Gifts of Grace

By grace


I spent the whole day digging weeds from a patch in the 'wild' part of the garden.  It's the bit nearest the sea and will be under water/waves regularly come the winter.  'The lads' moved some slabs to create a path of sorts between the part I was clearing and the area where a phenomenal number of giant weeds have grown up in the last few weeks.  

The idea is to see what will grow and survive in these conditions.  I have some ideas but for now have just stuck in some thrift, a day lily for Leif, and some rampant nasturtiums that were overpowering the alpines I've planted nearer the house.  Heavy rain is forecast for tomorrow then another dryish spell for the following ten days.  I'll scatter some seeds tomorrow, wanted them all to have a chance of a soaking.

BUT the much more interesting thing was the evening visitors spotted from the window after I'd downed tools, sunburned and sore.  

The marmalade cat, Orlando, lives three doors down right beside my sit-spot.  He's a wily old thing, a rescue cat who has had some run-ins with cars on the busy road out front.  He looks pure affronted, stares me out then slinks off into his bushes when he finds me at 'my' sit-spot which was clearly his territory before I started showing up.  Tonight I watched him hop over the wall and stop in his tracks as the lie of familiar land had seriously shifted.

He walked the path up and down, sniffed the plants and soil.  Then the little calico cat from the other day hopped over the other wall to join him.  I was quite sure they were eyeing up the new toilet facilities.  The calico got spooked by neighbours taking in their washing and Orlando lay for quite some time soaking up the heat from the granite slab.   I got the feeling he thoroughly approves of the new arrangement.  I hope they become regular visitors

Extras are paddle steamer Waverley on her first call of the summer, heaving with passengers, including a hen party.  When she returned from an eight hour cruise you could hear them from half way across the Clyde.  Second extra is someone enjoying a rather quieter cruise.  And the third is summer lunch, and dinner.  Too hot to eat anything else.

I'm bushed and burnt.

Add on:  I was too tired to say last night but there's (yet another) journey of discovery to be made here.  The soil is very sandy, in places all sand.  And I'm well aware that the plants I was hoiking out are growing in abundance in other parts of the wild patch.  Camomile is the only name I know, it seemed particularly fond of the patch I cleared.  My idea is to give some less hardy plants a chance to get established, see if they can hold their own against the more prolific.  I found I had an aversion to the tall spires of docks and went around lopping the heads off before they had a chance to spread their seed.  There's also another tall yellow plant that might be in the mustard family, maybe rapeseed, that has taken over the most sheltered part of the patch in great numbers.  I like the IDEA of a developing a machair over time of largely lower growing plants (no sheep to keep it cropped!).  The ground here gets plenty of salt, sand, shells and seaweed  deposits.  This was how it looked before all the building work on my current home turned it into something of a dumping ground for builder's rubble, introduced new species and different nutrients.  This is a long-term project and I'm not wanting to do anything rash or to take on too much, even to intervene too much.  I'm just a bit concerned that the more exuberant plants will dominate at the expense of the more delicate ones.  Any thoughts welcome.

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