John, our Head Garder, is leaving us today as he and his family explore a new life south of the border. John has been integral in the development of the garden to date and we wish them all the best in their new, exciting adventure.

To see us out in the proper fashion, John has written one final blog.

John here to update you on our November activity in the garden. We recently joined the World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms UK (WWOOF) which is an international volunteering scheme for people who would like to gain experience on farms, gardens and smallholdings. The idea is that people work with us in the garden in exchange for accommodation and food. We had our first WWOOFer’s recently who came from USA to work in the garden and sample life in Scotland. The five ladies worked extremely hard and we really appreciated their enthusiasm and were sad to see them leave. We have two more WWOOFer’s joining us for three weeks in December and I’m sure there will be many more over the coming year.

WWoofers visit to Gordon Castle Walled Garden

We are in the process of re-designing the four cut flower beds which I’m sure will be an interesting project. The colour themes will be the same but many new varieties of plants will be introduced including more perennials than we have grown in the past. This will help increase the early season interest and range of flowers and will include plants such as roses and peonies. The beds will be intersected by broad paths which will provide easy access and allow us to work on the growing spaces without having to stand on them too often. Please do watch out for the progress we make as I’m sure they will look fantastic.

Crocuses in Autumn light at Gordon Castle Walled Garden

Work has also begun towards introducing the next section of apple step overs, which will be planted around the Soft Fruit Garden. Before the trees are planted later in the winter, the support structures have to be erected as well as the metal edging around each row. There will be over sixty Scottish variety apple trees to plant this winter out of a total of four hundred and fifty all of which will be planted around the perimeter of the garden.

Step over apples in autumn at Gordon Castle Walled Garden

As with previous years we are planting thousands of spring flowering bulbs which include daffodils, tulips and anemones. It’s a very satisfying task as we know how fabulous they will look in just a few short months.

The weather conditions this year have meant that we have been able to grown some supersized vegetables, especially the brassicas which have enjoyed all the rain in the summer months. Mark is pictured below proudly displaying said vegetables!

Mark with giant cabbage Gordon Castle Walled Garden

And to finish off my final post, a little touch of winter wonderland for you all. Hope to see you soon Scotland!

Winter-Wonderland-at-Gordon-Castle-Walled-Garde

Best of luck John,  from everyone at Gordon Castle Walled Garden. 

2 Comments

  • Hello
    My name is Inbal. I’m 41 years old from Israel. Our family, My husband and myself and our three charming kids (12,10, 8 years old), spent a year of a magical trip around Europe from June 2016 until June 2017.
    During this trip we volunteered in all kind of farms, met local people and learnt about local traditions and of course learnt so much about organic farming. For example, We were lucky enough to help planting vines and trees In France, We have worked with chickens, cows and ships, In Romania we helped converting caves into a hostel and an art gallery. We have stayed in a fruit farm in Ukraine who specializes in drying fruits. We volunteered in a forest house in Belarus, helping with construction work. Before we stayed at a wheat farm in south Finland, harvesting wheat and we enjoyed every second of it! we have worked as beekeepers in another farm in Finland and 2 weeks in a husky dog farm in Lapland. As i said A MAGICAL TIME!!!
    All of us are hard workers, Quick learners and very friendly :)) We managed to get a lot of experience in Woofing. And we love it!
    Ever since we had to return back home to Israel we kept on dreaming about the next time we will wwoof… And here we are no more hoping but instead we are making it happen!
    In July-August 2019 we wish to arrive to Scotland. We really hope you’ll agree to host us. We wish to learn more about your farm, and for sure we will help as much as we can: farming, working, cleaning, cooking some Israeli dishes and so on… We are not spoiled and can feel pretty comfortable almost everywhere… Looking forward to hearing from you, and hoping you will accept our volunteer request.
    Inbal and the family: Gili-father Yoav, Itamar, Danielle – super hard workers kids

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