The new pond at Whitmuir The Organic Place is beginning to look less like a reservoir on a construction site and more like a place to find wildlife. Today, in rare gaps between cloudbursts, we transplanted around seventy clumps of native Scottish wildflowers (Scotia Seeds Pond Edge Mixture, raised from seed). If the young plants manage to survive being planted into what looked to me rather like potters’ clay, they will eventually flower, self-seed and spread. Watch this space. Even better, if you are lucky enough to be anywhere near Edinburgh, Peebles, West Linton or Lamancha, go and see the new pond.
As you can see, our work was closely supervised by The Management: ‘Just what, exactly, are you doing at my pond, young lady? And what have you done with my ducks?‘
More about Whitmuir Wildlife here
Whitmuir the Organic Place is making a wildlife garden. Forget any preconceived ideas you may have about square or rectangular plots because Whitmuir’s fields are separated from one another by shelter belts around 20 metres wide, and a length of 1.5km of these is being transformed into the new garden. The belts already have avenues of mature beech trees, which look to me to be about 200 years old. These will soon be supplemented by additional native trees, shrubs and woodland wildflowers. Areas have already been cleared and seeded with varieties from ‘Scotia Seeds’. Hundreds of native wildflowers have been grown in plugs and pots, and over the next few months many more will be raised this way and planted out.
The photograph shows the new pond, made by restructuring old boggy land and damming a small burn. The pond will encourage wildlife and provide educational opportunities, including a platform for ‘pond dipping’ (it’s a long time since I did that. I used to catch newts in the River Frome. Not sure I’d be allowed to do that now…)