New Lanark World Heritage Site Blog

Roof Garden

20/04/12 New Lanark Visitor Centre , Roof Garden , SWT Falls of Clyde Visitor Centre and Wildlife Reserve # , , , ,

Roof Garden diary update – April 2012

Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly

Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly

Winter may be back, but the soaring temperatures in the last week of March brought the first bumblebee and a Small Tortoiseshell butterfly into New Lanark Roof Garden. Luckily there was a stray dandelion flower to provide much-needed nectar! The shrubs are now unfurling new leaves and there are hints of blossom beginning. In the case of Pieris, the emerging foliage is an eye-catching red colour. Throughout April, different varieties of daffodil will be in bloom, e.g. ‘Doctor Hugh’, with clear white petals and a rich orange cup in the centre. The lovely Narcissus ‘Lemon Beauty’ is scented and its central cup is split and streaked with yellow. So, make a cheering Spring visit to New Lanark Roof Garden! Click here for details of all our events. In flower April 2012 – Kerria Japonica, Philadelphus coronarius ‘Aureus’ (Mock Orange), Daffodil varieties: ‘Lemon Beauty’, ‘Doctor Hugh’ and ‘Pueblo’.

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06/03/12 Events at New Lanark , New Lanark Visitor Centre , Roof Garden # ,

Roof Garden diary update – March 2012

Daffodil on the Roof Garden

Daffodil on the Roof Garden

March 2012 –
Spring-flowering bulbs are always a welcome sight after winter. The snowdrops are already fading, but February’s mild weather brought the first daffodils (Narcissus) slightly earlier than last year. The sturdy ‘Rynvelds Early Sensation’ glows with vibrant yellow trumpets surrounded by paler creamy yellow petals. Different varieties will appear in the weeks ahead. This is also the best time to see the animal and bird sculptures around New Lanark Roof Garden before the vegetation grows up and conceals them. Made by local artists from recycled materials, all the sculptures represent creatures that live in the surrounding countryside, e.g. frogs, otters, owls, crows, badgers and hares. Come and see who will be hiding in New Lanark Roof Garden at Easter! Click here for details of our spring activities.
In flower in March – Daffodils

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21/02/12 New Lanark Visitor Centre , New Lanark World Heritage Site , Roof Garden # , , ,

Roof Garden diary update – Feb 2012

New Lanark Snowdrop

New Lanark Snowdrop

February 2012 – After the darkest days of winter, the first snowdrops are a welcome sight in New Lanark Roof Garden, quivering gently in the breeze beneath the hornbeam hedging. They usually last until March. The lovely evergreen, Mahonia x media ‘Charity’, has plenty of buds promising spikes of yellow flowers.

As spring approaches, photosynthesis will gather pace. It is the miraculous process by which green plants weave sunlight together with water and carbon dioxide to make the carbohydrates and starches that form the basic food supply for all living things. Scientists still do not fully understand how it works. In the BBC 4 television programme, ‘Botany: a Blooming History’, Timothy Walker explained that scientists are trying to mimic photosynthesis in the lab, with the aim of creating new kinds of clean fuels. The plant world is truly amazing – so visit New Lanark Roof Garden and be inspired!
In flower in February – Snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis).

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05/01/12 New Lanark Visitor Centre , Roof Garden # , ,

Roof Garden diary update

Owl on the Roof Garden in winter

Owl on the Roof Garden in winter

The Met Office has just reported that 2011 was Scotland’s wettest year on record, although the spring was warm and dry. Too much rain and the soil becomes water-logged, cold and claggy. For the Mediterranean herbs – rosemary, oregano and thyme – in the troughs, these conditions are not good, but the native Yellow Flag iris (near the hares sculpture) enjoys damp meadows. A new year begins in New Lanark Roof Garden and we look forward to the first flowers, the snowdrops, next month. The seasons follow the same annual cycle, but any gardener will tell you that no two years are exactly alike. New Lanark Roof Garden Diary will be recording what happens! Meanwhile, while the plants are dormant, we are hoping for clear skies for our Stargazing Live Event on 21 January. Come and discover the marvels of the night sky – click here for details.

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12/12/11 New Lanark Visitor Centre , Roof Garden # ,

New Lanark Roof Garden in winter

New Lanark Roof garden in winter

Reindeer on the Roof Garden in winter

The robin is still around, feeding up to survive the winter and so that it will be fit to find a mate when Spring arrives. A magic spell has been cast over New Lanark Roof Garden this month! Some bright little reindeer have flown into the ‘Garden in the Sky’ and the roof garden elves have strung up tiny sparkling lights over the evergreen box balls and the yew hedging! The shortest day of the year, the winter solstice, is on 22 December, after which the light starts to return, imperceptibly at first. Eventually the increasing daylight and rising temperatures will stir the plant world back to life.

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02/11/11 New Lanark Visitor Centre , Roof Garden #

Roof Garden Diary November 2011

Autumn colours 2011

Autumn colours 2011

“November chill blaws loud wi’ angry sugh ­–”

Thus Robert Burns in 1785 described an autumn gale in his poem, The Cotter’s Saturday Night. In fact, November 2011 began with fine weather, but the effect of the wind is an important design consideration for any roof garden. The lovely Switch Grass (Panicum Virgatum) ‘Heavy Metal’, for example, was chosen for New Lanark Roof Garden because it can withstand windy conditions.
Another strong plant, the stately Cardoon (Cynara cardunculus) flowered late with big, purple, thistle-like blooms. Related to the artichoke, cardoon was popular as a vegetable in Victorian times. Rudbeckia’s star-shaped daisy heads add a splash of bright yellow against the muted autumn colours.
A robin has been foraging in the flowerbeds and singing his half-wistful song in the trees outside New Lanark Roof Garden. And from the valley comes the low growl of the River Clyde in spate.
In flower in November – Japanese anemones, Rudbeckia ‘Herbstonne’, cardoon.

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13/10/11 New Lanark Visitor Centre , Roof Garden #

Roof Garden Diary October 2011

New Lanark Roof Garden in Autumn

New Lanark Roof Garden in Autumn

The lovely Japanese anemones have stood up well to the weather and shimmer white against an autumnal background of reds, purples and gold. Red Grass (Imperata cylindrica ‘Rubra’) glows ruby in the sunshine and clumps of purple anemones are dotted around.

New Lanark Roof Garden is now bursting with an amazing variety of seed pods. Waving like hair in the wind are the white seedheads of Feather Grass (Stipa tenuissima). Geranium seed cases look like tiny stork’s bills, while Clematis produces fluffy white seeds that disperse into the air like dandelion clocks.

In flower in October – Japanese anemone ‘Honorine Jobert’, penstemon ‘Amelia Jane’, liatris spicata, rudbeckia ‘Herbstonne’, purple anemones, astilbe, great burnet, heather ‘Silver Knight’.

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New Lanark World Heritage Site Aerial View

New Lanark is a beautifully restored 18th century cotton mill village in Scotland, and is one of Scotland's six UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

On our blog you'll find a behind-the-scenes look at all the latest news, events, stories and general 'goings-on' from New Lanark World Heritage Site.

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