Mighty Mole

There’s a lot of mole activity under our “lawn” areas. Over the last couple of days, this huge pile of soil has been growing up right outside the sun room and our bedroom. The moles are bringing up some good, rich soil so we are putting it into use in the beds around the garden although we may need to use some of it with some grass seed to fill in the areas where the ground level has subsided over the mole diggings.
Big mole hill

Sheep Invasion

Since the storms earlier this month, the sheep have been able to get up from the beach into our garden. At first they were coming up by the damaged area of the wall so we added some extra wooden barrier fence to keep them out. Now they have discovered that they can get up the rocks from the beach into the middle section of the garden. It’s time to find a person who can re-build and enhance our boundary walls before we start planting up the garden in the spring. Here are the sheep pioneering a way up the rocks into the garden.
Climbing sheep
And here they are again – enjoying a tour round the inside of our garden area.
Sheep in the garden

Breaking Wind

We’ve been busy trying to establish a windbreak round the exposed upper area of the garden. We received our order from ScotPlantsDirect with around 240 plants of “Coastal Hedging Mix” and a pack of an additional 45 plants of “Edible Hedging Mix” which are supposed to provide food for wildlife. The plants look like very good specimens and we hope that they survive the next few months of winter weather. The species included: Hawthorn, Blackthorn, Rosa rugosa, Cotoneaster, Buckthorn, Hazel, Wild pear and Crab apple. Before we planted the hedging we installed some windbreak netting on the fence which may give the plants a little extra protection from the wind and spray coming up from the sea. Here are a couple of pictures of the netting and the plants. It looks a bit gloomy because the pictures were taken at the end of the day just as it was starting to go dark.
Windbreak netting

Hedging plants

Another Stormy Wedding Anniversary

Two years ago, on our wedding anniversary, the roof blew off our hotel in Dumfries. This year we had the Irish Sea trying to re-model our garden. The combination of a high tide, low pressure weather system and strong winds from the south-west raised the sea level about a metre higher than usual. At their highest the waves were breaking over into our lower section of garden. The steps that we had previously installed down to the beach were undermined and floated away up the bay. The bigger waves also caused some damage to our dry stone wall that separates the garden from the beach. Here’s the sea at high tide.
Stormy Sea
The water in the bay came up higher than we have ever seen it before and flooded over into the lower part of the field.
Flooded Field
Here’s the scene when the tide had retreated. The beach has been scoured away up to our wall and there’s a lot of plastic that has been washed up or unearthed from the previous beach area. Most of our wall is still intact though but we will probably add some extra strengthening and protection when we get it repaired. The waves also brought in plenty of new driftwood and a bright blue fish box which I’m sure we can use in some future garden projects.
Beach Aftermath
This is the view from the new high tide mark down in the field below the cottage. Lots of new driftwood (and plastic debris) to collect.
Kirkcudbright also had some flooding problems although it was restricted to the immediate vicinity of the harbour. The ships in the harbour are floating quite a bit higher than usual. There’s a video of scenes from the flooding on the Kirkcudbright Facebook page.