When we first decided to move to Scotland from England the thought of having 4 acres of land to play about with made me as giddy as a schoolgirl. My imagination was full of ideas of paddocks sectioned off with native hedging and clumps of deciduous trees (90% of the trees here are Firs - nice but blah) and a couple of horses right outside my front door - after all horses were the incentive for me coming this far in the first place.
The reality has been quite different though. During the first couple of years we bulldozed about 3 acres of Gorse bush and set light to it in a few large clumps (google earth still shows the cleared land with fires alight) naively believing this would rid us of the prickly god awful plant. 18 months later the Gorse was as big and rampant as ever and those fires would relight with every wind thanks to the peat content of the soil.
For a few years while building the house I didn't have a garden but I did have an area round the pond where Mr TG built me a greenhouse and a couple of raised beds for veggies. I made a little garden area among the veg beds and this was my little piece of heaven, I loved keeping it immaculate - such a contrast from the building work.
Then Mr TG bought me the polytunnel and I had another area for growing and planting - still small enough for me to keep on top of.
Now we have the house garden projects and while I love love love my garden I have seriously neglected everywhere else. I post lovely photos of the nice parts of the land but now I'm going to show you the embarrasssing, neglected areas that I seriously worry about me being able to get a handle on ever again.
This is where I walk from the greenhouse to the polytunnel - honestly there is a path there somewhere. The tree was planted there temporarily next to a Gunnera - it's too large to move now. The pond is to the left but the weeds continue all to the right and as far as you can see in front.
This is the other path to the polytunnel although when I say path it's now weed covered gravel. These weeds - mainly Comfrey it seems - are head height. This is so embarrassing!
I couldn't resist this one, it's now typical of several places I once tended so vigorously - I even hand bashed all that slate on the ground.
A huge weed growing int the flower bed with a dead plant taken over by a weed in the pot.
This is looking back toward the house from the pond. The area to the right was covered in black plastic years ago to control the weeds until I decided what to do with it - fail!
Turn around and this is facing the pond. Those reeds have covered 70% of the pond now but it will have to wait for Mr TG to get in there because I've seen the Jurassic creatures living in it.
This weed is the bane of my life - horsetail. I stupidly erected raised veg beds next to the pond where the horsetail is rampant.
This was my area of paradise when all I had to manage was this. Notice the empty veg beds (except for some very ill looking French beans against the blue supports). I simply cannot get a handle on the Horsetail in this area, it literally grows overnight.
That's just a few of the areas that are suffering from neglect. 4 acres suddenly feels like an awful lot of land now 10 years later. It's such a shame because it would be lovely to have well kept land that looks tidy wherever you go but I simply would not be able to keep it looking good. I've set the seed of thought in Mr TG's mind about moving the polytunnel and my workshop to the side of house. If I revamped that area and had everything I needed there then I'd never have to go up to the other side of the land again and wouldn't have to worry about upkeep of it - win win!