Monday, 10 December 2012

December Sun!

Today was one of those lovely frosty, but sunny and blue winter days and a little bit hazy. I went a short walk to our beach nearby at Ashaig and it was deserted except for the birds. I've just got a new camera so I took a few shots of the views though I didnt cross to the sands and went along the shore.
The top photo looks to Ben na Cailleach (the old woman's mountain), the second one to the Cuillins and the last one towards the mainland and you can just about see the sandy beach at Ashaig.

This is all only a 10 minute walk from Breakish Moss Cottage.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Winter lettuces

A lovely day today so I was checking out the plants in the tunnels and the greenhouses and planting out spring tulips that I was given as a present from Amsterdam.

The winter lettuces are looking good in the tunnel and if the weather does not get too frosty then they will stay this size till the spring and by April/May we will have our own fresh lettuces again. Looking forward to it already!

Sunday, 4 November 2012

First snow of November

Today was cold to start with, and it had been snowing during the night on the mountain tops. When the sun came up around mid morning it was actually quite warm outside and very beautiful too. Here are a couple of photos from our local beach taken today, 4th November.
It is only a 10 minute walk away with great views all the way.


Monday, 29 October 2012

Sunsets in late October

We have been having lovely weather this last week of October and this has resulted in beautiful sunsets. There have also been beautiful skies in the morning but I have not been out with my camera soon enough to take them!

These are taken from Breakish Moss Cottage.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Protective hedges

We've just been cutting the hedges that protect our vegetable beds. We planted field maple which was slow growing but has now, after 20 years, made a very good protective barrier against the winds we get here in winter.

You can see how well it has grown from the photos. It also does not need cutting more than once a year which is good.

We have a lot of hedges here including cherry plum and beech so there is a lot of work to do with the hedge trimmers at this time of year.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Today I noticed how lovely the rowan I recently bought at Clan Donald Fair is looking in all its glory with the bright red leaves.  It is Sorbus Joseph Rock and I had always wanted one as they have such amazing red leaves in autumn and yellow berries which is quite unusual. 

The tree is too young to have berries this year but hopefully next year we will see them.  I planted it at the gateway to our Breakish Moss Cottage, as every home should have a rowan, and we can all enjoy it.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Herb spiral

When we were doing up our kitchen a few years ago we bought in some pieces of slate and when the job was finished there were lots of small pieces left over. Alasdair decided to make a herb spiral and it was very successful both aesthetically and as a useful addition to the garden.

We have sage, two kinds of thyme, rosemary, chives, parsley and marjoram and, as it is just outside our door it is very handy.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Just brought in a few hydrangeas and the lily in the bottom left hand corner of this photo.

I find the hydrangeas dry very well if the vase is left to drain of water as that way the flowers keep their colour throughout the winter for a good colourful display indoors.

The lily was beautiful for the last few days filling the house with a lovely scent. I only ever seem to get one head though and when I planted more lilies last year the rabbits ate them which was very disappointing.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Rainbow seen from Breakish Moss Cottage

The weather has been lovely the last few days and lots of really clear light on the hills.
This was a lovely rainbow and I rushed out to get the photo before it disappeared. It is landing directly on the the island of Pabbay.  I wonder if there is gold there!

Friday, 5 October 2012

Blueberry mulch

Just picked the last of our blueberries for this year. We have been picking them for 2 months now - so this was the best year for production since we planted them about 15 years ago. Some of the bushes are quite tall now - about 5 ft  - and the most productive bush we have is called Bluecrop.

We have now mulched them with sawdust about 4 inches thick as that is what they like. Acid soils suit them best and one mustn't feed them anything but sawdust!

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Last fling with the window boxes

Now starting to tidy away the window boxes and the sort greenhouse ready for an early start next year.

Here is a photo from the beginning of September and I enclose it because it looks so nice compared to the bedraggled plants now. Nasturtiums are such a good display and the clematis has flowered all summer and is still flowering now.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Weeding the vegetables for winter use

I have spent the last week trying to get out between showers to weed the last of the vegetables to keep them in good order for the winter. We have lots of large leeks and I am particularly pleased with the red cabbages this year as these have not been so good for a few years.

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Monkshood flowers

This perennial in our garden, has regal blue spires and is flowering profusely now. 

It is a relatively unknown plant and deserves a lot more attention as it is very pretty. It produces tall spikes of hooded purple, blue, white, or bicolor blooms in late summer depending on your colour choice and we only have blue plants. All parts of monkhood are poisonous.

Plants grow best in partial shade and Monkshood dislikes hot weather, so it's usually not a great choice for gardeners with hot summer climates but suits our growing situation on Skye very well!

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Getting the bull to the fank

Today five of us went down to the common grazings to walk the community bull to the fank ready for uplift. He has been with the cows all summer and now he is being taken to Inverness for the winter as he belongs to the department of agriculture and those crofters with cows hire him for the season. This is quite expensive, but much cheaper than keeping him full time as he would need to be fed and housed by the crofters over the winter.
He is quite docile and went easily to the waiting pens though we had to leave some cows to keep him company till the transport arrives this afternoon as he was not happy to be left there alone.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Beautiful cloud patterns and light in Lochalsh

On Saturday I was lucky to be invited to go sailing in Lochalsh and we sailed from Eilean Donan Castle back to Kyleakin. There was not a lot of wind for our journey so we eventually had to motor most of the way but you could see in the clouds that above us there was much more wind. Here are a few photos to show how lovely the clouds and light were that day.

Here are a few photos of the lovely cloud patterns

Monday, 24 September 2012

Taking in the onions

Just taken in the rest of the onion crop. Got some good big ones and when these are added to the ones already lifted we should have enough to last till around January. The picture shows them drying ready to be hung up in the larder.

Friday, 21 September 2012

last of the summer flowers

Here's a photo of the new round lawn we made last year with some nasturtiums, bupthalmums and hydrangeas making the autumn display. The new lawn looks quite established as we added some plants from other parts of the garden to make in "instant".