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…


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Hurricane winds (Jan 9)

That was quite a storm we had last night.   Winds up to 100mph.    We are several roof slates down, 2 half trees are blocking the drive, we lost the green house door and sadly one of the apple trees in the orchard…

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More high winds expected over the weekend…

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Cider delivery (Aug 10)

It’s been nearly a year since the ‘cider boys’ from the village harvested hundreds of apples from the orchard – and today we received delivery of our first crates of bottled gold.  It looks amazing and tastes divine.

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The last of the veg (Nov 10)

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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?