This year has got to go down as the wettest we have had for a very long time. In the sheep field beside the house, we’ve had a large puddle that’s been there continuously since the summer, to the extent that I wonder if it will ever dry up. We’ve never had this before other than for a day or so after a torrential downpour.
Fortunately, the weather at the weekends has been really quite good with some lovely, albeit cold, ‘blue sky’ days. We’ve had no snow to speak of so far, so we’ve been able to complete the apple and pear pruning – always good to get this done before Christmas.
In the greenhouse, we’ve done the annual winter tidy-up, removing the spent tomato plants, pruning the grape and kiwi vines, and brushing down the paving and the potting tables. The Canary Island palm, the olive and our rather diminutive bay (I think Scotland is perhaps a little too cold for it!) have also come in for the winter to join the overwintering seedlings. The shelter that the glass offers should be sufficient to protect them unless it gets really cold.
We’ve also tidied up the Herb bed, removing the fallen leaves while retaining the plants that are still green, to give some interest for the next few weeks at least; I also noticed some quite nice rocket that had been sheltering under something else! Everywhere I go now, I’m joined by our trusty Robin, tame as anything, as I help unwittingly uncover his next meal. I’m trying to leave herbaceous plants that still retain some structure; it seems a shame to cut everything back before you need to, particularly as the birds can still derive benefit from some late-season seedheads. Talking of which, down at the foot of the Glen last weekend, in the marshy area, we noticed a large flock of yellowhammers (I think) with their canary yellow bodies swarming around the seedheads of the reeds and rushes – ornithological fast food!