The Gardener's Cottage

Welcome, visitor, to explore the B&B and garden.

Author: Lorna McHardy (Page 2 of 2)

Bath Time!

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The weather’s been fantastic, and I’ve been weeding and weeding and weeding, trying to get ready for the charity opening on the 5th June.

This robin obviously has me tagged as the Unearther of Victuals… he’s been following me around everywhere for the past three days, and I’ll swear he lies in wait! So today, he decided to give me some photo opportunities in return for the goodies :0)

At Last!

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I’m getting round to posting something again, I mean.

Good grief, it’s been months!! I’ve been busy. On the 5th of June, I’m having a charity open garden day, and it’s taking a lot of organizing. Five wildlife conservation charities will be coming, all about hedgehogs and bees and butterflies and stuff like that; and also – I hope – hundreds of gardeners (I can but hope) to talk to them, and get enthusiastic about beetles, and then go home, and bin the insecticides. Because a fat lot of gardening any of us will be doing when the pollinators die out…

Meanwhile, how’s that for a magnolia in full bloom :0)


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It’s not summer, but it’s got something. A strange, quiet eerieness that slows everything down and makes you listen. Wouldn’t want it all the time… but I do like it in the short term :0)


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Lovely light last night! When it’s not raining, this is a wonderful time of year.


28.9.2015 Lunar Eclipse

I know… there are going to be thousands of photos of this all over the net today, many much better than mine.

But… well… I’m sharing it anyway, because it was strange, and wonderful.

Not quite as I expected… the moon was much smaller than I thought it would be, and so high in the sky there was no chance of photos with anything in the foreground.
Also, the red is not very apparent to the naked eye… the camera shows you far more than you see.

But it was worth seeing. It was… weird. I can understand why people through the ages have linked this with disaster and end of the world predictions… it’s… dark. Very difficult to convey in words, and similar to the solar eclipse – but darker in more ways than one.

I was outside my house, where usually at night, it’s quiet only in the sense that there is little human noise other than what comes over from Grangemouth…. it is quiet, not silent.
As the moon eclipsed, it became eerily so. The owls fell silent, as did the chuntering waterfowl on the Firth of Forth. Even Grangemouth made no noise. Only my cats seemed unaffected and continued to mooch around chasing dead leaves.

Until, that is, the hitherto glass-calm Forth suddenly produced a massive, slow, rolling swell towards the shore. The tide was already high, and then these huge, slow waves appeared, apparently out of nowhere. Huge. And very very slow.
You became gradually aware of them through the increasing sound – the only sound anywhere – as they met the shore. Not dramatically in a show of raw power, as you would see during a spring or autumn tide crashing in with a strong wind behind it… but slowly, slowly, slowly… that actually scared me.

The rational part of me kept me outside watching (“don’t be so bloody stupid, that’s what the moon does to water”), but it had to speak quite firmly. My gut wanted to run.
And the cats stopped chasing leaves and sat, watching, adding to the silence.

Then the whole thing just stopped as suddenly as it had begun, and I watched for another half hour or so until just before the un-eclipsing started, and I realized I was freezing cold and needed to wear something warmer than a down jacket, like a bed with a feather duvet and several blankets on top.

Golden Autumn

7.9.2015 Late Mating

Well, I hope it will be, to make up for the wash-out that was July this year… it certainly was yesterday, warm and sunny and altogether wonderful. And is it just me, or does that dragonfly on the right have an altogether Alice-in-Wonderlandish sort of smile on its face??


Meet Jay

Hedgehog  One of the great things about having a garden like this is that you can also have lots of hedgehogs. Did you know they’re endangered in the UK? According to some estimates, we may have none left by 2020; they’re declining at a scary rate. I don’t know about you, but I cannot imagine the UK without hedgehogs.

This one is the only survivor of a litter the mother rejected, so he was hand-reared in the Forth Wildlife Hospital – wonderful place; Nadia, who runs it, does a fantastic job.

So yesterday, he arrived in my garden, where he’ll spend a few weeks in a safe run, so he can learn to sleep during the day and feed at night and not depend on humans. Then out he goes, to do whatever hedgehogs do when they can go where ever they like :0))

If you have a garden of any reasonable size, which is safe and offers the things hedgehogs need, do get in touch with a local hedgehog hospital and see whether they’re looking for release sites. These cute little mammals need all the help they can get.


sunriseDSC_8476  This beautiful sunrise viewed from outside the cottage across the Firth of Forth was yesterday, when I had my first B&B guests. They were lovely, and I enjoyed myself :0)

That’s what I call a good start!

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