ACHA introduced the Tiree Tenants Garden Competition three years ago and Jennie Niven has been the worthy winner every year.
Jennie wasn’t aware of the competition at first until approached by an ACHA staff member to allow her to submit pictures of her garden. This garden is a wee hidden gem, the colours are stunning and provide vibrant splashes amongst the more sedate areas of calm and tranquillity.You will find roses, pinks (which visitors remark on the wonderful perfume) asters, petunias, marigolds, anemones, love in the mist and pansies.
Jennie has been a keen gardener since childhood when helping her Dad in the garden was a welcome escape from an overcrowded house. She has lovingly cultivated her garden, setting herself yearly challenges to see what she can grow next, the newest addition are late blooming Japanese anemones (right). Jennie is always amazed at how the delicate blooms withstand the Tiree gales however, her first attempt at growing Lily of the Valley (Jennie’s favourite plant) was destroyed by the sheep but fortunately a fence was built around the garden providing protection. She’s taking no chances this year and keeping the plant indoors until after Winter.
When she first won the award Jennie thought it was a “wind up” but says the award makes her realise her garden is appreciated. Her prize is a trophy engraved with the winner’s name plus £30 gift vouchers which go towards the purchase of more seeds. Keep up the good work!
Waste Aware Scotland offers the following tips to ensure householders get the most from their composting:
- Positioning the compost bin.
Ideally place the bin on soil or grass in a partially shaded area of the garden that can be accessed easily all year round.
- Getting the right mix.
Aim to get a 50/50 mix of Green materials such as fruit and veg peelings, cut flowers and grass cuttings and Brown materials such as paper, cardboard, egg shells and hedge trimmings.
- Adding air.
Air speeds up the composting process. This can be done by adding air pockets created by placing scrunched up paper and card in the bin or manually by turning the compost with a garden fork.
Compost bins can be ordered at Waste Aware Scotland or by calling 0845 076 0223 from as little as £8.
Anyone interested in finding out more about composting should visit the Council’s website
Winter really limits outdoor work, although many useful tasks can be done now.
If Crocuses or Snowdrops are overcrowded lift, divide, and replant them after they have bloomed.
Now is also the time to get your Roses ready for the Summer. Prune to reduce the size, remove diseased stems, or stems that are crossing each other. As a general rule, prune back stems by about half to two thirds.
Dig over any empty beds in preparation for Spring sowing. Now is the time to plant Gladiola, Dahlia, Begonia, etc.
Newspapers will often show good plant offers at this time of year, so be on the lookout!
Written by Peggy Cameron