Horticulture & Gardening in Scotland
Advice on Handling Compost
Following the reports of Legionnaires disease in Scotland linked to compost, Health Protection Scotland have reminded gardeners of a few simple good hygiene tips to help you during gardening: • Wear gloves. • Wear a dust mask if you are working on anything dusty, particularly indoors. • Wash your hands as soon as you finish. • If you are going to smoke, wash your hands before doing so. As well as the general advice above, the following advice can help you avoid breathing in dust: • Store compost, potting mixes, mulches and soil in a cool place, away from the sun. • Open any bags carefully in a well ventilated area and if possible using a safety blade or sharp knife. • Keep the door or a window open in greenhouses or sheds when potting-up plants or filling hanging baskets. • Wear a dust mask if you are working on anything dusty, particularly indoors. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….
Scottish Gardenplant Award
When Ken Cox and Raoul Curtis-Machin started the research for their book ‘Garden Plants for Scotland’ they realised that the Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) Award of Garden Merit (AGM) was of little use to Scottish gardeners as it was too south-of-England orientated. Scotland has a very varied climate that suits a huge variety of plants. Nevertheless there are many plants that struggle in Scotland, due to lack of heat, the winter wet or other factors. On the other hand there are many that perform better in Scotland. (e.g. Meconopsis, Trilliums and Tropaeolum speciosum.)
The most serious flaw in the system, from a Scottish perspective, was the then standard RHS H4 defined as ‘hardy throughout the British Isles’, but in reality many plants were not reliably hardy in colder/inland gardens even in parts of England, and many more were tender in Scotland. In order to help gardeners in Scotland they assembled an impressive group of Scottish horticultural expertise, to consider which plants should receive a Scottish Gardenplant award. Sometimes there was agreement, sometimes not. 500 plants were awarded the Scottish Gardenplant Award. It is not a definitive list (and there will be new varieties that should be considered) but it is a useful list to point you in the direction of the most reliable, tried and tested garden plants that are the best of their type for Scottish gardens.