One last look…..

Cottage Garden

I have always known that the time would come when we would have to sell Croft Garden Cottage and the autumn of 2018 was the right time.  The hard part was making the decision and as I am not prone to sentimentality there are no regrets, especially as we have some lovely new neighbours. We still have the croft, the vegetable garden with the orchard, fruit cages and the big polytunnel, but the cottage garden now has new custodians.
Gardens are studies in perpetual motion, they are constantly changing, evolving and growing, but they never achieve perfection; although just sometimes there is the transient moment when you allowed a smile of pleasure at a small triumph. There is also the stage when you realise that in its present form that the garden has fulfilled its potential and that further development requires rather more than tinkering around the edges. There is also the benefit of hindsight and experience. After ten years of learning how to garden in a gale on sand, I now have a better idea of how to structure and plant a garden to cope with the local conditions.  Somehow I did not have the heart to take the scorched earth route and start again, so better to pass it on to new owners and not look back. It will be hard not to have the occasional look over the garden wall, or leave an offering of plants on the door step, but it is time to move on.
So as an indulgence in nostalgia, here are some of the moments that have made me smile.
For those of you who have shared some of the small triumphs and encouraged me through the bad patches, thank you- these are for you.

18 thoughts on “One last look…..

  1. Luffy

    So beautiful. You really have worked miracles with it! I will shamelessly steal from your hard won experience over the coming years in my efforts on the Croft on Skye, as there will be a bit of room for a few flowers amongst the trees and vegetable plots.
    I can very much appreciate how much of a wrench this must be, even though you can see the sense in it. Thanks for sharing. L ☺️

    • Thank you. You are very welcome to any help and advice I can pass on, and as you are only over the water I’m sure there may be a fw plants too when you are ready. However, Skye is very different from the long island, but it depends where you are and the acidity/alakinity of your soil.

      • Luffy

        Thank you so much. We are planning a full soil test in the coming weeks so will have the results, but we can see already that it’s silty soil and a bit acidic. The croft is south south east facing and on the sheltered south side of the island, on Sleat, overlooking the sea and the Knoydart hills. We are hoping that this combination of factors, combined with the fact that there is a wee bit of a shelter belt of existing trees on the SW boundary as protection from the predominant south westerlies, will make things a bit easier. Will keep you posted!

        • Oh a lovely location and so sensible to choose a sheltered location. Growing will be challenging but I’m sure with some hard work you will reap the rewards.

  2. Luffy

    And Gardening in a Gale on Sand would be a wonderful title for a blog. Just saying…

    • The blog at a subtitle of “gardening in a gale” at one time, perhaps I should resurrect it!

  3. It was clearly the right time and the right decision for you and once the decision was made I can see, I think, why you will have no regrets. Thanks for sharing the colourful round-up of photos with us – I remember many of these from your blog and a few in person. What a momentous and decisive year 2018 has been for you both…

    • I really am very relaxed about selling the cottage and the garden, looking forward to new gardening escapades, and having more time to do everything at a more leisurely pace. I am also pleased that the blog has given a history of the garden and a reminder of all the good gardening days.

      • Yes, and in theory the blog will be there ad infinitum! Are you now ‘retired’…?

        • AS you know giving up the day job is not equivalent to retiring, it is just an excuse to fill the dsys with everything you ever wanted to do (and more).

  4. Saila

    Oh – sad news but exciting too. Lucky, very lucky new owners! The pictures are sublime.

    • Thank you. Time to move on and create another garden.

  5. How sad for you to hand it over Christine. But what a fabulous garden you created in such difficult conditions. Well done! Those photos really do it justice. Will you still grow flowers within your vegetable plot perhaps?

    • Hi Cathy, not sad, perhaps a little wistful after looking at the photographs. There are flowers in the orchard and one of the fruit cages is now used for growing flowers. I also have a new garden which will be revealed during the year.

  6. Beautiful pictures and some very good growing here. Will you be focusing just on vegetable/fruit growing now, or will you still dabble in flowers as well?

    • I enjoy growing fruit and vegetables, mainly beause I like eating them and the only way to get really fresh produce in the part of the world is grown your own. I will still be growing flowers in profusion.

  7. Oh, I am just reading this! How far are you from the croft cottage? Same property? So look forward to seeing photos of your spanking new home and property. I do hope that your profited mightily from the sale.
    If you do any more canning/jams, I highly recommend The Blue Chair Jam Book by Rachel Saunders. She has a wonderful technique: sterilize the jars in the oven and once filled, place jars back in oven. Once removed, voila! sealed and perfect jams, chutneys, and preserves. No need for a huge pot of boiling water. Book available on Amazon. Diane

    • The cottage is 3 minutes walk away from the house, I can see it from my kitchen window. We still own the surrounding land, as we only sold the cottage and the small walled garden. Property is not expensive here, but we were happy with the sale price.
      I’m not sure why but in the Uk the method of jam, chutney, jelly making does not usually involve anything more than sterilising the jars and lids in then oven, adding the jam to the hot jars and then sealing with the lid – not even returning the jar to the oven. I think that a system involving jars in boiling water is only used for “bottling” fruit.
      I’m always interested in new recipes for preserves, so I’ll have a look at this book – thank you for the recommendation.

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