The Birthday Project

I don’t think that I was ever really convinced that the orchard would be our last project and nor will regular readers who are now familiar with the Head Gardeners modus operandus. So when the new project was announced at Christmas I didn’t know whether to have hysterics or give him a big hug, particularly as it was called the Birthday Project! All credit is due to Himself for the concept, but I have to confess to sowing the seeds of the idea, but as usual I got rather more than I bargained for.

Although it was my declared intention not to even attempt to create a garden around the new house, how could I compete with nature’s garden? There is an area on the east side of the house which was in need of care and attention. It contains the compounds for the bins, the shed, the washing line, solar panels etc. and therefore cannot be grazed and as the bed rock is near the surface it cannot be mown either. For the past five years it has remained an area of very scrubby, tussocky grass. A gardening dilemma of not insignificant dimensions, but not big enough to defeat the croft gardeners.

This project was going to need rather more than a shovel and a wheel barrow, so it was down to our neighbour to clear the site with his digger, tractor and trailer. Just in case you are wondering all the vegetation and excess sand was used to help fill the giant hole in one of our fields caused by the blow-out. We started this project during one of the wettest winters on record and at times I wondered whether I might end up with a bog garden.

Once the “turf” was removed and it had finally stopped raining we couldn’t resist starting to reveal the rock formations. However, this was put on hold when the builders arrived to lay the foundations and build the base.

The next stage was to fill the raised bed with rocks and sand and I must pay tribute to our friend Mike who devoted most of his holiday to helping the Head Gardener – my contribution was to make cakes! It was really getting exciting now.
In late May the contractors finally arrived and removed stage two from the shed and put it together. A bit like expensive flat-pack furniture!

The Head Gardener completed the fence (wind protection) and all we needed now was the official opening. Now as this was an exceptional present for a landmark birthday we needed someone very special to do the honours. Not just the President of the Scottish Rock Garden Club, but a past President too, who just happen to be our oldest friends! Cutting the ribbon was followed by some ceremonial rock excavating and a splendid dinner.

So a very special thank you to Mike, Ian, Carole and the Head Gardener for creating the perfect Birthday Project. Now let’s garden.

16 thoughts on “The Birthday Project

  1. My goodness me, Christine – that’s a birthday present and a half! It’s amazing what can emerge from a shed these days, with wizards like the Head Gardener around…. no wonder you were thrilled! We would never in a million years have guessed what was around the corner for you – and what esteemed company you keep as well… you won’t want to be hobnobbing with the likes of us with friends like that. Now, when are you going to get those shelves dirty…?

    • It is rather special and you will all probably get very tired of our efforts to fill it with glorious plants. Esteemed company? Nah – just old friends who happened to be hanging round the place on holiday. My cyberland friends and acquaintances are valued and can drop in for afternoon tea and a tour of the new greenhouse anytime.

  2. All quite amazing and such great fun.

    • This year my birthday has been celebrated on numerous occasions when friends have arrived; it has been great fun and laughter has been rocking the house for weeks.

  3. What a magnificent looking greenhouse! May all who grow in there flourish and thrive!

  4. It looks marvellous Christine – and how exciting! Happy Birthday!

    • Thank you Cathy. Not only does it look beautiful it’s perfectly designed for my bulb collection.

  5. Wow, congratulations. Think I have greenhouse envy! Enjoy your new project 😉

  6. Wow! That’ s what I call a greenhouse! I ‘ m looking forward to seeing what you are going to grow in it. Happy Birthday!

    • Thank you Liz. We already have a few plants ready and waiting. I fear that it will become full to overflowing very quickly.

  7. Impressive! Will those troughs become raised beds?

    • The “trough” is actually solid concrete and is the rear end of a former garage. It was given a nice outer wall of stone and the top is covered with beach finds – pebbles, drift wood, shells, and assorted bones – hence the tag of ossuary corner.

  8. Wonderful! What a wonderful birthday present!

    • When it comes to special birthday presents my husband excels himself both in originality anf generosity. However, lest I get carried away, previous presents have included a cement mixer and skip hire!

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