Today I am at Gardening Scotland in Edinburgh – the team and I have been here since Thursday. Generally, by this point, if the weather has been good to us, I am very happy at work, but if it has been wet and wild then this is the point when I may dream of selling up and opening a hotel in Barra!

Needless to say, with all the preparation for the show, I have not had much of a chance to get out into the garden – I wonder if my wife will have planted the 40 boxes of bedding plants that I left for her by the time I get home tonight? I think we all know the answer to that one!

I used to wonder why, in Scotland, we loved bedding plants so much – as a young man starting out, I thought that people would prefer herbaceous or shrubs, but no, in Scotland we love summer bedding most of all! In particular, we love the begonias from semper florens to non-stop - we Scots love them all! I think that it’s because rain, hail or shine they come up trumps for us and bring cheer to our gardens all summer long!

I am not going to suggest what bedding plants to buy for your garden – everyone has their favourite and they all work well. The only advice I will offer is to dead head your plants as often as possible – remove any dead or faded flowers because if you don’t, all the plants’ energy goes into forming seed heads – but if you remove the dead flowers then that energy will be used to create flowers instead! Some people find dead heading tedious and laborious but I promise you that the effort is worth it and it’s jobs like this that earn you the title of ‘Gardener’!

Anyway, right now I have two wishes – one that the weather continues to be kind to us and two that Mandy has planted our bedding plants. To be honest I’ll settle for one out of two! Happy Gardening!


Anemone ‘Wild Swan’ is a pernennial that comes back year after year and does really well in the Scottish climate. It has the most beautiful crisp white petals with a vibrant yellow centre – and if you turn over the petal you will see that the underside is the most wonderful shade of pale blue! It does really well in partial shade and likes a wee bit of shelter – a really beautiful plant to brighten up your garden.