The whole Beechgrove team are on the ferry to the Orkney Isles this week. Famously a place of only two seasons, 18 hours of light or 18 hours of dark, with constant winds but mild and with little or no frost.
The assumption always is that nothing much grows on Orkney in those conditions, but Jim, Carole and George find that is far from the case as they discover the determined gardeners of Orkney and how much they have achieved, to the extent that there is a thriving Orkney Garden Festival across the islands.
Jim, Carole and George host a Beechgrove Gardeners’ question and answer session in Kirkwall and visit a host of good gardens on South Ronaldsay.
In Beechgrove Garden episode 16 2017:
Jim, Carole, and George were on the road this week on the first of four special Beechgrove Roadshow programmes this summer. It was the beginning of July when the team visited Orkney and the weather was absolutely stupendous for our entire stay.
To start the programme the presenters were overlooking the harbour at Hamnavoe, Stromness or the Gateway to Orkney as it is called. Many visitors arrive in Orkney by sea, and this is probably the most dramatic approach to these isles.
There is an agricultural if not specifically horticulturalheritage dating back 5,000 years here. Orkney is renowned for the quality of its produce, particularly its premium beef. In fact, Orkney has the highest density of beef cattle in Europe so it is literally wall to wall cattle.
Beechgrove Gardeners’ Q&A Event
Our team moved to Kirkwall next for the Q&A session but first Carole had time to visit the walled garden at the Orkney museum right in the middle of Orkney’s thriving capital, home to 9,000 people. Another example of what can be done when protected from the Orkney elements. The garden is planted with herbaceous borders surrounding a neatly manicured large lawn area. It has a few rockeries and an area close to the house where herbs are grown.