Tag Archives: scottish borders

Whitmuir’s Wildlife Garden


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…)

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Whitmuir Organics

The big suppliers might not be delivering to Scotland but our local firms are. Just up the road from me is Whitmuir Organics, a farm shop on a farm that despite the weather, and unlike the big boys, is managing to deliver food and supplies to all surrounding parts. If they can do it, why have the big retailers chickened out?

Perhaps I shouldn’t have said ‘chickened’. Whitmuir has turkeys for sale, the chickens are for the fresh eggs. So if you want a fresh, local, Christmas turkey that has been allowed to run around in the big world, or if you want to buy a lot of other interesting things in the shop (or eat in the licensed restaurant) it really is the place to go.

Photo copyright (C) 2010 Whitmuir the Organic Place

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Sunset Strip


In Iceland this would be a volcanic eruption. In Australia it would be a forest fire. And in Scotland? Just a simple sunset.

Click the image to make it slightly bigger.
Image undoctored. What you see is what we got.

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Duck Soup

In training for next year’s Edinburgh Military Tattoo. The third and fourth ducks need more practice, they’re not in step. It gives a whole new meaning to getting your ducks in a row. Taken at Whitmuir Organics after a tasty meal in the restaurant. Us, not the ducks.

Note: You are heading for the kitchen, guys. The pond is the other way.

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Reading Matters

I have finished reading The Dying Light and started another book. This one isn’t a novel. There was a time when I read almost nothing but technical stuff, mainly geology books and professional papers so I could keep up to date with the science. This book, Death of an Ocean, I am reading for pure pleasure. I was hooked on it as soon as I opened it. The authors have managed to produce a book that is both educational and interesting – no mean feat for a book that deals with the evolution and development of the geology of a large chunk of Britain. I’m almost embarassed to admit that the geology of the Scottish Borders is something I knew very little about. I’m sure that is about to change.

I am also starting John le CarrĂ©’s ‘Our Kind of Traitor’. The book has been given mixed reviews but one thing is certain, I am sure to encounter a few words I’ve never come across before.

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