New Lanark World Heritage Site Blog

roof garden diary

05/01/17 Roof Garden # , , , ,

New Lanark Gardens Diary: January 2017

New Lanark Gardens Diary: January 2017

Welcome to the first New Lanark Gardens Diary of 2017!

Up until about 100 years ago in Scotland, the first Monday in the new year was known as Handsel Monday and this was the day on which people exchanged presents. The First Statistical Account tells us that it was a day ‘for recreation and merry-making’.   The word ‘handsel’ meant to put a gift in someone’s hand and could also mean to inaugurate or start something new.  The first photo for New Lanark Gardens Diary 2017 shows  the houses at Caithness Row in low-angled sunlight with birch trees in the foreground  and a crisp frost on the grass. Very best wishes for 2017 to all our readers, guests and visitors!

2017 also happens to be Visit Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology. You can find out more about how you can be involved in this exciting year at New Lanark by visiting our website.

Liz – New Lanark Guest Blogger

 

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07/10/16 Uncategorized # , , , , , , ,

New Lanark Garden Diary – October 2016

New Lanark Garden Diary – October 2016

Instead of the Roof Garden, this month’s diary is from another of New Lanark’s garden spaces, the War Memorial Garden, situated at the foot of the hill just at the entrance to the village.  The planting here includes several buddleia shrubs of the variety called ‘Peace’ with lovely arching spikes of white flowers.  The warm sunshine at the start of October attracted a large number of late summer butterflies seeking out nectar in the buddleia flowers.   The photograph shows several Small Tortoiseshells eagerly feeding before they go into hibernation for the winter.  As their numbers have been declining generally, this was an extra welcome and encouraging sight!

The New Lanark War Memorial is dedicated to soldiers from New Lanark who fought in the first World War. You can find out more about their stories in our semi-permanent exhibition ‘New Lanark and the First World War’.

war-mem-gdn-2

Liz – New Lanark Guest Blogger

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15/09/16 Roof Garden # , , ,

Roof Garden Diary: September 2016

Roof Garden Diary: September 2016

Many thanks to the stalwart team of volunteers from Portakabin who turned up in New Lanark Roof Garden on a wet August day and enthusiastically set about clearing away most of the invasive burnet plant (Sanguisorba officinalis) that was spoiling the garden!   As a result of their efforts, we will now be able to plant some new bulbs in the cleared areas.  Burnet is an attractive plant with tall thin stems, but it is very invasive! If you want to grow it in your garden, the key is to choose a garden variety that doesn’t set seed.

Portakabin volunteers on the New Lanark Roof Garden

Portakabin staff volunteering on the New Lanark Roof Garden

For New Lanark Roof Garden, we now plan to put in allium and daffodil bulbs to give a springtime display.  Daffodils are always cheerful after winter and alliums with their big spherical heads give height and structure, and are also good for early bees and butterflies.

To find out more about visiting the New Lanark Roof Garden please visit the New Lanark website. 

Purple aneomone with hoverfly on the New Lanark Roof Garden

Purple aneomone with hoverfly

 Liz – New Lanark Guest Blogger

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03/08/16 Roof Garden # , , , ,

Roof Garden Diary: August 2016

Roof Garden Diary: August 2016

The swallow chicks in the nest under the Roof Garden viewing platform fledged successfully in the last week of July.   These baby swallows represent the sixth generation of their kind to be born and raised in New Lanark Roof Garden.  The Scottish Wildlife Trust identified them as swallows (as opposed to martins or swifts) from the reddish-russet colouring on their throats.  An amazing characteristic of these beautiful birds is their ability to feed while on the wing.  As they swoop through the air, they hoover up hundreds of midges so they are definitely our friends!  Soon even the young ones will be migrating many miles south to Africa for the winter, and with luck will return next spring as soon as the weather begins to warm up again.

Find out more about visiting the New Lanark Roof Garden. 

Liz – New Lanark Guest Blogger

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10/05/16 Roof Garden # , , , , , ,

Roof Garden Diary: May 2016

Roof Garden Diary: May 2016

New Lanark Roof Garden Diary – May 2016

What could be better after the cold spring weather than to see these bright daffodils in New Lanark Roof Garden?  They have faced rain, strong winds and even snow, which bent their heads low but they have supple stems enabling them to bounce back when conditions improve.  The tree heather is now covered in blossom in the shape of tiny white bells and the woolly willow is beginning to show its fluffy yellow catkins.  Rising temperatures have brought the swallows back – watch them diving low through the fountain!

“They will be surrounded by gardens, have abundance of space in all directions to keep the air healthy and pleasant: they will have walks and plantations before them, and well cultivated grounds, kept in good order, as far as the eye can reach”.
(Robert Owen, 1817)

Liz – New Lanark Guest Blogger

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06/04/16 Roof Garden # , , ,

Roof Garden Diary: April 2016

Roof Garden Diary: April 2016

The star of these damp April days in New Lanark Roof Garden is the tree heather (Erica arborea var.  alpina).  Unlike low-growing heathers, this shrub can grow up to two metres.  It has beautiful upswept evergreen branches covered in tiny flowers that show pink at first before opening into clusters of exquisite miniature white bells.  On the other side of the garden, a newly planted Buddleia shrub has taken root in spite of suffering a blast of hard frost early on.  During blinks of sunshine, a few blue anemones open their lovely star-shaped flowers.

Find out more about visiting the New Lanark Roof Garden. 

Liz – New Lanark Guest Blogger

“They will be surrounded by gardens, have abundance of space in all directions to keep the air healthy and pleasant: they will have walks and plantations before them, and well cultivated grounds, kept in good order, as far as the eye can reach”.
(Robert Owen, 1817)
 

Tree heather flowers 2 (2)

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08/03/16 Roof Garden # , , , , , , ,

Roof Garden Diary: March 2016

Roof Garden Diary: March 2016

At first sight not much seems to be happening in New Lanark Roof Garden this month. Look closer, however,  and you will see the first tentative flowers of Spring appearing in spite of the wild and changeable weather. A few snowdrops are quivering under the hornbeam hedging, and some early daffodils have big buds full of the promise of the yellow trumpets to come.  The tree heather shrub creates  a vigorous splash of green  covered in tiny pink bell-like flowers, and there are buds waiting to burst on the Woolly Willow.

Click here to find out more about visiting the New Lanark Roof Garden

Liz – New Lanark Guest Blogger

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12/10/15 Roof Garden # , , , , , , , , ,

Roof Garden Diary: October 2015

Roof Garden Diary: October 2015

Autumn is always a colourful time in New Lanark Roof Garden!  The highlight this month is surely the curved border with its riot of beautiful anemones glowing pink and purple in the slanting sunlight.  These plants are real toughies that can stand up well to Scotland’s climate.  The swallows have now disappeared to spend winter in Africa, but the autumn song of the robin trills out from the trees in the village below, and a Small Tortoiseshell butterfly made an appearance in the warm spell at the start of the month.

Find out more about visiting the New Lanark Roof Garden this Autumn. 

Liz – New Lanark Guest Blogger

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10/08/15 Roof Garden # , , , , , ,

Roof Garden Diary: August 2015

Roof Garden Diary: August 2015

A very wet July has meant that the ‘wrong’ plants and all the  weeds  are  growing  luxuriantly in New Lanark Roof Garden!   Many plants are well behind their usual flowering season.

The shrub, Philadelphus ‘Belle Etoile’, is now covered in scented white flowers that normally would appear in June or early July.

Meadowsweet is enjoying the damp conditions,  its frothy white plumes giving off a scent of summer .

In the past,  meadowsweet  was used as a strewing herb  spread  over  the  floor  as a natural air freshener  – perhaps even in the Millworkers’ Houses at New Lanark as it grows naturally along the banks of the Clyde.

Find out more about visiting New Lanark & the Roof Garden. 

Liz – New Lanark Guest Blogger

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14/07/15 Uncategorized # , , , , , ,

Roof Garden Diary: July 2015

Roof Garden Diary: July 2015

The flat flowerheads  of the Dark-leaved Elder,  Sambucus nigra ‘Guincho Purple’, show  rich raspberry and cream  colours contrasting with its dark foliage.   Beneath it the milky bellfower, Campanula ‘Loddon Anna’, makes a carpet of green leaves punctuated by rounded heads of lovely pale lilac, bell-shaped flowers.  In the stone troughs, the low cushions of bright purple thyme are attracting lots of bees and hoverflies, and a Painted Lady butterfly has been sunning itself on the warm stonework.  Look out for these butterflies this  summer  –  they look pale brown in flight and have black and orange markings when settled.   Meanwhile the tall golden oat grasses  swish gently in the breeze overhead.   Enjoy the beauties of summer in New Lanark Roof Garden this month!

Liz – New Lanark Guest Blogger

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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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