We are embracing new technology at Teasses and working with Candide, a recently developed garden based app. to provide an Audio Tour of the gardens at Teasses. Hear insights from our Head Gardener and interact with gardens across the country with this new app.
Join the Head Gardener on a peaceful walk around the gardens at Teasses on the Summer Solstice followed by light refreshments in the Greenhouse.
An opportunity to experience the Gardens “after hours” and the chance to spot some of our wild inhabitants on the longest day.
Walk starts at 8.30pm on Friday 21st June
£10 per person
Contact [email protected] to reserve
Limited numbers available
What a startling difference the beginning of June this year to that of 2018. The rain seems to be making up for lost droplets. In June 2018 we were facing the very real danger of a summer of drought. In 2019 we appear to be resorting back to old ways, the lawns could almost be cut twice a week at this rate. However, the cool evenings and high moisture has encouraged a great number of flowers to linger on. Our Rhododendrons continue to look fresh and have done for a month or so and we still have a few bluebells showing through the ever thickening wild grasses and flowers in Millennium Woods.
The Walled Garden continues to develop and the newly planted borders are beginning to really show their true intentions. It is quite startling to see bright reds and oranges in the garden where before we limited plant choice to cool pastel blues and pinks. Lewis’ long border design sets out bold blocks of colour, six in total; Yellow, Orange and Red blocks on the western side of the garden and Purple, Pink and Blue on the eastern side. Iris ‘Feu du Ciel’ is a welcome newcomer; bright orange and voluptuous. I am a lover of Irises and this one really justifies that. In front of this we have Geum ‘Prinses Juliana’ again vibrantly orange.
What a contrast then to the purple block where the ever delightful Thalictrum delavayi and Salvia x superba are neighboured by Geranium x ‘Johnson’s Blue‘, Nepeta x faassenii ‘Walker’s Low’ and Cirsium rivulare ‘Trevor’s Blue Wonder’.
The Paeonias are just about to open, holding onto their petals tightly awaiting sunnier weather no doubt, but Paeonia ‘Black Panther’ is a tree peony and has to have what I can only describe and the most indulgent dark – almost bloody – silky petals and has been in flower for around a week.
Throughout the garden many plants are in full bloom and none are more spectacular than the Meconopsis which grow incredibly well at Teasses. Meconopsis betonicifolia are happiest when in cool, rich, deep woodland soils, happy roots lead to stunning azure blue flowers or in the case of M. paniculata primrose yellow.
Davidia involucrata var. Vilmoriniana is a stunning tree, with branches covered in what looks like paper tissues. This tree has spectacular autumn foliage colour but every third year at Teasses we are treated to what appears like hundreds of white papery bracts hanging from the tree. Ours is underplanted with Primula japonica ‘Miller’s Crimson’, what a combination.
In Sir Fraser’s garden, which occupies a hollow in a conifer plantation the clotted cream flower buds of Magnolia wilsonii are just beginning to burst open. They are ideally suited to this cool semi-shaded space in the garden and planted on a steep slope allowing visitors to gaze up from below at the interior of the flower which cannot be missed.
The garden is always the best place to be in the month of May, the sun usually is beaming down and the vibrant fleshy shoots of new growth are glowing in the garden. So too are the birds abundant in May, with a veritable cacophony welcoming the dawn of a bright day.
Bulbs are just going over with the last few of our tulips bowing out. This year’s success has been Tulipa ‘World of Friendship’ not only remaining proud in the garden for weeks but also holding itself well in a vase. The flower is a joyful, cheery, primrose yellow single tulip standing around 50cm tall. We ordinarily try to avoid yellow coloured flowers which is almost unforgivable at this time of year but T. ‘World of Friendship’ is the perfect vehicle by which to extend the ‘primrose’ toned season. I should also mention at this stage the wonderful Tree Paeony, Paeonia ‘Anna Marie’ which is just cautiously unfurling her tender petals in the Walled Garden.
Tulipa ‘World of Friendship’
The gardens are beginning to brim with colour and just as we teeter on the edge of floral splendour in the form of Paeonia I am reminded that this season has really gone to pot. We’ve had such an extended period of fine weather you forget that we are only into the fifth month and while I impatiently wait to put out our summer bedding plants I have to bear in mind that old phrase; ‘Ne’er cast a cloot, til the month of May is oot’.
The woods here at Teasses are abundant in Wild Garlic which rears its pungent head in March and continues to the end of the April. As the plant matures the strength of the flavour reduces so if you don’t want a fiery strong garlic taste then hold off until the second half of April. In this recipe I use the leaves of the plant but the flowers are edible too and can be used in salads or as. garnish on top of soups such as Sorrel or Pea. Unlike its namesake Wild Garlic doesn’t produce a bulb so you need to use it when it’s available.
Note that if you intend to cook with the pesto – for example roasted Mediterranean vegetables coated in pesto – that the flavour becomes less powerful when cooked. I like to add another couple of tablespoons of the pesto once the vegetables come out of the oven, it also helps with the colour. Also, a delicious pairing with this is fresh lamb so try to keep some for when the Scottish lamb season abounds.
This will easily make one large jar.
- a bunch of fresh, washed and roughly torn wild garlic – enough to almost fill a mixing bowl.
- 200g organic pine nuts – the more you add the thicker the pesto and less pungent the garlic.
- 500 ml organic olive oil
- 100g organic parmesan – or other hard cheese
- 1 organic lemon
- salt and pepper
Step One: Gently heat a dry shallow pan, when almost too hot to touch throw in your pine nuts and lightly toast.
Step Two: In a food processor put the roughly torn wild garlic leaves with the lightly toasted pine nuts, cheese, a pinch of salt and the juice from the lemon and a little oil.
Step Three: While blitzing the contents of the food processor drizzle in the remaining oil.
Step Four: Continue to blitz until you are happy with the consistency. If it is too thick add some water. The best pesto is slightly chunky. Add more salt and some pepper to taste.
If you want truly authentic pesto remove the food processor and pound the ingredients in a mortar and pestle.
Once sealed in a clean glass jar this pesto lasts approximately one month when refrigerated or three months if frozen.
Scotland’s Garden Scheme Fife Spring Trail 2019 kicks of next week, running from 16th April to the 3rd of May. The Trail is the prefect opportunity to visit seven privately owned gardens in the county, each abundant in spring blooms. Don’t miss the chance to visit Teasses on each Friday of the the Trail, that is 19th & 26th April and 3rd May. Entry to individual gardens is £5 or buy a Trail ticket from SGS.
We look forward to seeing you at Teasses, make sure to have plenty of spool left in your camera!
Spring is blooming in the gardens at Teasses and no where is more colourful than the Millennium Woodlands. The gardens are filling with the sweet scents of Primula vulgaris and Narcissus ‘Jack Snipe’.
Spring is a great time to visit the gardens at Teasses and with Scotland’s Garden Scheme Fife Spring Trail kicking off in two weeks, there is plenty to enjoy Teasses.
At last winter seems to be coming to an end and although we’ve taken another dip into mini temperatures here at Teasses, you can’t disagree that spring is just around the corner. Nothing says that more loudly than the arrival of our new calves at the farm. First five down and another 135 expectant mothers to go.
On the farm it is an important job to get underway after the cattle have overwintered in the sheds. Clipping the cattle to prepare them for market tidies their coats and emphasises their condition to the auctioneer and potential buyers. These organic cows are the latest batch to be sent to market and command a good price on the day, despite the mucky work to get them there.
Also picture in the relative splendour of the Bull shed, are two of our larger specimens. Both have been bred in the Teasses herd and along with their four other male companions make up the paternal lineage of our high quality, closed breeding stock.