We drive slowly up the lane to Pond Cottage and we welcome visitors with signs asking them to do the same. Politely, of course. Slow down please for red squirrels, roe deer and sleepy toads (no kidding). Now I think we need to add a new one. Watch out for red admirals feasting drunkenly on fallen fruit.Continue reading
I have a windmill in my backyard and I am very fond of it. On calm days swallows have been known to sit on it. When the wind blows hard across the fields we know our batteries are brimming with beautiful clean energy. But oddly enough, with all this power surging freely into our house, we are now much more reluctant to waste energy than we used to be in the old days of electricity bills. Owning a windmill can change your outlook on life.
This was the message I wanted to get across when BBC Scotland came to call but it seems our wires were crossed.
This year our Scotland’s Gardens Scheme openings at The Pond Garden are supporting the extraordinary work of Children’s Hospices Across Scotland (CHAS).
Sunshine and showers
I’ve been walking round the garden through sunshine and showers. Mostly showers, it has to be said, some of them torrential. The sunshine blooms in borders at the top of tall stems. So tall you have to look up. Even when grey clouds are glowering, the sight of Inula helenium smiling down at you can make you smile right back. Better still on a bright day, that sunny splash of yellow is spectacular against a deep blue sky.Continue reading
Blue skies again. Sunshine sparkling on the pond. A friendly breeze ruffles new leaves and turns the wind turbine merrily. What kind of killjoy would complain about the promise of yet another glorious summer day?
It does seem perverse. How often have I moaned about waking to endless cold, wet midsummer days? Now, we open the door to Mediterranean mornings – it feels heavenly but strangely disturbing. Heavenly if only it wasn’t for daily visions of hellishly soaring temperatures elsewhere. And is there another heatwave on our own horizon?Continue reading
The winter sun just hangs over the ridge of the Coolags. Its setting will seal the shortest day of the year, the winter solstice. At this season the sun is a pale wick between two gulfs of darkness.
So wrote George Mackay Brown, the observant eye of the great Orkney poet seeking out the touch of magic conjured up by the Neolithic architects who created Maeshowe with hard-hewn rock and a knowing eye on the heavens. Continue reading
Nearly tea-time. As the sun slips gently towards the pond, we check the table for essentials: home-made scones, cakes (wicked chocolate one today), compostable cups, plates, napkins…and, oh yes, don’t forget Blue Roll and hand sanitiser.Continue reading
The North wind doth blow though not very hard. Our windmill acts like a weathervane even when it’s not turning and it is facing resolutely north. We shall have snow. Continue reading
The Red Gateway leads to an almost unimaginable world. Yet it models the prospects for a future very like the one we are sleepwalking towards at present. We will arrive there if we do nothing to turn away from business as usual. Stephen Blackmore
On a misty, moisty Sunday morning there is not much chance of doing useful work in the garden..Another weekend’s work undone. I’m now so late getting seeds in the ground, our vegetables may not see the light of day this year and the fields around Pond Cottage are not doing any better. So I’ve been digging out old documents on climate change instead.
They ate all the fish in the sea and all the birds in the sky. They cut down all the trees and when there was nothing left growing they possibly started eating each other. At any rate pretty soon they disappeared off the face of the earth. There is something eerie about reading Collapse by Jared Diamond as banks implode across the planet. Societies fail when they consume more than the environment can supply. Sound familiar at all? Continue reading