Still here…


… oh dear, I hadn’t realised it had been so long since I wrote here. I must try and do better. Part of the problem was that the snow-laden winter seemed to last so long that, by the time spring eventually happened, everything in the garden grew so enthusiastically fast that I’ve hardly had any chance to do anything recently other than mow or snip or weed. Or water!  After such a chilly winter the heat of May took us by surprise and I’ve practically grown watering cans as permanent arm-extensions!

McMurdoston’s bird residents continue to entertain us – particularly the swifts, swallows and house martins as they return from warmer climes. I think we have more than last year but it always takes a while to assess, so I’ll update later in the season. The tree and house sparrows have become so at home here that they have been competing with the house martins for nest sites and we have even found ourselves shoo-ing off sparrows in favour of martins. In the end it’s up to nature, but it’s a hard balancing act sometimes. This is also true in gardening terms… I struggle to keep the place looking ‘kempt’ whilst also maintaining wildlife-friendly habitat. Having a large family group of hedgehogs here means leaving areas unmowed and unstrimmed in a desperate bid to offer comfortable accommodation to these wonderfully charismatic guests.

Luckily, in terms of our human guests, things have continued to look good so far as local hostelries are concerned. The Auldgirth Inn is going from strength to strength, having won ‘Scotland’s best gastropub’ just recently, and had the brilliant idea of laying on a minibus to take local customers home after they have had a chance to sample its culinary joys. Delicious!