As our new Head Gardener, we wanted to get to know a little about Bryony Doig, who joined the team in February 2021. From her love of spring to her passion about just how much you can do with the smallest plots of land, we sat down with Briony to find out more:
What previous gardening experience did you have before joining The Torridon?
I ran a kitchen garden in Edinburgh, providing fruit, vegetables and herbs for three restaurants. Prior to this, I worked at a specialist herb nursery and garden in Edinburgh called The Secret Herb Garden.
When did your passion for gardening start?
I grew up surrounded by passionate gardeners in my Mum and Grandparents, but my passion probably started when working as a florist in Edinburgh. I lived in a small flat in the city centre with a paved back garden. So, I decided to have a pot garden. My collection of pots and plants grew and grew, and I became a little obsessed with how much you can do with a small space and the thrill of growing plants, especially from seed.
Describe some of the characteristics of your favourite plant
Picking favourites is not a strong point of mine when it comes to flowers, as there are too many wonderfully different ones to choose from. I would say I have a blue flower addiction. There is something very surreal and magical about them. The Omphalodes Cappadocica is a blue favourite. Its tiny pastel blue flowers start as gorgeous purple buds and open into five delicately joined petals in masses on curving long stems.
What inspiration do you take from the Scottish Highlands?
The Scottish Highlands can seem like a desolate place to the passing eye but when you look closely it is teeming with wildflower life. The landscape here is also a lesson in the art of using green, only green, as a colour palette. So, I guess the inspiration I take is that the little things matter and a lot can be said with minimal colour.
What is your favourite season and why?
Spring is my favourite season. It is hard for it not to be when you live this far north. After a long, cold and leafless winter, spring brings new life, colour, longer days, seed sowing, daffodils, crocus, hellebores, bird song, cut grass, bees, and just a reboot for the senses.
Tell us one of your biggest achievements as a gardener and what you hope to bring to The Torridon
Working as a gardener is a constant accumulation of small achievements. It teaches you patience and most jobs are investments for the future. Therefore, every time I grow a flower or plant a vegetable, and get to see it bloom or eat it, it is a very satisfying feeling.
I hope to bring lots of colour, flavour and life to The Torridon. I also very much hope that people who visit enjoy the peace and beauty of the garden as much as I do.