There are further frosty starts as the clocks go back and we ease towards winter. Bright skies but sharp air. A short month also mixed with gloomy low cloud and rain filled days.
There is plenty of clearing up after stormy winds and gathering of debris and leaf litter everywhere. Much is left to mulch on the beds and path edges, but cleared away from the grass paths and lawn areas so that these still give clear passage and to try to help with revival of grass growth when it comes.
We suffer the loss of one mature silver poplar at lower end of the English Parkland by the OAK BARK BOAT bench, it is cut down to logs and stacked in the woodshed, the brash tidied away on the far side of the burn and left as habitat and cover. Fortunately there was no damage to the bench or stone bridges nearby.
Other limbs have been lost in this area too where the trees are most exposed to winds. Willow collapses by the Metamorphic trellis and the Lower pond, its shallow roots cannot cling on in the boggy ground and dead wood scatters down throughout.
In response to these losses, we continue with bare root plantings of spindle and blackthorn to fill gaps along the perimeter edge and a medlar tree is positioned by the Top pond facing out to the farmland.
More saplings are also potted up in the greenhouses for long term renewal.
The last few wrappings of artworks is completed, and everything is now hopefully secure.
The inscribed wooden railing of Picturesque has succumb to the ravages of weather and time – it is badly split and needs to be remade and replaced. So for the moment this corner of the lochan is just a memory of better days.
A new base for a tool and mower shed is constructed by the compost heaps, which have also been turned over and rejuvenated.
Apart from this, it just feels like one of those transitional times of year, everything hunkered down. The first proper frosts are marked by the surface of the lochan closing over. This will be our new familiar…