The 14th of June - what a windy day to visit Helen's wildlife garden, which is tucked in the hills away North-West of Rothienorman. She is busy preparing for her open days at her garden the 24th - 29th of June. Whilst the final weeding is in progress to make things look good, the wind does quite the opposite. Her sliver Silver Thistle has snapped its top and some of the perennials have bent down under the battering wind. In this informal garden this does not matter too much. The style is so unpretentious and natural that it simply reflects the Scottish weather and such imperfections almost adds to its appeal n my view.
I have visited this garden a few times before, and every time it seems to get better. This time however I have come to write an article for Knock News about her garden and her experience opening her garden for the Scotland’s Gardens scheme. My very first time of doing this, so naturally I am slightly unsure about procedure. Did I cover enough for a full article? Should I have been asking more follow up questions? Did I give her enough time to answer. Luckily Helen is one of these people that just puts you at ease and makes you feel welcome. Even if you come with a grumpy toddler and a shy one year old. And as soon as I start to walk through the garden, the swaying flowerheads in the wildflower meadow have such a calming effect that my self doubt fades away.
Let's be honest here. I am biased in promoting her garden open days end of this month. I am committed to get more people gardening. Helen's unpretentious garden gives plenty of simple, achievable examples for people to take home and use in their own garden. You don’t need to be as immaculate as Helen, and not all of us will be such passionate and meticulous plant collectors as her. But we can learn from her to make our garden an organically evolving space, allowing plants and wildlife to flourish. As you can see from her garden, the results can be a garden with a laid back, natural feel that features lots of little surprises and hidden gems. Making it the perfect space for the younger explorers among us.
Gardens opened by the scheme are usually visited by older people, but this year Scotland’s Gardens are trying to attract children and young adults. Helen's garden will feature a treasure trail. After completion children will get to take a plant home. There will also be seed-sowing, pot decorating, quizzes and colouring in. Oh and did I mention Helen will homebake lots of delicious cake?
I will write more about the garden for the upcoming issue of the Knock News magazine. But for now, schedule in a visit!
Bruckhills Croft, Rothienorman, Inverurie AB51 8YB
Paul and Helen Rushton
Opens: daily from 12-5pm during the 24-29th of June 2018
Admission: £4,- children free (60% will go the the charity Befriend a Child Ltd)
Directions: At Rothienorman take the B9001 north, just after Badenscoth Nursing Home turn left, in one mile you will be directed where to park depending if it is the winter or summer opening.