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Alasdair Busby - Our Easter 2018 Social Media Competition Winner

By Alasdair Busby, our Easter competition social media winner. Alasdair says "I think Shoot is a brilliant concept and I am delighted to have won the competition."

Alasdair Busby with Poppy the dog

Photo: Alasdair with Poppy the dog. She was always gardening for 10 years with me until she died in November. Nose in the earth just next to where I was working, never dug anything up and was always fascinated by gardening - aren’t we all?!! I called her "Gardening Dog"

About Alasdair

I grew up in Glasgow and, apart from a few years with a garden, we mostly lived in a Georgian West End apartment. After studying Applied Biology, Ecology & Animal Behaviour at University I served as a commissioned officer in the RAF for 16 years. 

St Andrews Botanic Garden (Emma and my wife Carolyn)

Photo: St Andrews Botanic Garden (Emma and my wife Carolyn)

Married life allowed us to develop fairly basic gardens in the houses but as we had 14 houses in those 16 years (gulp!), there was little chance to develop any long-term garden thoughts.

About Alasdair's garden

Alasdair Busby garden

Photo: new Hosta planting area

Having now been in our coastal location in Fife, Scotland for 15 years we have developed a small but full (!) garden, which is mostly used for relaxing, although with a new Springer Spaniel puppy arriving on 22nd April, who knows what the garden will be like after then!!

Poppy/Hydrangea/Rudbeckia and climbing roses

Photo: Poppy/Hydrangea/Rudbeckia and climbing roses


modern garden and hammock

Photo: My modern garden and hammock

Love of travel

Travelling is what we love most and a favourite garden visited in recent years is the Giardino Gusti in Verona

For a while after leaving the RAF, I was fortunate to be the General Manager of Blair Castle & Gardens in Perthshire, which also boasts the largest walled garden in Scotland at almost 10 acres: Hercules Garden is truly special, a garden haven and well worth a visit (or 2!).

In Venice (our favourite destination), the public Giardini (garden) near the Arsenale is also worth visiting and to escape the hustle and visitor-bustle of the main Venice areas.

Back at my childhood home in Glasgow – please go to the Botanic Gardens in the West End. “The Botanics” as they are affectionately known, is a beautifully laid out sprawling, manicured series of gardens in the busy West End, with large glasshouses with tropical plants and fish.

Largo Bay (near here) with Red Campion

Photo: Largo Bay (near here) with Red Campion

St Andrews Botanic Garden is impressive too! In the future, I’d love to visit gardens in South America and Japan, but for now it’s back to my soggy Anstruther garden for a spot of planting – foxgloves in the wooded area and planting up some Sweet Pea seeds.

Why Alasdair entered our Easter Competition

I think Shoot is a brilliant concept and I am delighted to have won the competition.