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Contact Me — 35 Comments

  1. First time I have seen your Gardening pages, very encouraging.

    I have gardened for 60 years, always on sandy soil.

    Just an hour ago I discovered my Skimmia has white ‘lardy’ looking growths on the oldest wood. Cannot find out what it is.

    The plant is very old and low growing, probably a cutting from another plant.
    I appreciate Skimmia because they are little trouble and help to provide the green element all year round.

    Any advice will be welcome.

  2. Good morning. I have read that a 40/45cm pot would be good for Sambuca Black lace.
    However, how DEEP should the pot be?
    Is 40cm depth too shallow?

    Thank you

  3. Hello Fiona
    Aucuba, spotted Laurel dislike a sunny position, they will never flourish. In fact they are one of the few shrubs that can cope with deep shade.

  4. Hi Alastair, we moved into our house in January 2022. The previous owner had planted several of these Japanese/Spotted Laurels at the front of the house as hedging . We get full sun there from early in the morning. They haven’t grown more than a couple of inches in that time. In fact, one of them doesn’t look any bigger now than when we first moved in. Have you any advice you can give? We do not water them ourselves, we just rely on rainwater which has been plentiful over the last year.

  5. Hello James, Perhaps as it is not an evergreen plant it simply hasn’t started opening its leaves yet. Give it a while longer.

  6. Hi
    You’re the only gardener/ reference I can find on my Berberis Ottowensis which I fear is dying. We had flowers ( i think) & lovely berries last year which along with my Honeysuckle, I’d hoped would attract birds. As yet, no luck. Can I send a photo? You may tell if it should be replaced. & yes, even a Giraffe would have a problem with these thorns!

  7. I am ordering online or by phone to deleiver to my friend in Strathkiness who has been ill. How can I order these please. I would like to order some in a vase which I imagine you don’t do but wondered if I could have bulbs delivered please

  8. Hey friends, it’s been too long! I hope everything is doing great at

    Although we haven’t been in touch recently, I constantly keep you in mind when I find a deal, and this could be the best one yet, I’ve come across, for quality DIY greenhouses.

    Take a look at this kit – they’ve got a huge sale currently:

    Mine was delivered a few days ago, and I’ll say it’s more durable than most I’ve seen at such affordable rates.

    Let me know how you feel about it, and hey, possibly we can eventually grab a coffee one of these days?!

    Looking forward to catching up,
    – Chun Kiddle

  9. I would like to purchase a quantity of Helen Harms begonias. I had some many years ago but cannot seem to be able to purchase them, now known as Lemon Drops?

  10. Hello Alistair, I read with great interest your 2010 article on Rose de Rescht. Everything you have written about its scent and disease resistance sounds very encouraging to me and I am very tempted to get one. I am based in Hertfordshire, UK. Now that it is 2023, I’m wondering if you have any further comments regarding your experience of Rose de Rescht. Thank you.

  11. I am interested in Celmisia semicordata and wondered if you knew where I could purchase plant ir seeds. Many thanks.

  12. Hi.
    I have bought some Striatum seeds today and wondered if you would give information on getting them germinating unless it’s too late this year, and care please ? The seller did stipulate that there would not be instructions included with them. It’s 13th June 2023 now so I would say it’s a bit late in the year. Central England location. Thanks.

  13. Hi, I lost all my Hebe Autumn Glory plants this winter. I had them for over 30 years but alas they are all dead. Could you please send me some cuttings which I am willing to pay for.?

  14. Hello from across the pond. I stumbled into this site looking at pictures of Katharine Hodgkins irises, and I have to say it is quite extensive. Thanks for the time and effort you put into this catalog, and happy gardening!

  15. I’m trying to get hold of Celmisia coriacea and Celmisia spectabilis and having no luck. Do you know anywhere that stocks them? Any help much appreciated.

  16. Hi Alistair,

    My name is Rose from the blog team at Suttons.

    I just thought I’d let you know that over on Suttons blog, we’re going to highlight some of your gardening advice as part of our upcoming summer-flowering bulbs article.

    To make sure you’re happy with our write-up, mind dropping me a line at – we can talk more about the article there.

    All the best,


  17. Hi there,
    Shannon here, brand manager of Blue Jay Irrigation.
    I’m reaching out to check if you are accepting new guest bloggers on
    We are trying to establish ourselves as a helpful, trustworthy brand and we know that the best way to do that is through quality content. We have already been featured in respectable publications like,, and just to name a few.
    If you do publish content from guest authors, I would love an opportunity to be one of them and continue our streak of publications to relevant sites in the industry.
    Here are some topics that I brainstormed for your site:

    X Things You Should Never Do When Buying a Home
    X Ways To Make Your Home More Eco-friendly
    Top X Gardening Tips for Beginners
    X Types of Home Irrigation Systems That Work Most
    X Cheapest Ways to Build a House in 2023

    I don’t mind discussing additional topics if you don’t think that these are a good fit.
    Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any additional questions or concerns.

    Shannon Quantock
    Brand Manager
    Blue Jay Irrigation

  18. Almost everything that grows in the south will grow in Aberdeen, Half hardy fuchsias and pelargoniums won’t come through the Winter but will still give a good show in Summer, hardy geraniums of course will thrive. Our Aberdeen Garden

  19. My husband and I are hoping to relocate to the Aberdeen area. Coming from the south geraniums, fushias and lavender are firm favourites, so I was wondering how these fair further north. When looking at houses online we have noticed a distinct lack of flowers and plants in gardens and were curious about why?

  20. Hello Alistair ! … I sent you quite a long email speaking about the grief of losing a beautiful furry companion.
    Actually it was a long emotional talk of how John and I got through that period and how much we love our girls and what they have done for us .
    I am wondering if you got it at all ? I sent it about two days ago … just explaining what we went through and how we ended up with our two girls ..

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