Wednesday, 29 May 2013

A real garden nursery

Yesterday I had the opportunity to visit Binny Plants (  It is a garden nursery in Ecclesmachan in West Lothian.  Forget the words 'garden centre'.  This place is a blessed relief from the Dobbies of this world, with its morass of stuff that has absolutely nothing to do with gardening and the wafting smell of school dinners coming from the cafe in the corner. Binny Plants is a proper nursery with potting up in progress, the unmistakable combined smell of compost and plants in the polytunnels and greenhouses, a profusion of plants everywhere you turn, and a sense of real gardening coming out of every nook and cranny of the walled garden the nursery is clustered around.  I haven't been there for a long time and things have certainly developed since the days of Billy Carruthers who started Binny many years ago.  He was a real character!
The walled garden is a sea of peonies.  Dozens of different varieties and dotted around there are buckets of the lovely blooms, just there for the smelling!  I bought a single white peony to remind me of the one we had in our garden when I was a child in Hampshire.  I always loved it and hopefully this plant will flourish as well in my Scottish garden.
It is the Gardening Scotland show this weekend.  It's held at the Ingliston showground just outside Edinburgh.  I haven't made any plans to go and actually having been to Binny's I don't think I need to worry too much!  Binny will be exhibiting and they always put on a magnificent display.  I could see all the lovely plants set aside for their stand and they were looking good.  I didn't take any photographs in case they thought I was a spy!

Binny Plants also specialise in grasses.  We have a disastrous area of garden needing serious attention here and it's the Piet Oudolf look I would like to achieve.   If you haven't come across the Dutch landscape designer you are in for a treat  Heaven on earth is the best way to describe many of the gardens, especially the private gardens, but have a look at Pensthorpe too. Unfortunately I have no idea where to start but hopefully Binny Plants are going to be able to help me with that!  

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