dear diary :: roamin in the gloamin once again…

Just dropping by again to say hello from bonnie Scotland.

It has been a while but one daughter is now moved and settling in well and all the empty boxes have been passed onto to someone else – boxes are so hard to come by these days. Everything went to plan on the day and I was assigned the job of cupboard cleaner and organiser in the kitchen so now of course my daughter cannot find anything and when I go next time I probably won’t find anything either as she will have rearranged everything to suit her. Still the main thing was that all the boxes, but for a few craft items and nick nacks, were emptied and put away by the time we left.

We are now in Scotland once again with a to do list as long as a toilet roll. The woodland walk is in full bloom with pretty white sweet woodruff, pink dicentras and the elegant Solomon’s seal.

The pond is full of rotting leaves as we couldn’t clean it out last year because of the restrictions on our visits or put the pond net over last September to catch the autumn leaf fall. Thankfully, with little rain it is quite dry so will be easier to scoop out and clean then refill with fresh water though it is not a pleasant job and not one I look forward to. The primulas have multiplied and look stunning, I do need to plant some more of the deep orange coloured primulas though as they appear to have gone.

We have plenty of thick moss to scrape off all the paths and then we will spray some cleaner onto them to remove any residual bits. The cows have been watching our every move with curiosity all week.

After a mornings work we stopped for light refreshments! These small assorted danish pastries courtesy of Tesco are one of my treats when we come up here. There are five in a box so we always share the jam centred ones.

In the afternoon we visited Castle Kennedy gardens. (Jayne at The View from Bag End has more lovely pictures here from her recent visit to the area.) We always manage to fit in a visit when we come up and I really missed not being able to go during last year so it was lovely to see that it is open for visitors once again.

This is a very special place for us as DH’s grandfather was head gardener here from the late 20’s up to sometime in the 60’s when he retired. His granny and grandad lived in the head gardener’s cottage on the hill by the little bridge that takes you into the car park. DH stayed here for a while when he was younger with his mum and dad when they moved back from Ireland and he tramped daily around the estate trying to keep up with his grandad.

Because of our connection to the place we held our elder daughter’s wedding here in 2016 and had a marquee by the old ruined castle that sits next to the walled garden and the cute little wooden tea room.

The wedding was in July so the walled garden was at its best.

And the marquee took in the spectacular views across the estate and of course all our guests could relax and roam around the grounds during the afternoon.

And when it went dark in the evening it was quite magical.

Of course her wedding day would not have been complete without having the old tea room part of this big day. It has over the years had many coats of paint and also had the floor levelled so the tables no longer have blocks of wood beneath the legs to even them up. Today it has even had the addition of a disabled ramp.

The guests all enjoyed the afternoon tea provided on the picnic tables.

Everything was homemade and done on a tight budget – I made all the invitations, confetti, table flowers and favours….

…spent hours making yards and yards of bunting and a few hours decorating the marquee and putting up cheap white paper lanterns from a very wobbly ladder.

So it was lovely to wander around in the same warm sunshine that we had enjoyed that day with our memories and see that thankfully the place remains quite unchanged. We had gone specially to see the magnificent collection of rhododendrons that are in bloom at this time of year – they are renowned all over the world and they did not disappoint. They were stunning.

Many of them were planted by DH’s grandfather who also propogated many of the hybrids on the estate such as ‘Lord Stair’ and one named after himself RW Rye. He was awarded an RHS gold medal for them and of course we have his rhododendron in both our gardens. He is also credited as the person who propogated the pale lavender buddleia named ‘Loch Inch’ which many people will have in their gardens.

The round lily pond which is 1/4 of a mile across is another feature which is absolutely glorious.

The ‘newer castle’ built around 1860 is where Lord and Lady Stair reside and is situated between the two locks (the Black Loch – Loch Crindil and the White Loch- Loch Inch) and has magnificent views across the landscape.

We spent the afternoon sketching in the sunshine before treating ourselves to tea and scones – it was so nice to do something quite creative for once though I need a lot of practise I am decidedly rusty, especially the watercolour which is spectacularly bad – but at least I made a start – it takes time to get back into it.

We decided that today would be a ‘rest’ day and we are walking to the village and up the steep hill out towards the Mull to see one of the Open Gardens at a cottage that adjoins one we nearly put in an offer for, but we bought our cottage instead so it will be interesting to see what they have made of the garden.

The weather has been so hot here everything is beginning to look parched and dry and many of the flowers are soon over. Even the foxgloves have bent over heads from a lack of water. Our garden ranges from peaty and waterlogged to dry sandy dust and my style of gardening is just to let the self seeders find their own home where they are happiest.

So that is all my news so far which just leaves me to say a warm welcome to all my new followers and sorry for the lack of posts – life just gets incredibly busy and my energy levels incredibly diminished – but I hope everyone reading is enjoying the good weather, though personally I could easily tolerate it much cooler but at least the sea breeze helps to cool me down. I have had to garden all week wherever there is shade so I have been constantly moving around and consequently no one patch or task is fully complete. We have also spent some time over a concerning problem that has arisen because the new owner of the caravan site next door wants to put a locked gate at the top of our lane over which we have a right of access to our cottage. This would be very restrictive for anyone coming to the cottage if we had to hand out keys to everyone who has to have access, especially when we start to have contractors on site again to renovate the cottage.

Nothing ever stays the same for long these days and it is so easy to get swept up by other people’s agendas – I am feeling pretty upset by it all especially as it has been such a difficult time with the flood and then the Covid restrictions.

But tomorrow is another day as they say!

Back soon x

16 Replies to “dear diary :: roamin in the gloamin once again…”

  1. So glad you are back … I love reading about your Scottish garden and I have to say … having just started having a go at watercolour painting … I think that your rose is fabulous and I would be very happy if I get to the point where mine look as good as that 😃


    1. Thank you Carol – your comment is too kind. It is something I should really do a little of everyday to get back into it. I would encourage anyone to have a go at drawing and painting – you never know what talent you may unleash.


  2. How good for you to be back in Scotland. The roam around the castle must be a little like coming home–filled with happy memories and such beauty. Hope you are able to get in more side trips in between all the gardening work. As for your sketching–well, I think it is marvelous. May you have many more opportunities to spend time creatively in the coming days and months…and fewer annoyances from a pesky neighbor.


    1. Could we have anymore problems with the cottage – sometimes I feel it must be jinxed. Last year it was the blocked drain of the neighbours that runs across our wood to a septic tank that we had to contend with and this year the gate. What next!!


  3. What a lovely wedding you gave your Daughter – it all looks so amazing and even better to have been able to make so many things to keep costs down. I think your sketching and the water colour is really good and what a lovely relaxing thing to do in this sunny weather.


  4. Are primulas perennials? Or do they self seed? We have to plant them as seedlings every year.

    How wonderful to have a connection to the garden. It is lovely to see photos from your daughter’s wedding again. (You know I lust after that bunting!)

    Is the gate your gate? To your property?


    1. The primulas are perennial and some of them self seed like mad so often the original plant does die off and the new self seeders take their place. We have those polyanthus plants over here which have more gaudy colours and are a hybrid of a primrose and cowslip. They are often treated as annuals for bedding and window boxes but will come back if treated well. I have some bunting reserved for you – thought you would be over here now to collect it!!


      1. I’m pouting more at the thought of never making it to UK again. But feeling uplifted that you’ve hung onto some bunting for me. I’m hoping the world will be safe enough for Australians to be allowed out in 2023!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. So nice that you are able to be back in Scotland despite the many jobs requiring your attention. I really enjoyed the beautiful photos from your daughter’s wedding. What a gorgeous setting for a wedding and so interesting to have the special family ties to the garden.


  6. You will be happy getting back to drawing and painting – it makes a nice change from gardening! I’m glad you are back up north and near the sea again, too. The wedding was a fine occasion and I like all the ingenuity you brought to it!


    1. We agreed that we would have more rest breaks from all the gardening this time as a lot of it is heavy work because of the lockdown and hardly anything got done last year so it is a jungle in places.


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: