Shetland's Gardens And Meadows In Full Bloom

by Alastair Hamilton -

Shetland's meadows, roadsides, parks and gardens are wonderfully colourful in summer. Wild flowers are a particular highlight.

Shetland may have a climate that's cooler and windier than that in the rest of the UK, but that doesn't prevent us enjoying a kaleidoscope of colour over the summer. The meadows and roadsides are studded with a wide range of beautiful flowers, able to thrive in a landscape from which large-scale, intensive agriculture has been absent. Early purple orchid, red campion, bird's foot trefoil, acres of buttercups and dozens of other species always impress our summer visitors.

Gardening in Shetland undoubtedly presents challenges: two of the local books on the topic are entitled "The Impossible Garden" and “”Horticulture On The Edge”! But it's perfectly possible to grow a very wide range of plants, provided the garden has good shelter and that rabbits and sheep are kept at bay. The planting of trees and larger shrubs has become widespread over the past twenty years, and the shelter that they provide has made a real difference. The other very noticeable trend is the rising popularity of greenhouses and, especially, large polytunnels, allowing a range of fruit and vegetables to flourish.