How does your garden grow?

There has not been a lot of excitement in my life over the past few days, more routine, but with the National Trust for Scotland starting to open up their attractions (the main attractions only by booking ahead) may give me more opportunities (and incentive) for me to get out and about more.

Still turning pedals but never more than 20 miles, mostly taking the bus to the start and cycling back ahead of the wind.

Update on the garden, still not a lot to show for our efforts but this is only our first year of trying.

The roses have put up more green growth than flowers but a big improvement on the condition they were in before I cut them hardback.


The Lupin, (grown from seed) are already showing flowers and the biggest success – then again they are as close to weeds as you will find in the wilds. When I was in

Canada they were literally growing wild almost everywhere.

Sweet Peas are taking off, at last, then again they did have a bad start with overnight frost.

Some of the climbing roses are doing well, others not so, one has black spot, and all the roses suffered greenfly, (I gave them a liberal dose of soapy water, seems to have done the trick) one I think has reverted back to briar, (possibly cut too low and below the graft) but has a beautiful little white flower that has a very strong sweet scent.

For me the biggest success has been the Hawthorn that I rescued from a skip, it looked dead when I planted it in the winter, it has thrived and has even blessed us with flowers, this year.

I would like to try and propagate some cuttings from the roses, to replace the straggly ones that are not doing well. God willing, I will introduce more vegetables next year, I think French beans are not only beautiful when in flower but make great eating. Rhubarb, I love custard, and there is no better tasting peas than eaten straight from the plant. I love them flat just as the seeds start to form you eat the pod and all and of course fully grown, but still ‘young at heart. Beetroot is messy to boil and pickle but boy is it good. Cabbage and cauliflower, the old stables of my youth, all can be dispersed throughout the garden and amongst the flower beds, so you will get the best of both worlds.

Patience is a virtue, they say, certainly when it comes to gardening, once some of the perennials are established, the garden will not look so bare at the beginning of the year as it has in the past. But on the whole, I think the residents are pleased with the results so far. Certainly, they feel more involved in the garden now.

Talking about earth I have been reading Andy Wightman’s ‘Scotland Land and Power’

“in a country of 19 million acres and 5 million people 0.025 per cent of the population owners two-thirds of the privately-owned rural land.”

The book argues that the power lies in the land and that power can only be resiled back by land reform. His research and references are extensive. On the section entitled

The Environment Discourse, he gives us Aldo Leopold the American human ecologist.

“Conservation is getting nowhere because it is incompatible with our Abrahamic concept of land. We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect”

Ownership of the land confers rights on individuals in society. Environmental stewardship demands that those rights should be accompanied by responsibilities to the rest of society and, ultimately, to the planet. This reciprocal relationship has yet to be acknowledged legally in land tenure systems.

Land reform has been talked about since the Scottish Parliament was reconvened, but although there has been lots of rhetoric from Labour and the Liberal Democrats when they held power as a coalition at Holyrood, and the SNP when they took power at Holyrood, all have tended to promote political philosophy which shies away from contentious political issues.

Personally, I think it will take a revolution to shift anything on land reform or independence, for that matter, in Scotland, pitchforks and guillotines are the answer.

Keep safe.    

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