Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Hope is a Thing with Wind Break and Insulation

Apologies to the poet from Amherst, but gardening in the north is a leap of faith where hope has to be shored up with technology. Yesterday in balmy spring like weather, I planted out some seeds in earth that had been under fleece for a few days. I also trialed my Kozy Koats--mini greenhouses using the property of water --it loses heat keep some seedlings and some bean seeds a bit warmer.

In the night, I heard the wind get up---By 6am the house was so cold I thought a door had been blown open (the window has its little tricks...). I bundled into a blanket and slept-- thanking my lucky stars that I had not been so overcome with enthusiasm by the warmth to remove the fleecy cocoons from the Cornus (dogwoods) of recent blog fame.
Inside a fenced area, inside chicken wire with additional wind netting on it, in a raised bed under fleece or inside a Kozy Koat---surely they are secure here even from a wind from Siberia, but certainly we know not to underestimate the Russians by now. I might be tempted to think it was a UK government conspiracy to send the cold winds up here, but I dont think they know where we are.

So in good Caithness tradition, my gardening pal and I are starting our own willow plantation. With a bit of luck and more hard work---she's a good friend with a border spade--please admire her lovely rows. I'd include a photo of her by her handiwork, but she is camera shy.
Come spring we'll have our own lean, straight willow wythes of named varieties from our tutor and basketmaker and willow planter who spent the day showing my pal Cynthia and me and a handful of others how to do it.  And then, for me, the fun begins--willow woven around the base of our trees (in lieu of this year's chicken wire defensive perimeter). And a woven fedge in back and teepees for the peas and maybe a dome for fun. All in good time, I know, but when the wind blows like this, you gotta have something to hang your hope on.


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