Friday, 24 November 2017

When we had reached the stage where we generally had the site laid out and the soil roughly in place we continued to lay out the garden by installing the 2 seats, one on either side of the main centre area. These were intended to be the only seats on site. 

In order to help to refine spreading the soil and to excavate the foundation for the 2 seats we borrowed a mini digger from David Atkinson which Ian Shaw handled with some expertise. Even with this facility it was very hard to dig the foundations (due to the bedrock) but we managed eventually.

We had a stair donated by Hillhouse Precast which was placed on the banking so that we could access the high level, John Smith (Smith Brothers Ltd) organised the collection and installation of the stair. As this was a bit short we had to make up 4 lower steps to complete the access. Again Hillhouse provided the necessary concrete and formers. The boarding was installed to separate the soil from the stone chips which would be delivered later. The installation of the pegs to support the edging was difficult to locate as the ground below is essentially rock, some of it is loose but most of it is pretty solid stuff. By hammering in a steel peg and breaking up the pegs locations we managed to install the boundary edging.
The Whisky Bond donated 8 spent barrels which Billy Edmunds helped to cut in half and subsequently turn into substantial planters. We also received many offers of old troughs from Alison Morrisey Gateside, Effie Graham of North Biggart Farm and J G Smith & Sons of Southridgehill Farm. We have still to collect some from Alison and Alastair Wilson of Lochend Farm.  When received, these were all drilled to provide drainage.

This was a period of extreme activity and the weather was anything but kind, undaunted our friends in the John Muir Trust turned up on a weekly basis and toiled regardless.

Gateside Nursery provided a bale of spent compost which we used to half fill the tubs and troughs, this was followed by top quality compost and lots of colourful plants which were duly installed.

By this time we had managed to get the soil level enough to start to spread the many loads of wood chip provided by David Scott tree surgeon. This was intended to both provide a surface which could be walked on and also that the work of the worms and weather would eventually turn it into soil.

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