I found this old photo of my garden from early in 2003 before I started work to reclaim it. Six years on I realise I've made progress in some areas, and little or none in others. In response to requests to show more of the garden, I plan to do this over the next week or two, and maybe even get advice from those of you who are more expert than I am.
There are some bits of the garden that I'm quite pleased with. There are three levels at the back. I showed what the bottom level was like earlier in the year (see here). This is part of the middle level which I set out, pretty much from scratch, with heathers and conifers. Now, I like heathers, always have, especially those that bring colour during the winter with their flowers or foliage. Apparently it's old fashioned to have a heather garden these days. On a TV gardening programme recently I heard dwarf conifers compared to bell-bottom jeans! Ah well.
One problem with heathers is that after a few years the clumps merge, and at some point it will be necessary to dig these all up and start again.
In that first season, I took a run up to the Tree Shop at Cairndow and came home with a number of specimen trees for various places in the garden. This is one, a Korean Fir (Abies Koreana). It's grown a bit since it was planted and has now begun to have these wonderful cones!
I also have a number of rhododendrons which are beginning to get established, and provide a right splash of colour at this time of year.
This jumps out at you! Now, if I only could remember what its name is! I really must get my labelling organised.
Of all the gardens I've visited over the years, the one that I've enjoyed the most is the Ardkinglas Woodland Garden in Argyll at the head of Loch Fyne. Some of the big trees are very special. I would think though that the fabulous rhododendron collection there will be at its best around now. Do go if you are in the area.
More on Skip garden soon.