Anyone who knows me will tell you that my two biggest passions in life are plants and Scotland. So, it is no surprise then that I always try to promote Scottish grown plants and I have even introduced the Jacobite Rose back into Scotland!

Now I am joining the fight to bring back as many Scottish Apple tree varieties as possible. We used to be renowned for our great fruit tree growing, especially in the Clyde Valley and Perthshire, but these orchards are being replaced with more commercial varieties. I want to ensure we don’t lose any of our great Scottish varieties of apples.

Coincidentally, this is the best time of year to plant fruit trees. The trees are dormant at this time of year so planting them just now allows them to settle into your garden, ready to grow in the Spring.

So, what are these apple varieties I have mentioned, well, my favourites are Scotch Dumpling, Scotch Bridget, Stirling Castle, Coul Blush, and Bloody Ploughman which gets its name because a ploughman in Perthshire was caught stealing apples from the Estate and the gamekeeper shot him!

My wife’s favourite is Galloway Pippin, not for any reason other than it was introduced in Wigtown, and her favourite Aunt and Uncle come from there!

We all have different reasons for picking our favourites, and I hope you pick some of these too, and remember you only need to have five fruit trees to meet the definition of an orchard! Imagine your own orchard – I am going to finish mine this week!

Happy gardening


This is a wonderful crisp white heather with double white blooms – a true ‘lucky white heather’. It is a compact, low growing evergreen shrub with bright green foliage which takes on a slight bronze tinge in the winter, but this variety is looking especially fabulous right now.

It is wonderfully hardy in Scottish climates and can pretty much take any aspect and exposure – just make sure you have moist, but well drained soil.