Cardross market garden is in full bloom after decades in the community

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FOR some, the recent sweltering weather may have offered a chance to soak up the rays – but for one company in Cardross, it’s all been put to use.

While the west of Scotland didn’t quite enjoy the nearly 40 degree heat in the south of England, the mercury was not far off 30 – and that made life difficult for Craigend Nursery.

The family market garden is used to reacting to harsh Scottish weather – but Mairi McGeorge, who runs the Main Road business, said they had lost their footing in a bid to tend to their produce.

She told the reporter: “While a lot of people were enjoying the sunshine, we were praying for rain in the evening.

“In weather like the one we’ve had recently, it takes three hours to water all of our potted plants and we have to do that three times a day – so that’s a job in itself.”

Mairi continued: “It hasn’t been the best of years for growth – things have been quite late this year. Although recently people have been talking about the heat, it was the hot and humid weather that had been a problem as it causes the potato to burn.

Among the products grown on site are various fruits and vegetables including strawberries, raspberries, black currants, tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, onions, leeks and rhubarb. Broccoli and cabbage are also on the menu, as are zucchini. In addition to this, customers can browse and purchase a wide selection of plants and shrubs.

For Mairi and her family, the market garden is a way of life. Parents William and Grace ran the garden for decades, first in the walled garden of St Peter’s and then in Lyleston before moving to the current four-acre site.

In 2017 Grace was suffering from dementia and Mairi returned home. His mother died two years later and Mairi took over the management of the company.

She said: “My dad is 74 but he still works outdoors, with his vintage garden tools, and my three children – aged 14, 13 and 8 – also help out, with the watering, etc.

“It’s more than a job, that’s for sure. We are completely off the grid for our electricity and produce our own energy. We are lucky, however; it’s not a bad way to live.

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