Outdoor weddings are becoming more popular in Scotland and Rudha Mor Plockton is now offering this stunning location as a highland wedding venue. We recently held the 4th highland wedding event at Rudha Mor for a local couple who had lots of fun ideas which we helped to bring to life to make their wedding day incredibly unique and memorable. Our headland location in Plockton has some of the most stunning views of the famous Plockton Crags, Loch Carron, Loch Kishorn, Applecross and the Isle of Skye. We can now offer a full wedding package including marquees, catering, a bar and with your bespoke ideas in mind.
This year Plockton Primary celebrated their first sports day at Rudah Mor! They needed a new venue at the last minute and we were happy to oblige. We still had the marquee up from the party and so we helped them to set up a track for the games with more bunting! Yet again we were blessed with fabulous weather. The parents organised wonderful baked goods which they served with tea and coffee, burgers and hotdogs fresh off the grill and ice cream from the local chippy. The games were thoroughly enjoyed by participants and observers alike with the parents taking part in a few of the games and bringing back memories of their days at school. A favourite game for everyone was the SPLASH where head teacher, Susan Galloway, took her turn to get a wet sponge in the face! Under the shade of the marquee there was face painting, glitter tattoos, pull the nail from the haystack, the bottle table and a raffle with some great prizes to wrap it all up.
This year we decided that since there are several May birthdays in our family that we should throw a big BBQ birthday bash and low and behold the weather was on our side!! Since the deck is finished and the hut is in place we decided to put up a marquee next to it and enjoy the views of Loch Carron. After several family weddings and birthdays over the years we have made a lot of bunting so we made sure to put that to good use as decor and to help guide people to the BBQ spot. It was a great turnout and there was lots of wonderful food for everyone to enjoy. We had some guest musicians show up that we had met playing at the pub over the weekend to get us started and our DJ friend to see us through the evening. We did decide that we needed to upgrade the BBQ from the old stove to the “BathBQ” which proved to be perfect for the occasion!!
Our first ever tree planting party was a success! Not long after the first arrivals got stuck in with the planting we had a quick hail shower and then the clouds cleared and more people showed up. We weren’t sure if people would just want to plant a few and be done with it but everyone just kept planting! We took a break after a while to have some delicious homemade soups from Elspeth and Jane and it was followed by teas, coffees and the biggest cakes you have ever seen!! We were very lucky to have Sean and Ingrid, professional tree planters, helping us to instruct everyone what to do. More and more people arrived and there were about 35 at one point all scattered around getting the little trees safely in the ground with stakes and tubes to protect them. It was great to see all ages from 3 to 94 out planting! That’s right even 94 year old granny came out and put two trees in the ground. We were sorry to run out of trees as everyone was having so much fun but it didn’t take us long to the get the BBQ going and the party started. Then The House Elves (as they have occasionally been known as) showed up to play some live music for us which had some interludes from DJ Euan Bruce. What a wonderful day and a big thanks to everyone involved including the Woodland Trust who provided us with the trees.
We recently received a confirmation that we will be donated 420 trees, a selection of native trees including Oak, Rowan, Grey Willow and Birch, from the Woodland Trust to plant here at Rudha Mor. We have decided the only way that we will get all of the trees in the ground quickly enough is to have a tree planting party. The plan is refreshments and music to keep everyone going through the day followed by a BBQ at the end of the day. Before all the fun can start we need to get the area of land cleared and ready for planting. The plan is to clear the area on the lower side of the path the runs between the upper and lower meadow as you head toward Jimmy’s walk. It is a mad mix of bracken, brambles, dead and fallen trees, some good living trees and an amazing Fuchsia bush which has grown to an enormous size while hidden in this mess. It will be really exciting to reveal it and see it come into bloom this year. We are also planning to put a path into this area which will lead you in a loop around the newly revealed area.
Of course sorting the drainage at the bottom of the meadow is a massive job and I have had to take pause to repair equipment, order materials and wait for materials to arrive. It has been amazing to see the amount of water that is and has been trying to flow out of this area! I have now dug a large ditch on either side of the path and several routes through. I have started laying out the piping and making sure that it is all draining the way I want it to before I start to put things back in order.
There is still a lot to do to finish it off and get the walk reopened which must be done in time for the tree planting party that we are planning for the end of March. We have been donated 420 trees by the woodland trust and are putting on a family event to get all of them in the ground quickly!!
We had weekend of all things horticulture with the annual Plockton District Autumn Horticulture Show so it was an early Saturday start pulling cabbages out, picking dahlias, making flower arrangements and prepping vegetables for presentation. Its was a rush to get everything ready and get down to the show to help setup before the judging started. Boom! Plockton here we come with excitement to be entering our first show. We seem to have done well on first sight with our massive cabbages. The day flew by with James flying selling raffle tickets and finding out all the local secrets, Cat taking photographs of all the impressive entries and Jane presenting the awards for the winner of each cup.
Sunday was a day of planning and clearing up after the show after a long night we’re straight off down to the hall to put away the rest of the marquee and head off to take down the show signs that we had placed on various roadsides in the area. As we hit Achmore we remembered that there was a book launch and sculpture show on in the village hall so we popped in to have a look. WOW! The walls were crawling with these amazing climbing people sculpted in clay and the book was written by the wife and daughter of the artist about there amazing two year family cycling trip from Alaska to Patagonia! We talked over several cups of tea, bought the book and exchanged numbers. These are are kind of people we what to know. Then it was time to head off to grab the rest of the signs.
Monday comes around fast and we start with a 8am meeting into what needs to happen this week. We make a proper list of the many jobs around the property and start to form a plan. After tea and breakfast James moves the chicken hut from the end of the garage and gets the digger out now its finally fixed. He starts be begging to clear the earth behind the end of the garage and as he starts to level it becomes clear that it could be a very is a useful space. Around here one project always leads to another and so all this clearing next to the garage means that we now need to begin thinking about where the extra soil is going. Wherever that is going it will first need a lot of work to riddle the bracken root out. After lunch James check the otter camera that he placed down near the newest pond on Jimmy’s walk. We hit the jackpot! We have otters, but the camera wasn’t at the best angle so James adjusted it to see if we can get a better shot. Back to digging and moving rock, there is plenty of stone in all this dirt which will help begin the stone wall bending around the corner from the back of the veg patch toward the lower barn. In the late afternoon James began to prep the ground area where the hut will go.
Tuesday and we are praying for the ground to dry so that the grass can be cut. While waiting for the morning sun dry things our it seemed like a good time to pull some of the plants in the polly tunnel beds and get the veg garden back under control for next year. The weather just seemed to be drying out the grass so James jumped on the mower and got the lower lawn cut and Cat then went off to do the paths through the meadows and the arboretum while it was dry. The next big job of the day is to start clearing the ponticum from around the back of the barn now that the area next to it has been excavated.
Wednesday is time to move dirt and make a raised corner bed in the front corner by the entrance to the veg garden. Both Jane and Cat clear root and weed from the pile as James drives back and forth with the digger. It starts off a mess and is slow progress but by lunch we have the pile together with a little shaping and tapping down its ready. The plan is to plant it out with lavender which is a midge deterrent, looks good and will ad to the wind defence that we are trying to create around the veg plot. After lunch James continues to clear the ground around the platform working out how to get the tea hut in place, looks like wood chips are the solution but just waiting for mypex before we can start that process. Looking around the property it’s becoming clear that what we need most is clear signs and one path to lead people around where we what them to go as to many people are exploring the deer tracks.
Thursday all three of us focused on removing a good 6 feet depth of ponticum from behind the barn and clearing the ground around the base of the building. We found several lengths of the old guttering hidden in the dirt and brush which we will save to see if it can be reused. The midges were terrible and we were all pleased when the job was done. Cat stripped back and prepped the big raised bed with seaweed and more soil for planting out the purple sprouting broccoli that we have seeded in the greenhouse. We then turned our attention to the hut area and continuing with the ground prep and James worked on the new path that will remove the need for walking on the edge of the meadow and will mean that we can start to push back the bracken which has been slowly creeping in from the edges of the meadow and making the area smaller.
Friday we got Jane set up with the chipper and started dragging over the ponticum that was removed from behind the house and has had a week to start drying out. It makes for great chipping material as it is an acid plant which helps to keep down weeds. The first day of hot sun and clear skies so James decides it is a great time to start painting the roof of the garage with a protective tar paint. This is going well till around 3 in the afternoon when the clouds roll in and the temperature drops. Did a big tidy up at the end of the day so we can start next week in an organised fashion.
Its been a different kind of week here, a group of kids from the local high school have been here helping to clear back Rhododendron ponticum. It is pretty hard going work with the midges in full force. I have been trying to explain to them what the longterm plan is for this area so that they understand why we are doing things a particular way. The next day was all about tidying up and at first the boys didn’t see the point but soon got with it as they began to see how much better things looked.
I set Jane up on the newly fixed chipper so she could chip down all of the ponticum that we cut down. We then used this on the woodland path which really begins to help us make an impact. Jane and myself began discussing the planting ideas for the area cleared as we really need to begin propagating plants fast to be able to make maximum impact.
Lots of people walking around today. A couple who have been coming to Rudha Mor every year for 15 years where utterly blown away by the changes in one year, wood chipped paths and hints of the future to come. Lots of people getting confused by the lack of signs so we need to do something about this. The school also seemed to be very happy and were already talking about how to incorporate more learning here.
Overcast with spots of rain
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