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

FOR some, the recent sweltering weather may have offered a chance to soak up the rays – but for one Cardross business, it has been all hands to the pump.

While the west of Scotland didn’t quite bask in the almost-40 degree heat experienced across the south of England, the mercury wasn’t far off 30 – and that made life tricky for the Craigend Nursery.

The family-owned market garden is used to reacting to the tricky Scottish weather conditions – but Mairi McGeorge, who runs the Main Road business, explained they were run off their feet in a bid to look after their produce.

She told the Reporter: “While lots of people were enjoying the sun, we were praying for some rain to come in the evening.

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

Mairi continued: “It hasn’t been the best of growing years – things have been quite late this year. Although recently, people have been talking about the heat, it was the warm, damp weather which had been a problem, as that brings on potato blight.”

Among the items grown on site are various fruit and vegetables including strawberries, raspberries, blackcurrants, tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, onions, leeks and rhubarb. Broccoli and cabbages are also on the menu, as are courgettes. On top of that, customers can peruse and buy a wide selection of plants and shrubs.

For Mairi and her family, the market garden is a way of life. Parents William and Grace had been running the garden for decades, firstly at the walled garden by St Peter’s then at Lyleston before moving to the current, four-acre site.

In 2017, Grace was living with dementia and Mairi returned home. Her mother died two years later and Mairi took on the running of the business.

She said: “My dad is 74 but he’s still working away, with his vintage garden tools, and my three children – aged 14, 13 and eight – lend a hand too, with watering and so on.

“It’s more than a job, for sure. We’re completely off-grid for our electricity and generate our own energy. We’re lucky, though; it’s not a bad way to live.”

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