And the award goes to…….

Cows on the machair by Loch Bee
Cows on the machair by Loch Bee

It is that time of year when the media are full of the great and the good babbling incoherently over bits of bling awarded by their peers for “achievement”, whether lifetime or transitory, in their industry. You may be relieved to know that I intend to act like a Nobel Laureate rather than a D list celeb and will not be prattling my thanks to everyone from Postman Pat to Saint Jude (the patron saint of lost causes and desperate cases) when accepting my blogging award from Julie.
In the past I have refused blogging awards, but this time I decided it was perhaps churlish to decline even politely; after all they are awards from fellow bloggers and expressions of appreciation. I’m a little too remote to go in the “Yellow Book” so my garden appreciates virtual visitors and I gain so much from having a chat over the garden wall about everything from plants to philosophy.

According to the rules I have to link to and thank my nominator and then answer 11 questions. Then select 5 blogs I’d like to share and ask my nominees 11 questions. Choosing young blogs with less than 200 followers is recommended.

So here are my answers to Julie’s questions:


1. Do you encourage wildlife to your garden?
Yes, I do everything I can to attract insects, especially pollinators,  and birds to the garden. Rabbits are tolerated, as are voles and mice as long as they keep out of the polytunnel.

2. Do you grow organically and use natural methods?
We use organic fertilisers, make our own compost and don’t use pesticides.

3. Any tips for recycling plastic?
I use plastic cartons for seed trays and for storing odds and ends in the shed and polytunnel.

4. Any recommendations for flowers to arrange in your home?
I’m not much of a flower arranger, more of a simple posy in a jam jar type. Sweet peas are a great favourite as are spring bulbs especially daffodils and grape hyacinths (Muscari)

5. Have you tried edible flowers?
I use nasturtium, chives, borage and violas in salads. it is probably cheating, but my favourite are courgette flowers.

6. A favourite fruit recipe?
This is difficult, but it has to be a rhubarb crumble with stem ginger and a very oaty crunchy topping, served with thick yoghurt.

7. A favourite vegetable recipe?
Anything that includes lots of wild mushrooms or something simple such as some freshly picked very juicy tomatoes with a drizzle of olive oil and some basil or….. I could go on and never finally decide.

8. Do you like to create anything other than flower arrangements using natural materials?
I’m an enthusiastic beachcomber, so around the garden and in the house there are arrangements of interesting stones, shells, bones, drift wood and anything else that takes my fancy.

9. How do you feel about growing natives or non natives?
I grow native plants, cultivars derived from natives and non-natives too. The growing conditions are quite challenging in the Outer Hebrides so I have a limited choice of plants which will tolerate the climate and soil. So alongside the British natives, there are plants from South Africa and New Zealand. I would encourage everyone to grow some native plants for the insects, but otherwise grow what you like as long as you ensure it doesn’t escape over the garden wall.

10. Any recommendations for an unusual fruit or vegetable that is good to eat?
We have grown Cape gooseberries Physalis peruviana in the polytunnel. The flowers are beautiful and the fruit is delicious.

11. Do you have a good view from your home?
The view from the house is stunning – a panoramic seascape, with the islands of Barra and Mingulay to the far south and St Kilda and the Monachs to the north west. To the east there are the hills of South Uist (Beinn Mhor and Hecla) and the Cuillins of Skye (on a fine day).

Choosing five other people to nominate is very difficult, some of my favourite blogs have been nominated fairly recently and others would prefer not to be nominated.  I could list every blog I follow and more whose posts I read from time to time. So I’d like to nominate:
Welsh Hills Again
The Hopeful Herbalist
The Garden Deli
Edinburgh Garden Diary
If you are devastated about being excluded, send me an e-mail and I’ll slip you in the edited version. It will be our secret, I won’t tell the others, promise.
You may, of course, curse me roundly and then sweetly or politely (or not) decline or just ignore me. I promise I won’t be heart broken, grief stricken or even faintly miffed, well may be just a bit.
So here are my 11 questions which you may answer in our own style:

1. How would you describe your gardening style?
2. Who or what has influenced the design of your garden?
3. Is this your first garden or just the latest in a long line?
4. Do you fall into temptation every time a gardening catalogue lands on the mat?
5. Are you seduced by the glossing pictures in magazines or books and then despair at your own efforts?
6. Do you wear gardening gloves, carry a trug or wear designer wellies?
7. What is your favourite gardening task, apart from sitting on the bench with a cuppa?
8. Do you have a “wish list” of plants  or just get carried away when you see something new?
9. Do you propagate your own plants?
10. Do you try to grow something new each year?
11. Why do you read gardening blogs?

So over to you and if you decide to participate – have fun with the questions, and thank you for reading to the end.

17 thoughts on “And the award goes to…….”

  1. Christine, I so enjoyed reading your answers and the answer to the last one especially, it was actually quite moving to hear you describe where you live. I feel a little envious!

  2. I am so, so honoured that you nominated Edinburgh Garden Diary for this award… Now, this is tricky, it’s the second time in 24hrs I’ve been nominated (smug smug) but I’m afraid I’m having to decline both awards. Although I couldn’t agree more with your sentiments about not being churlish among this wonderful group of garden bloggers, I am just so short of time at the moment that it would be very hard for me to do your lovely questions justice (although I am dying to answer them), let alone think up eleven questions myself. But thank you wholeheartedly once again.

  3. Interesting to hear your various responses, Christine, and I remember fondly your rhubarb crumble recipe (rhubarb and ginger -yummy!) – and interesting questions you to ask your nominees. Even though I may be one of the churlish bloggers who declines such awards it doesn’t preclude me being intrigued to read these snippets of information about other bloggers!

  4. Thank you for bring pleased. Not too worry it you don’t get round to it, I know you must have more than enough to do coping with our glorious January weather.

  5. I do lve in the most beautiful place imaginable, but you might not be quite so envious at present – January is a little more stormy than usual.

  6. Well done Joanna, nothing like a small accolade from other gardeners to give the confidence a boost. Don’t worry about taking part, we’re all busy people with real lives to get on with. You can always take the virtual concept to the fullest extent and answer the questions in your head and we will extract the answers from the cyber ether 🙂

  7. I knew it would be a waste of time putting you on the list and as a penance for voyeurism you might like to write a post based on my questions! Perhaps we need a special award for the refuseniks? 🙂

  8. Are you still standing? Have just been out gathering up the recycling from all along the road. Replacing the greenhouse door and generally checking everything is still held together! 🌊

  9. Thank you for the nomination! I too don’t normally take part in these things, partly because I have been blogging for so long I feel I have seen some of them come round again and again. But I so enjoyed reading your answers that I too think it would be churlish to refuse. I will try and do it fairly speedily or I will lose it! And you do indeed live in a most beautiful place

  10. Thank you. We’re still here a bit battered but only minor structural damage. So repairs and restoration will keep us busy. I hope you’ve not had too much damage.

  11. I know we’ve been round the block a few times with these, but I though you deserved an award. Today it is beautiful here, sunshine at last although it is very cold.

  12. Just finishing now and have had fun with it. I hope you will forgive me for not nominating more bloggers but most of my favourites have already been involved. Thanks for asking me!

  13. Thank you for taking part. I think that we’#re now all excused from blogging awards for the foreseeable future. Mind you I don’t think I’d be too sniffy about an FRS or a major literary award.

  14. Thank you Kate, along with Elizabeth I thought you deserved an award of some kind. I know how busy you are, so a thank you is more than sufficient.

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