HIGH Summer is a time of abundance in the garden. Peas and lettuces are fresh and tasty, raspberries and currants ripen on the sun and apple trees are weighed down with the fruits that later in the year will give a fine harvest.

Flowers too are growing at their best, spilling over paths and escaping their ties and supports to throw themselves around with abandon.

It's not just their colours that brighten our lives, but their scent too and no smell is more evocative of the season than lavender. In an open field in East Lothian, Sue Tait grows row after row of highly fragrant lavender which she uses to make gifts and favours. She is an expert on raising lavender in Scotland and in this issue of Scottish Gardener she shares the cultivation techniques that make her plants so healthy.

Expertise is also on show at Glasgow Botanic Gardens which, this summer, celebrates its 200th anniversary. As well as a much-loved green space, the Botanics is also a centre of excellence, famed for its fern collections and for its orchids.

Many of the plants grown at the Botanics need the protection of glasshouses, but we have suggestions for bright and beautiful flowers that will flourish outdoors whatever the weather and fill your summer garden with hot colour. Meanwhile Lesley Watson of New Hopetoun Gardens shows how to make a Mediterranean herb tower; Emilia Robledo of Narcissus Flower School turns garden flowers into a stunning arrangement and Anthony McCluskey of Butterfly Conservation Scotland suggest ways of making our outdoor spaces more butterfly-friendly.

Also in this issue we have all the usual features including crossword, gardening and wildlife news from around Scotland and Alison Swanson's expert advice on how to get the most out of your allotment.

Here's to a great summer.

Agnes Stevenson,
Scottish Gardener Editor

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