curiosity about the ways of the world

Winter into Spring

It’s a turning point. For so long it seems a teasing fantasy, a few brave buds on some hopeful trees and shrubs, a cheery blackbird outside the bedroom window greeting an earlier sunrise. Then suddenly there’s no doubt. Whatever the weather, Spring is here and this year it brings an unexpected new season to Pond Cottage.

Video by Tommy Perman, music Paddy’s Burn by Tommy, Morgan Szymanski

Against all expectations our unruly slice of wild woodland and wetland is now listed on Scotland’s Garden Scheme website, and we couldn’t be more delighted. That cheery blackbird is singing our song!

There’s much more to this story but for now I’d just like to say a virtual welcome. Winter storms, snow and floods have not been kind to our woodland paths so even without lockdown we wouldn’t be able to open the gate to the wider world. But we hope you will enjoy this brief walk through the Pond Garden, waking up to the 2021 growing season.

The video is made by our artist-musician son Tommy Perman with a soundtrack of a track he recorded at Pond Cottage in the pre-Covid world of 2019 with another talented musician and friend Morgan Szymanski. This track is inspired by the sound of ‘Paddy’s Burn’ at the back of the cottage.

To be continued

We look forward to welcoming real life visitors as soon as possible – and sharing the story of an adventure which began almost 28 years ago when Ray and I first walked across the edge of a field to investigate a small woodland advertised for sale and discovered also a sluice, two swans on a silted up pond, a derelict cottage and an unauthorised dump.

We had no idea what lay ahead, and underground. Bluebells in the beechwood – evidence of ancient woodland, they’ve been here for centuries. Red squirrels all around – a more recent sign of reviving habitat. We have dug and pruned and planted, watched young saplings turn into trees, whacked weeds, coaxed tender green shoots, and made many mistakes. Then we stop to look around and marvel what hard work and happy accidents can achieve – for us and the wilder life!

Our great thanks to Scotland’s Garden Scheme for their warm welcome and encouragement. Online and in real life, the 2021 programme opens up a fantastic trail of exploration across Scotland into all kinds of gardening nook and crannies. I’m still overcoming a sense of disbelief that we are really part of it, privileged also to be helping to raise funds for the invaluable work of Perth Autism Support. But click on SGS YouTube channel and you will see why we are very happy to be included.

Winter is over


  1. fay

    That’s really good to hear, Anne. Thank you for such an interesting and happy comment. We look forward to meeting you whenever you are able to come.

  2. Anne patrick

    You have made 3 women very very happy this morning – we have wonderful memories of the cottage, pond and woodland etc as our grandparents lived at the cottage prior to yourselves – can’t wait for autumn!!

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