Last weekend I was honoured to be asked to talk and demonstrate at the Gardening Scotland Show at Ingleston just outside Edinburgh. I hadn’t attended the show before so hadn’t realised just how big, impressive and downright beautiful this show is. If you are into flowers, herbs, bonsai, trees, veggies and all things gardening then this is the place to be. It was three days of sheer magic.
I was there on stage demonstrating kitchen herb crafts; flavoured butters, oils and vinegars etc and of course that old favourite, the strawberry and lavender gin! Top chef Neil Forbes was on the BBC recording of Kitchen Garden and the lovely Alys Fowler did a wonderful show on using all your garden produce relating to her new book, Abundance.
The flowers were just amazing. Inside the aptly named Flower Hall where we had our stage there were so many beautiful stands set out like mini gardens with every type of flower and veggie at its very best. Some of the blooms were stunning in their colour and vibrancy, others just strange and almost other-worldly. The heady scents melded together and assailed the nostrils, it was like walking within a perfume cloud with no additives, just great scent.
Of course being a big show there were trade stands and a craft marquee. Here are the lovely ladies from Scot Herbs near Dundee who were doing great work promoting my favourite type of plants – herbs! The food stalls were superb with produce ranging from artisan cheeses and oysters, to traditional sweets and pastries to venison, rare breed meats, breads, wines, oils and chocolates, something for everyone and samples to be tried wherever you turned.
Jewelery,quirky tartans, knitwear, toys, carved wood, ceramics and glass.
And lots of flowers, did I mention the flowers?
On the outside stage there was entertainment from The Red Hot Chilli Pipers who fairly got the whole place rocking and had people dancing in the sunshine with their fabulous renditions of Coldplay and the like. They take the traditional sounds of Scotland and turn them on their head, make the old new and piping something fun.
Veggies were out in force too, green, green and more green. Plants to buy and information to be had from real experts in their fields. I bought two beautiful strawberry plants that are an unusual heirloom variety of white berries. I can’t wait to see them when they fruit. Photo opportunities galore on that one.
And flowers again. So many gorgeous flowers. They took your breath away and made you smile. Colour, texture, scents and taste too in some cases, oh we are so very blessed to have flowers in our lives. We do tend to take so many things for granted. It was only seeing so many gorgeous flowers together that made me really think about them and appreciate that just seeing one flower in any setting should be considered a treat.
This weekend was a treat in abundance. I only hope that my talks and demos entertained and lead a few more people towards making full use of herbs in their kitchens.
Big thanks to Marie Clare from Quaich for organising the talks, you are star.