July 2018 – and the willow drops another branch.

This time, instead of falling on the river garden, an enormous branch dropped across the public footpath and over the footbridge into our garden. An urgent phone call to Ben of ‘Wood Matters’ brought a speedy response and by bedtime he had cleared the path. A few days later he came back to cut up the wood and we followed behind to clear the debris and mow the grass.

Several times, Richard has seen the flash of a Kingfisher as it follows the curve of the burn on its way downstream. I have never been lucky until now but my patience was rewarded with far more than the usual brief sighting. I saw the splash as the bird dived into the water and I watched it emerge and fly to a twig among a clump of grasses. There it stayed for several minutes, the only frustration being the blades of grass which obscured what should have been a perfect view. However, I was able to get this shot from the dining room – just enough to prove that it really happened.

Richard is embarking on a new venture. Wanting to put his knowledge and talents (the latter word is mine not his!) he is planning to give talks, one of which will be ‘The Botanist Gin – our part in a global success story’. I took this photo for him to use on his new Facebook page which is entitled ‘The botanists of The Botanist Gin’.¬† Although it’s now been pointed out to me that we should change it for a new photo which features both of us.

The garden continues to delight as well as provide endless opportunities for a very different kind of gardening. We had worked wonders on our 1.2 acres of wild, windswept, salt-sprayed garden on Islay. Now we have to work out how to contend with a rather heavy clay soil that is inundated by floodwater on several occasions throughout the year. it provides an interesting challenge and we are fortunate to have areas above the high water mark where we can also have conventional borders. Two Yuccas are in bloom and they are producing  several young plants which should add delight in the years to come.