Opening the garden gate

Ardivachar Croft Garden

I can’t even remember what I was searching for but by the magic of Google algorithms I ended up at Blotanical and I’m now taking my first hesitant steps along the garden blogging path.
I am content as a solitary gardener – there is just me, the wind, the rain, the wildlife, the sea and the sky. If I lean on my garden wall and look due west the next landfall is Newfoundland. On a clear day I can see St Kilda and the neighbouring islands of Barra Mingulay, North Uist and Harris. A strange bleak place for a garden, but views are spectacular and when the sun shines it is paradise.
There is no gardening tradition in these islands and until relatively recently vegetable growing was restricted to neeps and tatties (potatoes and swedes/turnips). So there is no garden visiting on a Sunday afternoon or nursery to tempt me with totally unsuitable plants. I would not like to give the impression that I am the only gardener on the island, there is a growing number of enthusiast who are prepared to try the extreme sport of growing vegetables in the Hebrides. However we are thinly spread and too busy coping with our climate to spend too much time socializing in the potting shed.

Croft gardener
Time for Tea

So my blog is not a cri de coeur from a castaway gardener, it is an invitation to visit my garden from time to time, watch it develop, share my rare triumphs and frequent desolation and if you have time lean on the gate for a chat and share the view.

9 thoughts on “Opening the garden gate

  1. I love the way you write and look forward to hearing more about your garden and your islands.

  2. hello Christine, what a lovely beginning, yes the views are wonderful, I can only just see the ocean from my house when standing but have a lovely view of Barvas moor at the back of my house, I look forward to seeing your garden and thanks for your kind supportive words today, Frances

  3. Hello Frances, it is the views which keep me sane. My desk is next to an enormous window and I can sit and watch the ever changing patterns of light, clouds and sea. Today it’s blowing, so white horses on a dark blue/gey sea, indigo clouds shot with sunshine and rippling waves through the straw yellow coastal grasses. Not a gardening day but time to muse. Christine

  4. Hi Christine – you really are an extreme gardener (and I thought the slugs in my garden were going to be hard work this year!!). The sea must be amazing and possibly quite scary at times too? I look forward to reading more about your beautiful piece of earth in the Hebrides x

    • Thank you. More likely to be blown away than submerged. We’re protected from the full force of the Atlantic by an offshore reef, however I am told that it is the kelp forests that really help dampen the waves. So another reason to be thankful for seaweed.

  5. I’m looking forward to following your blog. It’s fascinating to see a garden that is so different from mine.

    • Thanks for dropping in, please come again.

  6. Hello Christine – how wonderful to see another island garden blogger, it looks like such a beautiful place, though it must be darn tough in the remorseless wind. I will be coming by to ‘lean on the gate’ as often as possible.
    Best wishes, Cat
    p.s – Would you like to be included in our list of scottish garden blogs, I see by your blog roll that you have already met some of the other lovely bloggers?
    p.p.s I wouldn’t dream of tempting you with unsuitable plants, but we do mailorder 🙂 and already send to a number of people in the islands.

    • Hello Cat,
      Thank you for the invitation it would be lovely to find some more Scottish garden bloggers.
      I knew about your nursery but I didn’t know you did mail order. I’ve already looked about your list – so many old favourites, but I must be disciplined and sort out the ones which stand more than a 50/50 chance of growing here. Thanks for the temptation you’ll be hearing from me soon.

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