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After a quick morning scramble to paint the new trailer before the rain came I headed off to the with my sythe in hand to clear the bramble between the boarder of Ian’s house and path that crosses the bottom of the main meadow leading to the woodland walk. With the hot sun burning down on me and the fluid swing of the sythe I managed to take down the main part of the brambles very quickly. I raked them up into piles and dragged the piles onto a piece of tarp bundled it up and took it to the burn pile.
Once the main parts of the bramble were removed I had a field of stalks standing about 10 inches high. With a pair of secateurs and a bottle of poison I started cutting their heads one by one then brushing on the nasty but needed poison. Working in here I began to see a future of a flower boarder along this stretch backed with more hedge to suppress the brambles from coming back.
Meanwhile Cat had been to Kyle and got some new brilliant white masonry paint for the front gates then started painting them. Once I had cleared up and got down to the gates I suddenly realised that I not told her about the bulbs I had put at the foot of the gate. She had cleared away the greenery at the bottom of the column so we may have lost a few new plants but the gates post are looking good. I took over and finished off the post as she got ready for yoga.
Also today met a local twitcher and we discussed the importance of identification and where we could share our finds here at Rudha Mor with local groups. We talked about species that I had already seen this year. Yellow hammers where at the top of the list for highly endangered in the area and he was delighted to hear we have two pairs of the yellow hammers on the property, this seems to be an area we could promote to attract a higher footfall.
Time to get a little more organised as the garage has taken a toll with all the good weather we’ve had and become a dumping ground. We spent most of the day clearing out and get sorted for the big season ahead.
When I first took over here I thought I would have been able to get a good idea of what stocks and supplies we have in the garage but still finding double and sometimes triples of the same items. Many things are still in their packaging, its crazy. I am coming to finally understand what we have and what is needed. After an entire day sorting out the garage and getting rid of rubbish we finally seem to have a place to work from where we can move forward in an organised manner.
After watering the plants it’s time to investigate the quad little more. Armed with tools and a load more information on how to get it running. Having done all the tests I still have not isolated the problem but have got it down to only a couple of probable issues. It is at least starting now but only using the pull start.
With the quad now working well enough I headed around to the edge of the property below Ian’s walk where I had found 3 trees down. I cut them into manageable sections and hauled up the sections of the trees to be taken in for chopping and drying. I noticed huge areas of the Rhododendron ponticum and decided to cut it at the bases in an attempt to reduce its hold of this area, I will drag it out in the near future.
We recently looked through some old photos of Rudha Mor and it was amazing to see the differences to the landscape. One of the things we noticed was how much less of the Rhododendron ponticum there was and it is a mammoth job to clear but this is a task that we will be setting time aside for.
Began clearing the brambles around the new area for the platform and working out the measurements.
There was a serious gale blowing today and we had a big rain shower around 10 this morning then the skies cleared to sunny and blue for most of the day.
Now that the quad is useable I have started bringing in the piles of brush and wood from around the property to burn. Cleared area near the otter pond and along Jimmy’s walk. Made a brush pile hidden on Jimmy’s walk to be used for chipping. Pruned one of the Rhododendrons in the house garden.
Went down to the boat house side of property to investigate trees and subsidence and discovered that parts of the cliff face are sliding into the sea and many trees are going with it. I found 7 trees, 2 dead and 5 living but affected by the subsidence. There are two 1.5 foot drops on the cliff face. Unfortunately there is nothing that can be done about this. There are several Scots Pine that could do with being topped and sadly it seems as though the huge pine tree next to the large monkey puzzle tree has a crack in it.
Emptied donation boxes, collection for the last week equalled £24.70 which was double what we took this time last year.
People on walk 4+4 locals
Weather gusty winds all day, morning rain followed by fairly clear sky
Today has been a day of seeds and planters. It started with some frustration trying to make two-bed frames in the polytunnel, but with a little more space I soon got both together and in place waiting to be filled with dirt. Meanwhile far off at the start of the drive Cat has been busy working away making two little trenches for poppies and wildflower that we will sow some seeds into today. Fingers crossed the weather is going to hold and it will be a year filled with flowers at Rudha Mor.
After having a quick coffee break the delivery van finally turned up with the quad parts. Rushed off to the lower barn to whip off the old wheel and get the new one on. Turned the key and nothing! Checked battery and decided to put it on charge. Will need to change over the starter and will try to get it up and running by tomorrow.
Back to watering and planting out seeds using 6×48 trays. Did 4 of flowers and 2 of veg. Realising we are well ahead of where we were last year as the weather seems to be amazing, sun is out most days and hot for this time of year around 11-16C. Nights are still cold whitch is going to be my problem but working on solutions for that. We’ll steam ahead hoping that the weather keeps getting warmer and the ground dryer.
Cat and I head off to sow the poppy seeds and wildflowers. We also potted up two clematis and have placed them on either side of the drive about half way up where the tree came down a few years ago. Then we went for an explore to see if we could find any fallen trees. We headed off down Ian’s walk and then following the boundary line around and down on to the back of the property. Its really diffrent when you get down towards the water level here, we must be walking on a variety of bog and heather species. We find three trees down which will make great fire wood, it may be hard to get them out but now that the quad is fixed they will be manageable to remove.
At 8:30 this morning we saw the Jewsons delivery truck drive by so we quickly got up to Rudha Mor to organise the delivery.
Now a quick flit up to the school to help brake down the stage seating now that the festival of plays has finished. News travels fast and everyone already seems to know we have had a delivery. Got all of the wood moved up to Rudha Mor before lunch.
After lunch everything is stacked up and tidied. Then finished off the first cold frame and had a quick walk down to Jimmy’s walk to see how the plants and tree are settling in. The flax look like someone has troden on them. The daffodils are out and the big yellow rhododendron is still holding its flowers and looking good. The other rhododendron is not looking so good so Jane and I begin working out the next steps that need to be taken with them.
Back to the veg garden and Jane moves the potted plants in the polly tunnel to make room so I can cut the wood for the new bed that we are putting in there. Jane and I discuss the blue planters outside the front of the house and what direction we’re taking them this year. Cat paints the Rudha Mor sign for the front gate and makes over the rockery planters witch have been devoured by the deer.
Now off to the Horticulture committee meeting to arrange the bulbs and baking show.
Full strength team today and a lot to sort out before the delivery of wood supplies for the new platform. After a good watering in the greenhouse and polly tunnel. Cat and Jane get to finishing the top of the front cold frame. Meanwhile I emptied the van of all the new plants that we have been donated by Heather strawberries, gooseberries, lavender and clematis. With a plan to put the clematis into the gap in the drive where the tree came down a couple of years ago.
Cat cleared the area behind the greenhouse to absorb the coils of wire and general bits that had stood in front of the garage. We mypexed (suppressing fabric) the space behind the greenhouse and started to remove the rocks piled at the end wall of the garage. I moved rocks around the the cold frame and to the area becoming a wall leading down to the barn.
We measured out the platform area and made an action plan to get all the wood when its delivered to the bottom of the drive. Getting up the drive without the use of the quad as we’re still waiting for parts will be difficult. Also added two new raised beds to the veg garden and planning to add more just need to spend an evening cutting tin and prepping wood. Deer have started eating the flowering heather.
The walk Raised £31.75 this week! whitch seams very high for this time of year. Year on year we only received between £7- 14 double it amazing.
Early morning, on the property before 8am planning out my day. Sorting through power issues in garage. Planted out the final few cherry trees today 4 up in the pond garden by the house and 2 down on Jimmy’s walk. I have moved some plants around on the pond side just so they fit in better and split the wild primrose and moved them closer to the start of the walk. Also moved one of the baby macabeanum Rhododendrons to another location, not 100% about it but we’ll give it some time and see.
Built cages for all the trees and double checked all the other cages to see how there holding up, everything seems well. The greenhouse is coming to life and have to figure out what to do with all the stocks (scented flower).
Took a bag of sawdust over to Jimmy’s walk to help reduce the muddy bit at the top of the steps.
Tom the gillie returned with more roe deer from last nights shoot, one more down.