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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Snowdrop splitting (Jan 20)

  

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My nephew Jake and his mate Tom are here for a few days so Ed’s got them to work in the gardens.   They’re snow drop splitting; taking established clumps, splitting them in 2 and replanting to make more.     They split around a hundred today to cover the bank under the sycamore tree in the paddock.   One of the many banks of snow-drops we hope to create.

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A crutch for the tree (Jun 1)

One of the old sycamore trees by the paddock has a long, low-hanging, gnarly branch running along a stretch of the paddock fence for about 20 feet – and it’s in danger of breaking off under it’s own weight. Ed’s said for some time that it needs a crutch to support it so this evening the three of us headed over to a hazel tree by the burn.

Ed’s knowledge of trees is pretty good and he tells me that hazels are good for coppicing (a kind of pruning for trees so they grow back quickly and produce lots of wood) so he had the hazel in mind for the job. I thought it was a machete in his hand but apparently it’s a ‘bill hook’ specifically used for cutting wood. He shaped a Y section out of the branches and then hauled it over to the paddock. Together we managed to manoeuvre it into place. Here it is…

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The branch still needs protecting where it’s sitting in the y – to prevent the bark rubbing off when the wind blows.  A bit of old carpet from the kitchen is earmarked to do the job.