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Scott Smith celebrates one-year milestone as a gardening columnist

Scott reflects on a year of writing for The Press and Journal and says that when it comes to talking about gardening, inspiration can come from anywhere

Enjoy the great outdoors and get into your garden.
Enjoy the great outdoors and get into your garden.

One year, 12 months, 52 weeks, 365 days, 8,760 hours, 525,600 minutes. I could go on. It’s been a year already.

One whole year ago I started writing this very column to speak to you. Yes you! You, reading this here and now. Cuppa in hand and maybe a bikkie or a buttery.

Wherever you are and whatever you are up to, hello! I’ve covered a huge range in the last year from houseplant predators to practical rose pruning. More importantly you have read, and have listened so thank you.

You in mind

Regardless of where my future goes, be it Beechgrove Garden; this column or elsewhere. I always have you in mind and heart.

My joy in life stems not only from gardening but also from sharing it with you. The experiences, the ups, the downs, the lessons, the everything.

It is so humbling to be sharing this with you now. I hope I’ve brought you something worthwhile each week. Writing for you is a very unique experience.

A bountiful harvest was grown at Beechgrove Garden.

Sometimes I catch a fleeting thought and think I must write about that. Other times I feel a timely gardening job coming up and think aye I best get that written about for a heads up.

The best times though are where inspiration just flows. Being out in the garden does this so easily. Right now I’m lifting my delicious ‘Blue Danube’ main crop tatties and imaging all the stunning roasties to come!

Birds and trees

My lower back gives that little pull to let me know it’s being used well. The light but prominent September breeze chills the back of my neck, a foil to all the heat being generated from the plunge and pull of the fork in the crumbly earth.

The birds above me zoom and chirp around the hawthorn, rowan, and Swedish whitebeam trees. Glistening red jewels drip from them all, an invaluable food source for the playful little critters.

The season is indeed changing and I try not to fall into the cynical mindset about the abundance of berries being a sign of a hard winter to come.

Beechgrove Garden will be back in November.

Coming up

Many gardening mediums love a bit of rinse and repeat. It makes sense I suppose seeing as many gardening jobs are done on a cyclical basis.

The same thing year in and year out. It can be tedious to witness though. I will do my darndest to avoid this for you.

Granted certain things naturally crop up every year like spring lawn care, and the falling of leaves in autumn making for great leafmould but hey I will try to keep it fresh for you.

Winter series

I am very pleased to announce that we will return soon at Beechgrove Garden at the beginning of November with our autumn series.

Granted it is only four episodes, but it is enough to keep you going into the winter and allowing that wee golden break until we return again next spring raring to go!

Scott’s Blue Danube tatties.

Already we have grand plans for next year for your viewing pleasure. There is going to be so much to enjoy. It’s no coincidence that Beechgrove Garden has been a gardening staple for 45 years!

George Barron’s legacy

Coincidence is something many don’t believe in. That said I do always find it strange how closely my footsteps have emulated the late, great George Barron.

I too was head gardener at a private estate near Dyce called Grandhome for the Paton family. I too then moved on to become head gardener of Pitmedden Garden.

I too then ended up as a presenter for Beechgrove Garden. Granted George had a much, much longer stint at Pitmedden with his 30 years versus my five years but still, it is uncanny.

I have always followed his legacy. Everywhere I went, I heard stories about the legend that was George Barron.

Swedish whitebeam laden with berries.

When I was offered this column it was to follow up from the equally legendary Jim McColl. He himself another presenter and well-known legend of Beechgrove Garden.

I have been unwittingly surrounded on all sides by greatness. Legacies to live up to. The decision as to whether or not I may one day, is up to you.

Much like all things gardening. It is up to you. Yes YOU! Is your garden a mess? It is up YOU to sort it! Is your garden not quite achieving its full potential? It is up to YOU to improve it! Is your garden amazing?

Well then congratulations to you, show off! Wherever you are, get out there. Grab the tools and get gardening. At the least, step outside and take a moment to bless this day you are alive to experience.

Take care and happy gardening.