I’ve been patiently waiting for a proper winter to arrive (one with plenty of snow), but so far even where we are (730ft up), we’ve only had a maximum of maybe one inch of snow!

8 inches of snow
March 2017

Update: over 8 inches of snow on Thursday 23th February!
It’s even been so mild too; I think I need to start mowing the grass again! Global warming, anyone? (Although there are still certain influential world leaders who will deny this)...

Anyway, every year at this time I struggle to find something to write about my garden; February is three days shorter and nothing much happens in the garden, everything is still dormant. But I’m pleased to say that the tomatoes, aubergines and chilli peppers I sowed in January are finally starting to appear. Let the new growing season begin! I have also planted (another) crab apple tree. The new plan for the back garden this year is to create various wildlife habitats (for birds, amphibians, insects and butterflies/moths). Each of these will have their own border with plants appropriate to each species. For example, the crab apple marks the start of the bird border, which is now still covered in black plastic, but as soon as the weather warms up, it will be planted with lots of plants and shrubs that birds love.

The amphibian’s border will get an extended bog; a pile of rocks to sunbathe on and of course they still have the massive pond to breed in. Of course the butterfly/moth border will have lots of flowering plants, as well as night flowering plants which suit the moths best. The insect border is an existing wild area, I’ll just add a pile of twigs, branches and straw to it for the little critters to play hide and seek in.

On a different note, my husband and I hope to welcome more wwoofers again this year. The extra help makes a big difference in what we can grow - and is immensely helpful when it comes to making wine and preserves from the fruit etc we collect from the garden. Wwoof is an organisation which brings together volunteers and organic farms/gardens/smallholdings. The volunteers give some of their time in exchange for hearty meals, comfortable accommodation and an invaluable life experience. My husband and I are experienced wwoofers - we were part of the Wwoof programme when we first came to Scotland 10 years ago, and now we welcome a handful of wwoofers to our place almost every year.

If you are interested in either becoming a host or volunteering, I’ve got some leaflets in the shop about wwoof. Or you can visit their website: www.wwoof.org.uk (I know this sounds a bit like a sales pitch, don’t worry, I’ve not been paid to write this! It’s just such a fun way to meet people from different cultures and I wanted to make you aware of its existence).

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