All about us, what we do and how we do it.
Craigiehall Nursery is a small, specialist nursery in southern Scotland specialising in alpine and rock plants. My name is Innes Hogg and my wife, Nicola, and I run our nursery entirely on our own. Every plant we sell is propagated and grown by us to be as good as we can possibly manage.
We have been in business growing and selling alpine plants for nearly 25 years and for most of that time this has been our only source of income. We have both been in horticulture for over 30 years and each of us has a Diploma in Horticulture. For many years we have concentrated on growing alpine plants wholesale for other nurseries and garden centres (and we still do) but have also developed and specially grown a wonderful range of plants which we now wish to offer to the public via our online Plant Shop. Please note - the nursery does not open to the public.
We are passionate about what we do and want to offer high quality plants with first class, personal service.
About our range (and how we grow it)
We grow a very wide range of alpine and rock garden plants - we have over 500 different varieties on the nursery. Some are quite common, others much less so, but they are all good plants. Some of our range can be more of a challenge to the grower and gardener but the majority stand a very good chance (with a little care and 'gardening') of succeeding in most gardens. We aim to grow plants that you will enjoy and have success with, not difficult, expensive rarities. Our online Plant Shop describes all our plants and offers tips on how to grow them.
Most of what we grow is propagated from cuttings - it's often the only way to raise all the better, named forms and all the variegated, coloured leaved plants which add colour to our gardens. This requires skill and great attention to detail - exactly what we are good at. We also grow some things from divisions and some from seed but generally avoid most of the very easy (and cheaper) seed-raised varieties.
When I say, "grow", I mean just that - we keep our own stock (mother) plants from which we take cuttings (or save seeds from) and root, pot, water and care for every single plant we sell. We do not buy plants to resell nor do we buy plants to simply pot up and sell. This means we know about every plant we grow and it allows us to offer a selection far beyond what is available in any garden centre.
We are using a peat-free compost for almost all our range. We do still use some peat though - the few acid-loving plants we grow don't do so well in our peat-free mix - but we're working towards being peat-free. We also include a good proportion of high quality, sterilised loam (soil) in our potting mixes - the plants like it! Whilst on about 'green' issues, we minimise pesticide use and reduce, re-use and recycle wherever possible. If you order plants they will arrive in reused boxes and packaging so don't be excited (or alarmed) if a box of Finest Scotch Whisky arrives!
Everything we grow spends a good part of its life outside to give a good, well-grown, hardy plant, but given our location we can't over-winter every plant outside. About half of our over-wintered stock will be outside, unprotected. If you have noticed the polytunnels on our home page (we have more 'behind the lens') they are completely unheated, well ventilated and act only to keep the winter rain and snow off those plants which need it. It's not that the plants are in any way tender, but at the early stages of a plant's life they do need a certain amount of protection. That is why nurseries are called nurseries after all - to nurse things.
About our growing conditions and climate
Craigiehall Nursery sits at around 850 feet ( 260m) above sea level on the very eastern edge of Lanarkshire. We are only 20 miles or so southwest of Edinburgh but well inland and very roughly equidistant from Largs on the Clyde coast and Berwick upon Tweed to the east. We seem to be climatically on the very boundary of the east and west of Scotland - we get rain from both directions! Annual rainfall is around 40 inches (about 1m) a year and we are in a quite a cold area with a fairly short growing season. We experience frequent frosts during winter (often quite severe frosts) and so on into spring but we do have good light levels (cloud and rain permitting) which benefits alpines more than anything. The nursery is also exposed to the wind from all directions; in fact, the nursery looks over to a small wind farm with six giant turbines, just over a mile away - that tells you all you need to know!
How we like to do business
We are conscientious, but the fact is, at some point we (or our carriers) will make mistakes and if that happens, we will sort things out to your satisfaction. We offer a personal service and that person is me (or Nicola). We like to be honest, courteous and friendly. Plants are our business - but they are your hobby and we will bear that in mind.
Innes and Nicola Hogg
Trading in partnership as Craigiehall Nursery, Carnwath, Lanark, South Lanarkshire, ML11 8LH