1 EAGLETON NOTES: It's Taken 20 Years

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Friday, 1 August 2014

It's Taken 20 Years

When I bought this house in 1993 the garden didn't exist.  It was just bare croft land like the land on the other side of the fence with the addition of building rubble from when the house was built in the 1920s and extended in the '70s and again in the '80s.

Local customs made it impossible to work on the garden on the Sabbath and I worked six days a week as a rule.  So transforming the bare land into what I have now took a long time working mainly on summer evenings.  After 10 years of moving tons of soil and stones I had got this far with a retaining wall built and a level that could be used (it had previously been too steep to contemplate a 'lawn' area).  Most of you will have seen many photos of what the garden is like now but I'm not sure that the the work is any less: just different.



There is still lots of planting and alterations to do and it still needs weeding constantly.  So when friends come to stay (especially gardening friends)...


But it's worth it:

Lavatera
Lavatera
Primrose (sic) though they look like Primulas to me
Primulas (sic) though they look like Primulas to me
Geranium 'Rozanne': a low ground-covering geranium

31 comments:

  1. Hi Graham, they are not hibiscus are they ~ the first two? Surely not, that far North? Big work transforming a plot if dirt ~ without the extra challenges of sea air, isolation and the Sabbath.

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    1. No Carol they are not hibiscus they are lavatera. They are a very salt-hardy plant which loves the seaside. I shall post more pictures soon. Looking back I do wonder what I'd have done if I'd realised just how much was involved in simply clearing the ground in the first place. At least the garden on the other side of the house was nowhere near as bad.

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  2. it was looking really lovely today - so colourful

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    1. Thank you Carol. As you are married to an even more ardent gardener who was born in this house you will know exactly what was involved.

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  3. Interesting that you worked six days a week - was that to stay on top of things at work? (I'm feeling sorry for myself after working 10 hour days recently and likewise getting nothing done in the garden! )

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    1. Ian it was partly that and partly because we had the pottery as well. I retired from the public service two years after I bought this house and concentrated on running the pottery which took up a huge amount of time (as everyone running a small business knows).

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  4. That does look like an hibiscus! Really? Must be a much hardier plant than I thought.
    All the years of hard work have paid off, GB, your garden always looks lovely.

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    1. Pauline it's a lavatera and a bit smaller than a hibiscus flower. I shall post some more photos soon. Thank you for the compliment.

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  5. I have been "driving" round your area on google street view... I think the Nighthawk is sitting outside your house but can't see the garden - grrr... it occurred to me that despite years of reading and seeing your pictures I had no idea how it all fitted together and where you were. I am always enjoying the views of the beach, the valley, the boats and the weather, even the concreting, but now I can picture it all better. :)

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    1. The Nighthawk was sitting outside last time I looked too Fiona. I'll post more garden photos soon.

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  6. Wow! Some of those pictures look really quite tropical! Your garden looks idyllic, at least the photos I have seen of it.

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    1. Like all gardens, Jenny, it's a compromise and exploits what is possible here. Everything towards the beach and pier to the East has to be low so that it doesn't obstruct the view from the house but that means that there is little shelter from the winds for the flowers. So I have managed to experiment and grow those plants that cope with the conditions. It will doubtless be thus until I can no longer garden.

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  7. And as for the six days a week - I remember the ferries used not to run. Is it still like that?

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    1. Jenny there was no transport on or off the Island and it wasn't even easy to get a meal on the Sabbath. The ferries and planes have run 7 days for some years now and Sunday is one of the busiest days. There are even some shops and petrol stations open now.

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    2. Shops! Wow - that is in the last two years then! I recall there was one shop / petrol station opening on the far side of Lewis amid a fair bit of controversy.

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    3. Ah, just recalled that the petrol station on the way into Stornoway has a shop as well. I don't suppose anyone is daring to sell Sunday Papers before Monday yet?

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    4. No CJ the Sunday Papers still don't arrive until Monday.

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  8. It can't be the easiest environment in which to create a garden. Maybe it's like that Guinness commercial - "Good things come to those who wait". P.S. I spotted the deliberate spelling error you slipped in in the fourth line. Did you think no one would notice?

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    1. YP, I purposely did not tell you about a spelling mistake you slipped into one of your blogposts last week ~ I will let Graham do that.

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    2. YP, I didn't notice even when I checked it. Sometimes the spillchucker and I do not see eye to eye but she wins too frequently. And no, it's not the easiest environment but there are lots of gardens now. Forty years ago a garden outside of the town was regarded as rather eccentric given that most crofters spent much of their summer working the croft. That's a rarity these days.

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    3. Have you taken out the soilling orror? I've looked in vane.

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    4. CJ 'six' was originally 'size'.

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  9. So with a lot of work ad a little help from your friends, you get a very colorful garden. Nicely done.

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  10. It's difficult to imagine it's the same place.

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    1. Adrian when I look at some of the old photos I sometimes wonder how it all happened.

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  11. That's one of the nice (?) things about a garden - it is never really finished, there will always be something that needs doing. To my Dad, it is precisely why he loves his garden. For me, it is precisely why I don't miss NOT having my own garden.

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    1. I think it's one of the nice things Meike. Like your Dad I love my garden and (usually!) the exercise it gives me. The one thing your Dad can do which would be more difficult here without a polytunnel or lots of windbreak plants is grow many kinds of vegetables.

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  12. Having been one of those privileged to watch your garden grow, and at times not grow thanks to the salt and wind, I think it has all been a real marvel. And every time I see it there is something new each morning (even if it's only a bit more algae!).

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    1. I've got the algae well under control this summer CJ and when you come again you will be amazed by the progress in the period since your last stay.

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  13. Your hard work has paid off over the years, and the just reward is the beautiful garden that you have today....absolutely beautiful.

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