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