’s seal flowers in spring, now showing off a fine crop of orange berries.  The late flowering willow gentian, Gentiana asclepiadia is also here with true  blue flowers along the length of its arching stems.  Though mainly a plant of woodlands in the wild, it is thriving with me in an open meadow holding its own among the surrounding grasses.  The South African bed on the north side of the sunken garden is pleasantly multi-coloured with blue agapanthus, pink Tritonia rosea, green Eucomis comosa and Cape figwort, Phygelius capensis in a variety of colours.
The herbaceous border is still a mass of colour, showing or rather not showing the benefits of early and comprehensive staking.  Border phlox in shades of pink, white, lilac and a splendid deep purple, Eupatorium six feet and more tall with heads of flowers in white and shades of pink, and much else besides.


Hydrangea aspera photgraphed at Rousham House, Oxfordhsire, by Giles Reed

 The rock garden, always pleasing for its arrangement of beds, trees and rocks - a strong structure enhanced by the many evergreens, has few but charming flowers at this time of year.  Enjoy the cyclamen in the dawn redwood bed, the ‘Angels’s fishing rods’, Dierama pulcherrimum waving in the breeze and the delicate flowers of the Autumn snow flake, while in the shady bed at the bottom of the slope, various forms of Hydrangea aspera, with lace-cap heads of subtle deep lilac are thriving in the moist cool conditions.

So with only the chance of an Indian summer to look forward to, it  is time to put some more logs on the fire and hope for a dry day tomorrow!
                                                                                                                            David Atkinson
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Re: Notes from the Cruickshank Botanic Garden
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2013, 02:43:05 PM »
Cruickshank Garden Notes      January  2012

‘Blow, blow thou winter wind.  Thou art not so unkind as man’s ingratitude.’

However that may be, the winter winds have bitten pretty keenly this year.  After two remarkably windless winters, many trees, fences, sheds and even walls have been battered into submission in the gales and many gardens were strewn with debris even if they did not lose any whole plants.  Indeed in the Cruickshank garden a fair supply of firewood could be gleaned from the lawns, whilst more unfortunately, the graceful and well-shaped, Japanese elm relative, Zelkova  serrata, on the opposite side of the path to the south of the herbaceous border and about halfway along, is now lying horizontally awaiting the last rites.
In my garden and many others, including the Cruickshank, precocious growth and flowering seems to be the order of the day.  I have had spring bulbs (Iris histriodes and I. reticulata and various Crocus inter alia) poking above ground since mid-December, the noses of trilliums are also visible and both witch hazel, Hamamelis mollis ‘Pallida’ and Viburnum x bodnantense have been in flower weeks earlier than usual.
In the bulb-rich lawn under the beech tree by the Chanonry entrance, a single orange crocus amongst the snowdrop and daffodil foliage is the harbinger of the floral display to come, while round the corner in the courtyard, snuggled against the south-facing wall, the winter flowering iris I. unguicularis already has large lilac, fragrant flowers nestling amongst its foliage and the splendid, wide-spreading cherry Prunus ‘Moerheimii’ is covered in slowly swelling buds.


I. unguicularis in Dunedin, New Zealand , Lelsley Cox


The nearby peat beds are in the process of being refurbished, and look pleasing with the terraces rebuilt in logs.  A pink Kaffir lily, Schizostylis coccinea, though a little weather beaten is still flowering away here and Gaultheria mucronata (formerly Pernettya mucronata) is covered in purplish berries and looks surprisingly well for a plant I find it hard to love.  On the other side of the main path a witch hazel, Hamamelis mollis, is in full flower, while next to it one of its cousins Parrotia persica is just opening its flowers consisting of clusters of red stamens.  This last looks elegant in its leafless state, its attractive flaking bark visible through the dome of weeping branches, a very hardy large shrub even in exposed inland situations.  A nearby bed is already adorned with the largeish flowers and grey foliage of an attractive snowdrop, a Galanthus elwesii hybrid, and odd flowers on the old primrose variety Primula vulgaris ‘Lilacena Plena’- Quaker’s Bonnet.
Early flowering rhododendrons, R. dauricum and R. mucronulatum can be seen in the bed on the eastern rim of the sunken garden next to the winter flowering Viburnum farreri, one of the parents of the better known V. x bodnantense.  These two rhododendrons with smallish purpleish flowers, would be well outshone by their showier relatives had they not chosen to flower at a florally starved time of year!
Though there are no roses flowering, the immaculately clipped hedges of the rose garden are very pleasing.  Evergreens provide structure and somehow anchor a garden in the darker months, as also in the rock garden area with its less formal but still sculptural conifers, other evergreens and the elegant tracery of the leafless branches of shapely deciduous Cercidiphyllum japonica ‘Pendula’ and the three dawn redwoods Metasequoia glyptostroboides.
On the terrace, another witness to the relatively mild weather the half-hardy sub-shrub, Melianthus major with exotic glaucous deeply-toothed pinnate leaves still stands untouched by frost.  A very fine specimen of Mahonia x media ‘Charity’ is in full flower against the long wall by the gate through to the rock garden just past a large specimen of the evergreen  Arbutus unedo, the ‘Killarney Strawberry Tree’, still decorated with small white bell–shaped flowers - the hardiest and least interesting of arbutus species.
 The new path to the arboretum at the top of the slope provides a pleasant new view down the rock garden. Here in the bed with the large birch in it, is a plant I have not spotted before resembling a false quince, a medium sized shrub, Prinsepia sinensis, from Manchuria and currently bearing buttercup- yellow flowers along its arching stems.  The winter flowering Cyclamen coum has taken over from the autumn flowering C. hederifolium whose attractive foliage still pleases.  I particularly like the combination of the large monkey puzzle, Araucaria araucana, with Cyclamen coum flowering round its toes.  Here again spring bulbs are already marking the lengthening days and the promise of spring – with possibly a summer after that for a change!
                                                                                                                                 David Atkinson
« Last Edit: January 19, 2013, 02:46:51 PM by Cruickshank Friend »
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Re: Notes from the Cruickshank Botanic Garden
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2013, 02:50:33 PM »
Cruickshank Garden Notes, late March 2012

As I walked round the Cruickshank gardens recently, the sun was shining, students and others were strewn here and there in sunny spots communing with each other, nature and their books, a playgroup was intent on their snacks on the terrace - and the brightness of day was echoed by the cheerful optimism of the spring flowers and a garden ready for a burst of growth. After a very easy almost snow free winter - discounted snow shovels and bags of salt will be everywhere soon, we are now in that pleasant period in the gardening year when the illusion of control and timely intervention is relatively easy to maintain.
The freshness of the swelling buds and new growth bring promise of future delight and new possibilities though that dour and depressing thought that ‘we’ll aye pey for it’ lurks in shadier corners. Meanwhile, oblivious of their doom, white daffodils with pale yellow coronas have taken over from the Fred’s Giant snowdrop in the lawn under the big beech tree by the Chanonry entrance, while round the corner in the courtyard, the splendid flowering cherry, Prunus ‘Moerheimii’ is wreathed in single pink flowers, a splendid sight despite being restricted by the demands for parking without which it would probably be 10 metres or more in diameter. Its near neighbour, an unnamed flowering cherry, is covered in bud ready to take over the floral baton aided by the large double gean, Prunus avium ‘Plena’, on the other side of the main thoroughfare, this last rightly described in Hillier’s manual as “one of the loveliest of all flowering trees” though it does need a lot of space to show itself to best advantage.

The bases of a number of trees in the wooded area on the way to the long shrub border have been enlivened by rings of early pansies, cheerful everywhere though most striking where a single colour is used. The peeling cinnamon bark of the Paperbark maple Acer griseum looks particularly good in spring sunshine; this, though slow growing, is a very hardy tree with a modicum of shelter even in cold inland gardens.


Fritillaria meleagris
, from Wim Boens in Belgium

 The bulb lawn in the sunken garden is heading towards its season of maximum impact;  miniature narcissus taking over from crocus and about to be joined by Dogtooth violets, Erythronium spp, and Snakeshead fritillaries, Fritillaria meleagris amongst others. While in beds nearby, often in quite deep shade, various Corydalis species and cultivars, deceptively fragile looking, thrive in diverse colours, while the emerging shoots of the ‘Himalayan rhubarb’ Rheum palmatum look almost reptilian.The herbaceous border, as always at this time, has been cut down and is neatly sitting waiting to play its part. It is still too early for most of the plants against the long warm to be in flower, though promising buds can be seen on the excellent Flowering currant Ribes speciosum and the freestanding Berberis in front of the summer house is already proudly and unashamedly orange. Then past swelling buds on the green flowered cherry Prunus ‘Ukon’ and  the dying catkins on Garrya elliptica and into the rock garden area where splashes of colour from diverse groups of spring bulbs catch the eye, along with early shrubs such as the excellent Witch hazel relative Corylopsis spicata by one of the stepping stones over the stream.
The dwarf forsythia, F. viridissima ‘Bronxensis’ at a corner of the bed uphill of the Dawn redwoods shelters a mass of  Narcissus triandrus, forming an intensely yellow curve. In the same bed a variety of spring flowerers are flourishing before the trees leaf out, including the pleasant yellow Anemone Anemone ranunculoides and a myriad Chionodoxa and Scilla.

So off to enjoy gardening in the current dry and warmth; a little rain overnight a few times a week and may this continue till September at least!

                                                                                                                                David Atkinson
« Last Edit: January 19, 2013, 03:20:26 PM by Cruickshank Friend »
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Re: Notes from the Cruickshank Botanic Garden
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2013, 03:14:36 PM »
Cruikshank notes Autumn 2012

‘Mrs Noah, one day she asked ‘How does it look outside?’ Out of the window, Noah popped his head and said ‘We’ve got plenty of water!’

So indeed have we, the rainfall of early summer has been matched by the rainfall of late summer and we cheer each other up with hopeful talk of an Indian summer- hmm! The plants that can grow have been growing exuberantly and rank vegetation abounds, grass has yet to slow down and trench foot remains a danger as the rising damp meets the falling damp.
Thus it was a on a dreich Monday afternoon that I found myself splashing round the Cruickshank Garden in a steady downpour, taking notes on increasingly soggy bits of paper.  I noticed the Clematis montana climbing over the small rowan, on the left just after the Chanonry gate, and up into the holly behind it, and wondered quite how far an entirely unpruned one would travel. It is excellent plant, in its many forms, from white to pink, often with good purple new foliage and sometimes well-scented, but very rampant and inclined to smother all but the most vigorous of supporting plants unless trimmed – though not too late in the year or you lose much of the potential flower.
The Agapanthus, in the ‘Noticeboard bed’- as elsewhere in the garden, is flowering very well indeed.  Whether this performance which is matched in my garden and several others I visit, is the result of the mild winter or the aforementioned moisture, I know not, but it is nonetheless very welcome. The dahlias in the nearby bed look less pleased with the wet!
The foliage of Parrotia persica and the Viburnum plicatum ‘Mariesii’ which flank the path through to the weeping elm, is colouring already and berries and seedheads are more in evidence than flowers on the shrubs in this area.  The skimmia, as always thriving as an understorey, are covered in bright red berries, matched in colour by baneberries, Actaea rubra,  which have seeded liberally into beds and borders.  In the west-facing half of this shrub border, the Chilean shrub Eucryphia glutinosa - deciduous  with us, though evergreen in the wild - is well decorated with large clear white flowers and prominent stamens, whilst in the increasingly wooded area between the Shrub Border and the Rose Garden, a skimmia relative - a fellow member of the ‘citrus family’, the Rutaceae- the Chinese tree, Tetradium danielli, with large pinnate leaves, is about to fill the warm air of our Indian summer (!) with the fragrance of its corymbs of small white flowers.
In the Rose Garden too, the hips of Rosa moyesii are striking, and the sweet peas very pleasing and fragrant. The floribunda roses in the sunken area, already in their twilight years, have not enjoyed this summer at all.  The bedding begonias in the central bed seem to relish the damp and flower insouciantly well. The bulb lawn in the Sunken Garden has had its annual haircut and the short turf is waiting for the imminent emergence of autumn flowering colchicum and crocus. In the South African bed on the north side of the sunken area, very much the same plants are flowering as when I described them three months ago - a testament to their sustained flower power.  Thus various forms of the cape figwort, phygelius spp. combine with a dwarf form of the pink daisy, Osteospermum juncundum, now enhanced by the delicate pink blooms of their fellow native Tritonia rosea, like a delicate crocosmia, which thrives in this relatively sunny, well-drained spot.
The Chilean fire bush, Embothrium coccineum , still with some fine orangey red flowers near the summer house, is in danger of being smothered by excellent if over-vigorous climber, Vitis coignetiae, which will soon be resplendent in its autumn crimson and scarlet foliage.  Nearby the plants in the bed against the wall on the terrace are suffering from increasing shade from the large pine that is spreading above them. If we are not having to deal with plants that aren’t growing, then it is plants that are growing too well that cause the problem!
The herbaceous border is the major provider of floral impact at this time and as always timeously staked, the plants  are standing up to the conditions well.  The border phlox in colours from white through various pinks to an excellent strong purple are thriving and taller than usual.  The grey foliage of the tall member of the poppy family Macleaya cordata provides a cool foil to the brighter colours and the globe thistle, Echinops ritro, various eupatoriums and many members of the daisy family are all flourishing.


Dierama pulcherrimum,
Luit van Delft in Holland

In the Rock Garden, the first delightful Cyclamen hederifolium can be found, their delicate reflexed petals belying their robust hardy constitution.  The equally delicate though less hardy autumn snowflake, Acis autumnale (formerly Leucojum autumnale) can be found here, as can the much larger though equally elegant Dierama pulcherrimum - Angels’ fishing rods - with pleasant violet flowers on improbably long stems.  In the shady border at the lower edge of this area, there is a fine specimen of the large leaved hydrangea, H. aspera subsp. sargentiana, now in fine flower, large bluish inflorescences with white ray florets, enhancing its large velvety leaves.
So back to work to cut more sodden grass whilst dreaming of summer days of wine and roses.
                                                                                              David Atkinson


 
« Last Edit: January 19, 2013, 03:24:49 PM by Cruickshank Friend »
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Re: Notes from the Cruickshank Botanic Garden
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2013, 03:35:45 PM »
 Friends of the Cruickshank Botanic Garden  : next events in the Lecture Programme 2012-13
Meetings are on THURSDAYS in the Zoology Building Tillydrone Avenue at 7.30pm
Everyone welcome!
Zoology Lecture Theatre, Zoology Building, Tillydrone Avenue ABERDEEN AB24 2TZ
Admission is FREE to Friends of the Cruickshank Botanic Garden.
Non-members -donation of £3 at the door.

14th Feb 2013  Roma Fiddes   ‘Gardens around Gothenburg’
A tour of some private gardens near Gothenburg and the wonderful Botanic Garden. Gothenburg is on Sweden's west coast with a mild climate influenced by the Gulf Stream. Swedish gardeners are adventurous and are not afraid to test plants on the borderline of hardiness.
 
14th Mar 2013 Nigel Dunnett RHS   Growing for Success
Ecology and horticulture integrated for low-input, dynamic, diverse, ecologically-tuned designed landscapes on small and Olympic scale.
 
11th Apr 2013 Ian Alexander ‘On gardening’
In 1981 Clare and Ian Alexander bought Birken Cottage, in the Don Valley and set about creating a garden from a wasteland. This is the story of the garden, the influences, lessons and pleasures.
Ian, the Emeritus Professor of Botany at Aberdeen University, has a long association with the CBG and the Friends  http://www.abdn.ac.uk/news/archive-details-9119.php

 
30th May 2013   Noel Pritchard Memorial Lecture**
A special 30th Birthday celebration of the Friends with buffet and commemoration plantings.
(**The late Noel M Pritchard was formerly curator of the garden between 1964 and
1985 and instrumental in setting up the Friends of Cruickshank Botanic Garden)
 
« Last Edit: March 31, 2013, 04:04:27 PM by Cruickshank Friend »
Cruickshank Botanic Garden, Aberdeen
http://www.abdn.ac.uk/botanic-garden/

Friends of the Cruickshank Botanic Garden
http://www.abdn.ac.uk/botanic-garden/friends/

Cruickshank Friend

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Re: Notes from the Cruickshank Botanic Garden
« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2013, 03:54:38 PM »
Tours of the Cruickshank Botanic Garden
 
Tours can be arranged for parties of 10 or more. Please address enquiries  in the first instance to the Head Gardener , Richard D.Walker   (r.d.walker@abdn.ac.uk).

Some of the CBG Team


Professor David Robinson, Keeper of the Garden  http://www.abdn.ac.uk/ibes/staff/david.robinson




Curator of the CBG ,Mark Paterson
email: mark.paterson@abdn.ac.uk      Telephone: 01224 273 638
Mark Paterson's horticultural career has included spells in Canada, Australia and London's Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, as well as Threave Gardens in Castle Douglas and the Eden Project in Cornwall, where he was head of the tertiary education programme. At the Cruickshank Botanic Garden, he will be working with the university to develop and promote the garden as an important asset not only to botany but to the city of Aberdeen. Mark has been in Aberdeen for just about a year now. http://www.abdn.ac.uk/news/archive-details-11384.php



Head Gardener, Richard D. Walker
 CBG staff : http://www.abdn.ac.uk/botanic-garden/about/staff/
« Last Edit: January 19, 2013, 04:00:55 PM by Cruickshank Friend »
Cruickshank Botanic Garden, Aberdeen
http://www.abdn.ac.uk/botanic-garden/

Friends of the Cruickshank Botanic Garden
http://www.abdn.ac.uk/botanic-garden/friends/

Cruickshank Friend

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Re: Notes from the Cruickshank Botanic Garden
« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2013, 06:13:05 PM »
Several times in his Garden Notes for Spring, David has mentioned the ring of Cyclamen coum planted round the base of an Araucaria araucana -  Roma Fiddes has provided some photos from 2010 of this planting.
Roma, a long term Cyclamen Society member,  writes that:

The Cyclamen were sown from Cyc. Soc. seed in October 1997.  They were planted out 2 or three years later. Wondering what to do with them, I noticed the 4inch deep trough round the Monkey Puzzle where weeds and soil had been removed.  I widened it a bit, finding only one big root close enough to the surface to get in the way.  I forked over the base and filled the 'trough' with leaf mould then planted the Cyclamen tubers.




Cruickshank Botanic Garden, Aberdeen
http://www.abdn.ac.uk/botanic-garden/

Friends of the Cruickshank Botanic Garden
http://www.abdn.ac.uk/botanic-garden/friends/

 

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