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Pat’s Scottish Garden

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Today we’re off to Scotland to visit with Pat Colston.

We live in Perthshire, around 12 miles from the east coast of Scotland at an elevation of 143m. Our cottage is around 140 years old, and the garden would originally have been used only to grow vegetables and fruit.

(Editor’s note: I have added USDA hardiness zones to the plants, but be aware that Scotland’s climate is so different from that of the United States that hardiness zones don’t necessarily translate.)

Yucca gloriosa (Zones 7–11) with Kniphofia ‘Incandesce’

wide view of the garden with many different trees and shrubsA wider view of part of the garden shows a cercidiphyllum tree (Cercidiphyllum japonicum, Zones 4–8), a tall silver birch (Betula pendula, Zones 2–7), one of five cordylines (Cordyline australis, Zones 8–10), Pittosporum shrubs, golden philadelphus (Phyladelphus coronarius ‘Aureus’, Zones 4–8), and Physocarpus ‘Diablo’ (Zones 2–8).

stone garden path leading to more shrubs and palm treesIn this photo are cordylines, Phormium tenax (Zones 8–10), which always flowers well, and a large stand of bamboo, which has to be watched carefully because it really wants to spread throughout the whole garden! We have dug a trench around it and regularly cut any shoots that are trying to cross the trench. Many people are surprised that plants like cordylines and bamboo can survive in Scotland, and one passerby even asked if we got coconuts on our palm trees! I wish.

long garden bed full of purple, pink, and yellow flowersThis long herbaceous bed is filled with, among other things, red monarda (Monarda didyma, Zones 4–9), blue delphinium (Delphinium elatum, Zones 3–7), yellow anthemis (Anthemis tinctoria, Zones 6–8), pink sidalcea (Sidalcea malviflora, Zones 5–9), spiky yellow Centaurea macrocephala (Zones 3–8), phlox (Phlox paniculata, Zones 4–8), Geranium psilostemon (Zones 5–7), and a large Fatsia japonica (Zones 7–10) at the end of the bed.

shrub covered in orange flowers in front of a larger green shrubHere are an orange azalea (Rhododendron hybrid, Zones 6–10), behind it an old plum tree that still crops well, a Physocarpus ‘Dart’s Gold’, and a large Japanese maple (Acer palmatum, Zones 5–9) that needs a hard trim every year.

large plant with purple flowers in front of multicolored lilies Agapanthus (African lily, Zones 7–10) and the highly scented lily ‘Dutch Red’

large clumps of red flowersBright orange Helianthemum (Zones 4–9)

I hope you enjoyed seeing something different, and I send best wishes from Scotland.


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