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Gardening From Scotland

Rock Garden
by Patrick Vickery
by Patrick Vickery


Patrick Vickery lives in the Scottish Highlands and runs a small hardy perennial nursery (part-time). Patrick is also a part-time garden writer, and part-time special needs teacher.

Married to Liz, they have three children, two goats, two dogs, an assortment of small animals, and lives in a two acre wood in a wonderful part of the world.

Patrick gardens using a raised bed system and all, of course, chemically free - a chemical free zone!
Visit his blog
His first book was published in January 2002 by Capall Bann Publishers, UK:-
"In Pursuit Of Perennial Profit - The Pot Of Gold At The Bottom Of The Garden" (ISBN: 186163 1480)

Also visit his website at

July 3, 2011

I was talking to somebody who saw Eric Clapton in concert recently. Eric "guitar legend" Clapton didn't say much apparently. He was not in talking mood. He just played music. Bob Dylan is another one of those legendary musicians who doesn't say much between songs either - or when he does it's often unintelligible. Like Eric, however, he has traversed the decades with distinction and can still belt out a good tune.

We saw Bob "the stuff legends are made of" Dylan a few years ago at Stirling Castle strutting about on stage in front of 7000 adoring fans. Some of them were grannies too, you know? And what energy they possessed - hip-hop folk from another era.

"I'm a granny," screeched a youthful pensioner in delight as she twirled past us to the doleful sounds of "Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands". Bob did well for a man of his age, a pensioner himself and still going strong.

I suspect Bob likes a spot of gardening. That song "Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands" (a personal favourite of mine and on the album Blonde on Blonde) mentions geraniums.

"Bob," I might say, "how do you propagate yours?"

"Most likely you grow your way and I'll grow mine" he might reply.

After picking up on Bob's reference to geraniums I wondered whether anyone else waxed lyrical about the gardening side of things? Didn't Tina Turner sing about a Nutbush?

Now there's an exclusive hotel not far from here which is just the sort of place that Bob might frequent if he wanted to escape from the hurly burly of modern life. I can be out in my garden, pottering about, that sort of thing, when a low-flying helicopter whizzes past en-route to this up-market establishment. Film stars, rock stars, presidents and kings, they've all seen me in my garden. And I always wave. I make a point of it.

This up-market establishment used to open its doors once a year in aid of charity (I'm going back a few years now), although to be honest it was only the estate gardens that were accessible to the general public, the building itself remained strictly off-limits. Despite this, however, it was a most pleasant way to spend a summer's afternoon.

One year I had a furtive peer through the ground floor window on the off chance of spotting somebody famous. I might have seen that guy who advertises fish fingers on the telly, Captain Birdseye, or possibly it was just some nautical looking character with a beard and nothing whatsoever to do with processed fish. I was tempted to mouth 'fish fingers' at him through the window but thought better of it. After all, nobody wants that sort of 'carry on' at a summer fete, do they?

I have always enjoyed the summer fete experience - banter and cake, a raffle in aid of the deserving, the endangered or the unusual, fund raising for cats and live music (of course) played exceptionally well by accomplished local musicians.

Maybe - you never know - during this year's round of summer fetes I'll come across Mick Jagger on teas (brown sugar with your cuppa?), Bob Dylan on a plant stall tending to the geraniums or Tina Turner doing something innovative with a Nutbush. That would be a summer fete with a difference, wouldn't it? Stranger things have happened in the district.

Copyright Patrick Vickery 2011

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