I have lived on the Isle of Skye for the last 24 years and have an interest in nature and wild life. I have a wild flower meadow along the banks of the river Roskhill, which I visit daily. I enjoy keeping a nature blog.
Preparing the ground was not an easy task. However, we hired a man called Tom to clear the ground with a small digger which, took 5 hours to complete. Once the ground was ready we needed to dig 18 holes for the frame. Each hole needed to measure 45cm x 45cm and 45cm deep.
The north side of the ground was only 15 cms of top soil then 45 cm of rotten rock. The rotten rock is crumbly but, it needs to be broken up with a breaking bar before it could be removed. The south side was much easier with 40cm of top soil and 15cm of rotten rock. Back-breaking work especially in hot weather.
We needed to dig 18 holes 45cm x 45 cm and 45cm deep
The frame took 2 days to erect.
It took 8 hours and 6 people to fit the polythene.
At the moment we are creating the raised beds. Two thirds of the polytunnel will be used for growing vegetables and the remainder will be used as a entertaining area, full of flowers. Opposite the sitting area we are planting fruit trees and shrubs. We have a kiwi and a wisteria to trail over the sitting area. I have planted anemonies and alliums in the double raised beds. I intend to paint the beds with a nice shade of paint called “sea mist”
We always like to give wildlife a helping hand in the garden. Here is an image of the log pile we placed for frogs, toads and other small creatures.
We placed two nesting boxes in the garden in February and both were used successfully. This box in the image was used to rear a family of blue tits. The second box was used by great tits. The adults enlarged the access hole by stripping away splinters of wood. The fledglings are frequent visitors to the bird table.
One cheeky blue tit sits on the bird feeder and searches frantically for sunflower seeds. As he does this he scatters the rest of the seeds all over the ground. The robins and blackbirds take advantage of this wonderful bounty.
We pile old cuttings from trees and shrubs under the conifer at the bottom of the garden. The heap is tucked away from view and is a perfect habitat for hedgehogs. We have found hedgehog droppings on the back patio recently ( a friendly gift). We have very little trouble from slugs and snails in the garden. A perfect pest control.
We created a deep bed 100cm by 360cm o the croft. We filled it with a layer of shrub cuttings, well rotted horse manure and compost. We covered the bed with hoops and special insect mesh from the company “Gardending naturally”. This mesh allows rain water through, protects from wind damage and keeps insects out.
The bed has been very successful we can hardly keep up with eating the vegetables.
We have always wanted to have chickens and took the opportunity to build a coop and run during lockdown.
The chickens keep the lawn weed free. However, they love to excavate the ground under the bird table. They are very entertaining and follow us all over the garden, looking for food. They are amazing at catching voles and mice ( poor little creatures). We now get 4 eggs every morning. We are purchasing two more in September from Donald Hen, the Skye hen man.
We have lived here for 23 years and have transformed the garden from plain lawn with no features. We added several shrubberies, hedging and four flower beds. The garden is south facing and is a sun trap with lots of shelter from the trees.