A Castle in the Sky

In March 2013, after years of talking about it we eventually sell up and move out of the city with our 2 year old, Gracie. We both grew up in the countryside and this is what we want for our daughter. So we swap a 2 bed flat in London for a small country pile on the west coast of Scotland that needs a lot of work. I've done a bit of interior design and my partner, Ed has a good knowledge of the outdoors – but we're on a tight budget and we've both got a lot to learn. It's a life time's project and this is a record of our adventure…

The last of the veg (Nov 10)


IMG_1836      taties


We had high hopes that the vegetable patch would supply much of our winter veg – but ‘club foot’ (see Aug 24) unfortunately put paid to that.   Otherwise our patch has served us pretty well.   Today we picked the last of the peas and dug up the last of the potatoes.    The leeks are fattening up and they’ll be next to harvest…

Ed’s been busy turning over another 3 patches. One for fruit (he’s just put in new raspberry, blackberry and blueberry plants), one just for potatoes, one for all our other veg (we are now armed with a supply of club root resistant brassica seeds –  5 words I never imagined saying in the same sentence!) and one for Mr C.

Mr C says he knows that there were at least a dozen patches here during the war, so we had a look on Google earth and it’s possible to make out quite a few old outlines.  This birds eye view also exposes the skew-whiffness of our first patch, so Ed’s re-shaping it to run parallel to the garden walls.  He’s pegged out the others to do the same.   I think it’s a sign of what a committed gardener he’s become.

He’s also managed a first pruning of the old apple trees  – need to go slowly so as not to shock them.   Got the green house up and running  – now lagged inside with bubble wrap to keep it insulated through the winter.     Fixed the dripping tap by the back gate and collected all the apples.     It’s only the start but already it looks like a well-tended, working garden.   Imagine what he can achieve in the next few years?

4 thoughts on “The last of the veg (Nov 10)

  1. Hi Amanda
    Donna told me all about your exciting new life in Scotland and the self-sufficient thing – looks and sounds great. Good luck with it. It’s not easy but sounds like you’re really going for it. By the way, if you really have ‘club foot’ I’d call a good doctor. With any luck you just have club root!
    Alex xx

  2. ha ha – I can’t help myself – see Club Foot! (Aug 24). We need you up here for guidance and general gardening education including the correct terminology! I stand corrected but walk with an odd kind of limp! xxx

  3. Ha! Would love to come and see what you’re up to some time – try liming the soil to prevent club root. But best avoid growing brassicas in that particular patch for a few years. Apparently if you start brassicas off in pots then transplant when they’re more mature they’re less likely to get it. With that and liming the soil you’ll probably be fine. Trying to grow a few things here in Kent too but so far only raspberries, Pink Fir Apple potatoes (incredible) and rhubarb. xx

    • Yes – Ed is the gardener (I’m more of a seeder!) and he’s read about liming etc – all sounds like quite a palava. He’s keen to try some resistant brands from seed and if that doesn’t work then we’ll have to go down the liming root. We’d love to have you all – I’m sure the boys would love it up here. Any time… XXX


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