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European Gardening: MY GARDEN ON THE OUTER HEBRIDES

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bruntongardens
ISLE OF LEWIS
United Kingdom
(Zone 9a)

February 13, 2007
5:24 PM

Post #3185031

Hi just thought that you might like to see our garden on the Isle of Lewis, we bought a derelict cottage, with just under an acre of moor land, and set out to make our dream garden, we were told that you could not have a garden here on the Isle of Lewis, nearly ten years later, after rebuilding the cottage ourselves, here are some photo's of what we have achieved so far.
I won gardener of the year a little over ten years ago, and it inspired me to move onto bigger things, hope that you enjoy the pictures, we call it our dream garden, the cottage and the garden has taken a lot of hard work to get this far.
Hope that you are all keeping well and warm, and looking forward to spring arriving. We are now starting a tropical garden, kindest regards from Peter and May-Anne

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bruntongardens
ISLE OF LEWIS
United Kingdom
(Zone 9a)

February 13, 2007
5:26 PM

Post #3185037

Here are a few more pics of our garden

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Resin

Resin
Northumberland
United Kingdom
(Zone 9a)

February 13, 2007
7:42 PM

Post #3185485

Superb climate for growing all sorts of unusual plants, but watch out for those force 16 gales - heard of one person on the Hebrides who had their lawn blown away. Are those urns and pergolas securely bolted deep into the ground?

Resin
bruntongardens
ISLE OF LEWIS
United Kingdom
(Zone 9a)

February 13, 2007
8:31 PM

Post #3185648

Hi Resin, what a small world, i was born in Northumberland, and lived at shiremoor fo many years, then went to live at Bellingham near Kielder for 20 years where i won gardener of the year award, after winning the award, we wanted a bigger garden, and after a year of searching we came to live here. Don't tell us about the Gail's as we had our roof blown off two years ago by a hurricane, 140mile winds, it closed the whole Island down, and sadly killed 5 people, you might have seen it on tv,we had to rebuild our garden as a lot of the features were flattened,there was a shortage of food on the Island as the ferry could not get in or out, and we did not have any power fo about three or four days, and the only main road on the island to the town was blocked by fallen trees, and remnants of roofs and buildings, it is a time that we will never forget in our life times. How the heck tornado Island in America can put up with constant tornadoes, makes me shudder, hopefully we never see it again, 70 and 80 mile winds are quite natural for here, from autumn until may. and one or two in the summer.
Although we enjoy our life here, i must admit, i miss the folks of Northumberland, real nice people. Nice to speak to a fellow Northumbrian after so many years, you take care of yourself, and kindest wishes to all of you, regards Peter and Mary-Anne.
Its definitely not easy being a gardener here, but its still worth while for us, its a real challenge!
Here is a photo from the bottom of our garden of the village where i live, as you can tell, not many people garden here, LOL hope to speak to you again

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Resin

Resin
Northumberland
United Kingdom
(Zone 9a)

February 13, 2007
11:27 PM

Post #3186200

Been through Shiremoor plenty of times on my bike . . .

That gale is exactly the sort of thing I was thinking of, or the one in 1993 (10 January) when the barometer dropped to 912 mB with ~160mph winds in the North Atlantic . . . unfortunately, it's the sort of thing that happens quite regularly up there.

You might want to check on the book 'A Century of Tree Planting in the Faroe Islands' (1989), it has a long list of trees and shrubs growing well on the Faroes; anything doing well there will do well with you. Some good ones, mostly from Chile, are Embothrium coccineum, Chusquea couleou, Crinodendron hookerianum, Berberis linearifolia, Buddleia globosa, Sorbus mougeotii, Drimys winteri, and even Trachycarpus fortunei.

Resin
Patbarr
Sheffield
United Kingdom
(Zone 7b)

February 14, 2007
7:45 PM

Post #3189114

You have done amazingly well to get such a beautiful colourful garden in those conditions. I was looking on your photos to see what shelter your garden had and Resin's suggestions for shrubs and trees sound interesting.

I hate gales, just the sound of the wind when it is really strong makes me feel very uneasy.
bruntongardens
ISLE OF LEWIS
United Kingdom
(Zone 9a)

February 14, 2007
9:14 PM

Post #3189414

Patbarr
HELLO , we have spent the last ten years putting a shelter belt of trees and shrubs around our property, we could not have a garden, with out a shelter belt of trees and shrubs, we also have a 6ft fence, with trellis on top, that we grow climbing roses on, the trees are now nearly 15ft tall, and the shrubs we have are around 6ft to 7ft tall, with out this shelter belt, you could not have garden here, i do not understand why you do not think that i do not have trees hedging and shrubs around, it was one of the very first things that we had to do, before we even thought about making any type of garden, we have grown 80% of the trees from seed, we must have around 200 plus trees, and virtually hundreds of shrubs every type you can think of we have got, just to many to name, and some that you probably do not know.
If you look in the pics you will see in the front garden that i have erected a a 70 ft long extra strong trellis over 6ft tall, we are not talking the weedy type of trellis, it is over 1 and a 1/2 inches thick, i do not know where resin got it from, that we would not have a shelter belt of trees and shrubs, i have gardened for at least 40 years, and won many top awards, and have been in many magazines, and TV gardening shows, we are at present making a tropical garden, with such things as banana's, many species of palm trees that are hardy to this climate, when you see the terrible tornado's and storms around USA coastline and inland, you can see many types of palms that can withstand Tornadoes and very high winds and very low temperatures.
There are many desert regions, that have very high temperatures during the day time, and very low temperatures of a night time and high winds, but palm trees can very happily survive in this type of climate, it is really just knowing how to recognize the species of trees, shrubs and plants that will survive in windy, cold and wet areas of the UK, and you do not have to be a genius to find that info out, one way is to use the Google search bar, write the name of the plant and either put germination or cultivation , and hey presto there is the info, as much as you want on any subject, or there is plenty of books, even ebooks on the subjects.
Thank you for your very kind comments, after living here for ten years i think that we know what the weather is like here, this is not pointed at you, patbar, but at resin, i did not win gardener of the year in the whole of the UK, because i did not know anything about growing trees and shrubs, i was not asking for advice, just showing what we had achieved, to try and inspire others to do the same. Thank you for your kind concern, i am putting some photo's of the garden that i won gardener of the year for, in Northumberland where i lived, hope that we will speak again, kindest regards Peter and Mary-Anne.

I intend to show more pics of our garden on this forum THE PHOTOS BELOW ARE THE GARDEN THAT WE WON UK GARDENER OF THE YEAR AWARD FOR IN NORTHUMBERLAND

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Patbarr
Sheffield
United Kingdom
(Zone 7b)

February 16, 2007
9:45 PM

Post #3196579

I was looking at your photos to see what kind of shelter your garden had, as all around looks quite bleak. It is good to know all your hard work planting has reached a good size now. It is lovely how a garden develops over the years. I must say I hate these instant garden T.V. programmes they give novices a completely false idea of what gardening is all about.

Good luck with your tropical garden. The only problem with bananas outside is that their leaves are very fragile and tear in the slightest wind, so they will probably look very authentic and tattered. I've got a dwarf Cavendish in a pot and it seems to tear if I walk near it. It hasn't flowered yet, but has sent out lots of shoots from the base, some of which I've potted up. They root very easily.
bruntongardens
ISLE OF LEWIS
United Kingdom
(Zone 9a)

February 16, 2007
10:59 PM

Post #3196787

We have made a special sheltered area for our tropical garden, from the prevailing winds, here is a couple of pictures of the early days of making the garden, the trees are now at least 15ft all the way around the garden, but even so then the plants were quite happy in the garden, as the worst of the winds tend to be in the winter when most plants are dormant, but we could not grow tropicals until the shelter belt has grown to what it is now, we will show some more pics soon, kindest regards Peter and Mary-Anne

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bruntongardens
ISLE OF LEWIS
United Kingdom
(Zone 9a)

February 16, 2007
11:14 PM

Post #3196831

As you can see the plants are fine they come to no harm as long as you have some form of wind brake.
The trouble on the Island is there is a distinct lack of trees, but we have been persuading the councils to plant trees that are wind tolerant, which they are now doing, are you aware that they are talking about building a bridge or a tunnel from the mainland to the Island and also that they are going to build the biggest wind farm in the world on Barvas moors on the Island to Generate electricity for the UK.
The newest project that i am taking on at the moment is to make the cottage self sufficient in energy, i am building 2 wind turbines and going to add solar panels to the roof as we face south and get the sun all day, and solar water heaters, to heat the water for our needs in the house, it is really not so complicated, and you can save alot of money on your electricity and help the environment at the same time.
We have enjoyed you coming back and its nice to have an intelligent conversation, hope that you come back again, and i will show you some pics when we get the wind generators up and running, each one will generate 500watts of electricity, that is a thousand watts of free electricity 24 hours a day 7 days a week, even a very light breeze can power these generators.
Well kindest regards from Peter and Mary-Anne stay warm and look after youself

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