Meet Craig Cameron from Teasses EstateFebruary 24th 2021
It would be remiss of me not to acknowledge the difficulties last year presented to gardens. Firstly, many gardeners and support staff were furloughed at a crucial time of year. Just when the grass started to grow and the seedlings emerged, gardens all across the country remained closed. As the spring went on we still weren’t sure if gardens were going to be allowed to open. At Teasses we readied ourselves. Thankfully we managed to keep going with two full time gardeners and once our grass-cutter returned to work we were all set – although hard pushed – to open the garden once we finally got the go ahead. Twenty-twenty was such a challenging year, but we opened the garden on Wednesday the 15th July and like other gardens our opening was well received. By this time people had been confined to their own gardens for two months or more and were extremely eager to get out and about and support their local gardens. Of course, I must also say that the hot dry spring proved to be Mother Nature’s own support scheme; restricting weeds and slowing the lawns.
Last year was going to be the launch year for the Teasses Gardens, we had previously opened only by appointments but Twenty-twenty was to be the year where we would open the garden on a Wednesday for paying visitors. Events, openings and plans had to be postponed or cancelled completely. We were not alone almost every garden had the same experience, yet, as it happens Twenty-twenty-one proves to be a much more exciting year for us at Teasses.
The Morrison family came to Teasses in the mid-1990s and found an estate, house and garden crying out for attention. As such Twenty-twenty-one marks the silver anniversary since the family came to the estate and began the extraordinary effort to restore, develop and conserve the estate.
To celebrate I am putting together a free exhibition of the restoration. Not only of the garden but of the wider estate – where hedges, woodland and ponds were restored to benefit wildlife – and Teasses House itself. I’ve never curated an exhibition before but I thrive where I have new challenges to engage with. The exhibition will briefly outline the last two thousand years of history of the estate and focus more carefully at the work of the last twenty-five years. Uncovering lost or forgotten history and stumbling upon the odd artefact in the attics around the house means that we have interesting exhibits for visitors to see.
The exhibition plays only one part of the celebration; Teasses is also holding an Open Day on 19th June – all being well – where visitors will have the opportunity to meander around the garden, watch our gamekeeper’s dogs at work, meet local garden experts, purchase plants from our gardens, enjoy delicious home baking, get up close with some of our farm machinery and spend their hard earned cash at our Summer Market where local small scale producers will be selling their carefully crafted foods, drinks and arts and crafts. There will be a host of things to see and do. We just need to hope now for good weather.
You can find out more and be kept up to date with all we are up to on our social media platforms and website.
Regardless, the garden continues to grow. I’m writing this on a mild Sunday evening, after a sunny afternoon in the garden, but only one week ago you’d be excused for mistaking Teasses for somewhere north of the Baltic. Deep snow and drifts made manoeuvring off of the estate very difficult. In fact, until this week we didn’t have a day without snow since around the twenty- seventh of January. It has been a hard winter but only a day or two of mild weather has seen all of the snow melt away without too much hassle.
Now that the snow has melted we can finally see the drifts of snowdrops which punctuate the woods and garden walks. Our approach to the Scottish Snowdrop Festival has been very much online this year, with plenty of photos and videos sharing our snowdrops with our interested followers.
Last year from the first of April to mid- July I put out a garden diary on Facebook which proved to be popular with the community and ultimately ensured that visitors then wanted to come to Teasses when restrictions were lifted. I’m extremely grateful for the support of the visitors we had in the summer. Several visitors returned week after week. The weekly videos consumed a lot of my time and so instead of a weekly video I’ll be putting out a monthly video showing highlights from around the garden and giving top tips and handy hints as jobs crop up.
I look forward to the garden opening again and hope to be able to welcome visitors back soon. Until then keep safe and keep gardening.