How The Farm & Garden Shop Came About

by Panny Laing for Storytelling Week 2020

By Panny from Logie Farm & Garden Shop 

The Farm & Garden Shop is one of Panny's many Logie hats.

Today's story is Panny's history of how she came to sell plants and start the Farm & Garden Shop, and how it evolved into what it is today. Read on to find out more...

 

How the Farm & Garden Shop Came About

Moving to Logie & Starting With the Garden

Alasdair and I, and Emma, Alec and Freddie moved to Logie in 1991, swopping houses with Alasdair’s mother. Not only did we move into the large house we also took on the large garden with the help of Joe Allardes whose son Graham is now the Estate Forester.  At the time the garden was very traditional: a formal area planted every year with red begonias and yellow antirrhinums, a lot of veg, a productive polytunnel in the middle, a cutting garden, soft fruit and a herbaceous border.  It was full of colour for 2-3 months but not really my sort of garden – no shrubs and all quite ‘managed’.  Being faced with a lot of fallow ground was a daunting project! Thankfully we had a great friend, Gavin Dallmeyer, who was a very good plantsman and garden designer and he came to help.  We moved the poly tunnel and planted the shrub borders with the grass path.  We planted roses and a mix of perennials and shrubs in the formal area.  We added year round interest with some shrubs in the herbaceous border; we reduced the veg garden by 2/3rds and planted an orchard.  We opened up a short length of the burn – which had been piped under the garden for many years – and planted some damp-loving plants alongside.  The cutting garden was replaced with trees and shrubs. 

Starting to Share the Garden's Plants with Others

With Gavin’s guidance I was introduced to many unusual but garden-worthy shrubs, trees and perennials and began to think it would be fun to make these more available to other keen gardeners.  We had opened Logie Steading in 1992 and a unit became available in 1996 so we started Logie Steading Plants – in those days the café was in half of the Art Gallery, and the new business moved into the area that is the current café kitchen, and the disabled and ladies’ loos, with the plant area at the back in what is now the car park.  The shop was quite small but it dawned on us that it would be a good idea to also sell the wonderful beef from the Longhorn herd… so we changed the name to Logie Steading Farm and Garden Shop and expanded our range of products. 

cotinus in Logie House Garden for Storytelling Week
azalea, solomons seal in Logie House Garden for Storytelling Week

Onwards & Outwards - to the Big Garage

Many years later the café moved across the courtyard and the Shop moved into new premises in what was originally built as a ‘Carriage House’ – rather a grand name for a very large garage, with space for 8 Rolls Royces.  When it was built, in the 1930s the plan included a sizeable second floor, with accommodation for a chauffeur and a visiting chauffeur.  That part never happened as WWII intervened and by 1945 life had changed and the family didn’t have chauffeurs, nor the need to house 8 Rolls Royces.  We continue to try to find interesting garden-worthy plants that will do well in Scotland – and we have trialled many of them in the Logie House Garden which is now open every day.

Farm & Garden Shop in the former Carriage House for Storytelling Week