Spring Jewels at Kevock Garden

Yesterday I had the pleasure of visiting the private garden of Stella & David Rankin, the owners of Kevock Garden Plants in Midlothian, as part of the Scotland’s Garden Scheme.  The garden is on a steep hillside and is stuffed full of special trees, shrubs and perennials but, at this time of year, it was the fragrant winter flowering Daphne and the late winter bulbs that carried the day.  The garden is open on regular basis throughout the year and I plan to return later in the season to see the many alpine plants in their full glory.

Daphne bholua, with its super-fragrant blooms and ghostly pale bark.  I must try to make room for one of these in my garden….

This may look like just another snowdrop in this photo but, believe me, Galanthus ‘Fred’s Giant’ is a snowdrop on steroids.  Standing about 20 cm tall it is a stunning plant, and I will be seeking this out ASAP.


This is a new plant to me, Olsynium douglasii, and is another one on my wish list. I suspect it may need a bit of coddling, but well, worth it, I reckon.

This photo was taken of plants in the cold frame by the house – anyone else have such a well-ordered cold frame? Certainly not me!

Dwarf Iris are always worth putting into the garden, as they flower very early and look so exotic in the gloom of the late winter garden. I think this one is Iris ‘Katherine Hodgkin’, but I prefer the intensely blue forms such as ‘Harmony’ and ‘Clairette’.


As well as great wee flowers and fabulous scents, there were some other planting ideas to steal – I will definitely be training Hydrangea petiolaris into mature trees where the opportunity presents itself in a client garden!

As ever, it was well worth climbing into the car and heading out to see yet another of the fantastic private gardens that are so kindly opened to the public under the Scotland’s Garden Scheme.  Check out the website, or buy a copy of the book, to find out what is opening in your area this year:

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