Some of the stars of the garden make their presence felt at this time. Foremost among them are the Nerines. From a small clump given to me thirty years ago by my parents-in-law from their Norfolk garden, this spectacular display appears with complete consistency every year. Their strong stems make them wind proof and they don’t blink an eye at the fiercest of rain. Nerines are native to South Africa and were introduced in the 1880s. They seem to enjoy the pleasures of Edinburgh when placed in a sunny, well drained spot for they grow well in many gardens. I also grow N. sarniensis, the Guernsey lily, which is a beautiful colour but not hardy, and a less enthusiastic flowerer.
Of the many Sorbuses with beautiful berries Sorbus Joseph Rock is one of my favourites. It is also at its best at this time of year. It is full of berries of a subtle yellow, at the moment seen against the green of its leaves, but soon these will turn to a brilliant golden colour and a different colour scheme will emerge.
The autumn crocuses which grow in profusion in the orchard have been excellent but are almost past their best now. They are seen to their best in the slanting evening light which makes their petals almost transparent. I prefer them in clumps to being randomly spread, and I dig up a few each year to try and achieve this. The white ones stay in tidier clumps than the pink ones, and come out slightly later.
The garden is open by appointment for the next two weeks – all the information is on the Scotland’s Gardens website under Redcroft, 23 Murrayfield Road, or ring the bell if you are passing and see if I am here. Anna Buxton