The Two Hundred Year Old House and Garden: Diary Day Two

Here I am, back again, as promised. It's amazing how you can keep blogging when your wall planner has acres of disturbingly free space and you don't want to think about the lost or at least deferred income that represents.

Anyway - here's the garden, as seen from a reasonable distance, yesterday evening. This isn't because I need to distance myself from the birds and the newts and the frogs, but more that from this distance, you don't see the already sprouting ground elder and other healthy weeds.

Today we uncovered the garden furniture for the first time since last autumn. It will probably rain immediately, but that's a normal state of affairs for this part of the world, and the reason why everything is so green. It's a big cottage garden, as you can see, with no access at all from the back, so everything, and I mean everything, has to come through the house. Or in some cases, like when we were having an extension built, and needed a long steel beam - over the house.

Yes, that is a boat. It's an old wooden boat, long past its use by date. Now I put plants in it. It was made by a lovely elderly Polish gentleman called Mr Zorget, and when he had finished with it, I bought it for my husband's fiftieth birthday, and that wasn't yesterday. It's called Kitty of Gigha, and it did indeed spend some time on the Isle of Gigha, being rowed about whenever we could get to the island. We also took it down to nearby Loch Ken whenever we could, where a big bunch of us from this village used to go camping every year: adults, kids and dogs in one glorious melee. We used to row Kitty around that fabulous loch - like Swallows and Amazons but a lot less posh. Incidentally, follow the link to the holiday park and when the current situation eases, do visit. It's a wonderful place. Especially if you have kids. As is Gigha.

BUT - and it really shouldn't be necessary for me to say this, but apparently it is - NOT RIGHT NOW!!! Unbelievably as I edit this on the evening of 21st, news comes in that people are flooding into Scottish villages, islands, campsites. Bringing the virus with them no doubt. Treating it as just another holiday. These are small communities, not playgrounds. Medical services are often good, but limited. They are perfectly adequate for a small local population, a population, moreover, that is already being responsible about social distancing - but not nearly suitable for a sudden influx of  a great many irresponsible visitors treating the place as some kind of bolt hole. 

The 'installation' in the foreground was made by my woodcarver / professional yacht skipper turned full time artist husband, Alan Lees  - again many years ago. There's an anchor in there and a float, and the wood is, I think, greenheart, recycled from a local pier that was being dismantled. The wood will be good for another 100 years or more.

So here we are. The garden is bursting with life: birds, frogs, newts in the little pond. Hedgehogs too, although I haven't seen one yet. It is early days here. There are daffodils and a few brave daisies and lungwort, and a camellia that a friend gave me last year is flowering in a pot up close to the house. But it didn't much like last night's heavy ground frost, so it was looking a bit the worse for wear this morning.

More meanderings tomorrow!