06 March 2011

Weekend Work 2

This week I was away working in someone else's garden.....this was a garden owned by the National Trust for Scotland at Culzean Castle. This garden is 600 acres of beach, woodland and formal gardens....but luckily we didn't have to "do" the whole garden.

Our weekend plans consisted of 2 projects:

1. Rhododendron eradication (a never ending task to remove this invasive, non-native species). The eradication focuses on rhodendron ponticum, brought to the UK (along with a lot of other lovely, less invasive species of rhododendron) from the Iberian peninsula. Whilst it has pretty pink flowers, it has been shown to impact on the surrounding environment, reducing the number of earthworms, birds and ground growing plants. The removal process included slash and burn....followed by removal of the roots by tractors. We were only engaged in the first 2 stages.

Before we started

Mid-way in the process

2. Silt clearing - removing silt from the burn feeding the Swan Pond on the estate and then clearing leaves, mud, logs and the like from around the small islands in the pond....a smelly, wet, mucky job involving waders and a lot of squealing!

After the work - sorry it's blurry

Muck on side of burn

The estate itself is really beautiful. With its fantastical castle built in the 18th century for the Kennedy family, the Scottish Kennedy family, one of Scotland's oldest family's who could trace their connections back to Robert the Bruce. The neo-classical castle was designed by Robert Adam, who was the leading Scottish architect of his day, who had free reign to design the castle. This included a ruined arch as an entrance to the castle, ruins showing family history, even those these were built at the same time as the castle alongside formal walled gardens.

Today, the estate is a marvellous place to take a walk, through the deer park, down to the beach which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, through the woodlands, along the cliff path and into the walled gardens. The photos below weren't taken this weekend, (they were taken the last time we visited in July 2008), the weather, whilst dry, was grey and therefore not conducive to great light!

Culzean from the Gardens

Home Farm - where we stayed

Boardwalk to the Beach

5 comments:

Arctic Mum said...

Impressive! We will have a huge garden in the new house, and I'm a bit petrified on what to do, I can bare get houseplants to survive. Now we'll have rhubarb, currant and blackcurrant. Hope not til kill them.

Fei An said...

Yes, it is impressive. I have been sitting in doors and doing the computer work. Soon it is finished and I can go out again. Scotland is such a great place---- I wish that I can go to Scotland one day in a new future:)
Have a great week, dear Di!

Thimbleanna said...

You all look like you're having so much fun! I'd love to muck around in the mud in such a beautiful area!

Anne Marie said...

I am so impressed how you helped your friend last weekend and now more garden work this weekend. Not many people spend their time helping out in other poeples garden. They are lucky to have you as their friend!

Bethany Hissong said...

I never considered the rhododendron to be invasive but I guess that means it is here too. It's too bad because they are pretty plants. Do you know how awesome you are for helping do this messy work?! You are always making the world a more beautiful place to be.