New Lanark World Heritage Site Blog

roof garden diary

04/08/17 Roof Garden # , , , , , , ,

New Lanark Garden Diary: August 2017

New Lanark Garden Diary: August 2017

After the long dry Spring, the summer weather has been very wet.  The white Buddleia named ‘Peace’ is in full bloom in New Lanark’s War Memorial Garden, but its flowers have been somewhat spoiled by the rain, and the butterflies that usually arrive in abundance at this time of year have not so far appeared.

However, there is one butterfly that has been seen in the Clyde Valley Nature Reserve and in New Lanark Roof Garden where it was spotted drinking nectar from a purple-flowered buddleia.  (See photo.) This lovely butterfly is the Comma, so called because it has a tiny mark shaped like a comma (or small letter C) on its undersides.  The Comma’s story is one of remarkable  survival and  adaptation.

Comma caterpillars used to feed on hops and the butterfly was plentiful in Kent and the hop-growing areas of south east England.  However, when the industry went into decline, the butterfly’s population dropped severely.  In the past few years, however, it has staged an amazing recovery after the caterpillars adapted to eating the leaves of stinging nettles instead of hops.  As nettles grow nearly everywhere, the butterfly is now expanding its range right to the north of Scotland!  Global warming may also be having an effect on its expansion.   Visit New Lanark and see if you can spot this wonderful  butterfly!

Click here to find out more about visiting New Lanark and What’s On…

Liz – New Lanark Guest Blogger

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05/07/17 Roof Garden # , , , , , , , ,

New Lanark Garden Diary: Summer 2017

New Lanark Garden Diary: Summer 2017

June and July 2017

As the longest day passes, the summer begins.  In New Lanark Roof Garden, the combination of curry plant, and lavender with the dark pink of the tall penstemons, creates the appearance of a soft summer meadow in miniature. The yellow flag irises at the back of the garden didn’t do too well this year as the spring was warm and very dry, and they like moist soil.   At ground level, the area  between the Hotel and the first bridge over the lade is the lade overflow.  It is a full working part of New Lanark’s power generation system but has become an ecological niche in its own right.  Look out for the lovely flowing green stems and white flowers of the water crowfoot.  This amazing plant is adapted to live under the water with the flowers emerging on the surface.

Water crowfoot in the Mill Lade

Also look for the purple spires of watermint and frothy white heads of meadowsweet.  Later in July, little yellow monkey flowers will appear with them.  Robins, dippers and wagtails, also enjoy this environment with its flowing water and plenty of places at the side to perch.

Click here to find out more about visiting New Lanark and our current summer exhibition, Brick City!

Liz – New Lanark Guest Blogger

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08/03/17 Roof Garden # , , , , , ,

New Lanark Gardens Diary – March 2017

New Lanark Gardens Diary – March 2017

Signs of Spring are everywhere around at New Lanark now.  A few snowdrops have braved the cold to flower by the path along the Mill Lade, and the first bright yellow daffodils are in bloom in the Roof Garden.  The River Clyde has been running high, creating magnificent waterfalls at Cora Linn and Bonnington Linn further upstream.  The weather may be improving but it is deceptive.  Be prepared for ‘The Teuchit Storm’, an old name for a spell of wet and windy weather that was once thought to occur in late March about the time that the ‘teuchit’ or lapwing starts nesting in the fields upriver!

You can enjoy an early Spring visit to New Lanark with Buy One Get One Free on tickets until the end of March 2017. Click here to download your voucher!

Liz – New Lanark Guest Blogger

Snowdrops on the New Lanark Roof Garden

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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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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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