Jenny Mollison on allotments: 'Some can remember the unsolved mystery of the vanishing cauliflowers'
This year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe is almost upon us, promising the usual mixture of the good, the bad and the bizarre. Performers are already handing out flyers on the Royal Mile.
A childhood friend has been visiting from Canada. As a curator at the Art Gallery of Ontario she was enjoying a busman's holiday touring our Edinburgh galleries. After a couple of days of being taken out of my comfort zone, learning about the mystical backgrounds of some 19th century landscape paintings, I dragged her away from the big city and down to Melrose in the Borders.
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I was at the Chelsea Flower Show for the first time this year. I knew it was going to be a visual extravanganza but there was so much that just can't be conveyed by TV coverage.
Those of us who live in Scotland's cities take allotments for granted. Some, such as on Dundee Law, have been there a long time and many more are needed.
At this time of year Do It Yourself projects gradually give way to Grow It Yourself. I meant to repaint the bathroom and make some new curtains, but that's all on hold now until the clocks change back.
Deep snow blanketed our allotments for over a month. None of us could remember a time like it as snow rarely settles here in Musselburgh, situated so close to the sea. The annual mushroom compost delivery had to be postponed and the promised shredder hired to deal with our stacks of woody prunings never materialised.
In the winter months the friends and relations who were so keen to help harvest and share the summer bounty evaporate. On a cold day in the middle of winter, pulling on one's boots to check out the allotment can seem a bit masochistic. But if the Christmas excesses are sitting firmly round your waist, an hour or two shovelling some compost will help shift them.
Jenny Mollison on gardens: 'It seems odd that people pay good money for something they could make themselves'
My toes have just thawed out after going behind the scenes at the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh to learn about their composting.
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