Friday, 6 November 2015

Piglets, Glorious Autumn Colour and Polytunnels

Still plenty colour on the sales tables despite it being November

What a busy week, thank goodness for chocolate! Back to the nursery last Wednesday after a couple of days off to find the piglets had escaped AGAIN and trashed the stock area AGAIN. This is the 4th or 5th time it has happened since we took over the nursery 5 months ago. I think the farm owners (our landlords) have finally got that they need to do something about the fencing, I was really upset and angry. Not surprising as it is weeks of work undone as the piglets rootled through the newly potted plants, scattering compost, plants, broken labels everywhere and also breaking pots and eating plants. You can see just some of the damage in the photos below. It took me a whole day to repot all the plants and tidy up. I was not happy nor did I get it done until 2 days later as the rain was torrential. We were promised the pigs would be moved.

On Thursday evening we had a night out in Edinburgh with David's survey team, celebrating the end of another successful bat survey season. It was good to catch up with the team, have a laugh over the fun prize giving and stuff ourselves with good food from Cosmo.

First dessert, indulging the inner child!

I took some time out at lunchtime on Friday to walk up to the wild life pond on the farm and get some photos of the glorious autumn colour. This is a nice wee walk amongst towering beech trees and newer plantings. The path is carpeted with golden leaves and with the views over to the Pentlands it is a great place to enjoy some peace and quiet. 

Looking back down the woodland path

Golden leaves carpet the ground

On Saturday we mucked in with Pete the farmer / our land lord and helped move the piglets and their mums into the big barn for winter. At least I know (or hope) the nursery will be pig free for a few months. I'm fed up feeling anxious every morning when I come into work not knowing what state the nursery is going to be in. It took 10 of us to move one bore, 3 sows and 28 piglets through two fields and up the track to the barn. It went quite smoothly and we enjoyed coffee and hot chocolate and a blether after on the cafe veranda with Pete, Heather and Heather.

The amazing autumn colour on our road last week, I've never seen beech
leaves go so red

Nice to come home form work and unpack our Approved Food
order, that should keep us going for a while

This was a great buy, a mexican box
(we like mexican food), all this for £3.50!

On Saturday night we treated the horde to a night at the movies to see the latest James Bond movie. I have to say, for a James Bond film it was pretty good. Unfortunately my car chose that evening for the brakes to go! It was an interesting drive home!

The plant colours this autumn have been fantastic, and
the landscape looks rather forlorn now almost all the
leaves have gone. This is Berberis thunbergii, great
for wildlife, hedging and autumn colour

A pastel sunrise from the back garden

and sunset the same day

Sunday was a big day in the nursery as we got our poly tunnel covered. David has been working on putting the frame over the last few weeks when he's had time and we've been watching the weather forecast intently for a dry, calm day (they don't happen often at this time of year here). Along with Ben, Dan, Adam, Catherine, Pete and John we got the plastic on and battened down in no time and in return helped Pete take the covers off his two crop tunnels for winter. That's one of the many great things about being at Whitmuir is the swapping of advice, time and help when needed. We were beginning to think we wouldn't get the plastic on, it will need tightened in warmer weather, but all in all a good job done. We need to level off the ground inside now and lay ground cover fabric and slabs and build a potting bench, then the young prop plants can be moved in. 

Unrolling the plastic to cover the tunnel

Plastic on, just needing battened down

Cover and doors on, a good days work

I can also watch the sunset from my polytunnel

Hawthorn berries on our walk up the road from the house

On Monday I phoned the RAC to look at my car, it ended up being towed to the garrage, where a broken brake pipe was found and fixed. Fortunatly because they did alot of brake work last month when my car had it's service, they didn't charge for the repair, whew! I'm still trying to recover from the cost of the repairs when it was served a month ago. I spent the rest of the day walking the dog up the hill, tidying the greenhouses, tidying more moving troughs in the back garden and other wee outdoor tasks, then indoors to clean the house and catch up with paperwork. 

On Tuesday our day off, we posted some mail, checked the nursery and picked up my car from the garage. We then headed to East Lothian and went from brilliant sunshine to dense fog. We decided not to do the walk we'd planned and ended up visiting a nursery garden centre where we had some lunch and a look around. It's always interesting to see what everyone else is doing. There was also woodland walk which meandered around the banks of a small lake. Bracken of course enjoyed the chance for a walk somewhere different.

Hypericum berries

Reflections in the lake, Smeaton

Leaves on moss

Lime tree walk carpeted with leaves, great fun kicking through them

It's a long way up

End of the walk and the back end of the doglet!

There was no let up in the fog on the way home

After our walk we weaved out way home through the fog via B&Q, Hobbycraft and Ikea to pick up bits and pieces and stuff for us and the boys. It was a great day off, pottering about, nice lunch out and getting some shopping and errands done. So that was my week, hope yours has been good too.

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  1. Super pictures Rona. Good to see you all getting stuck in with the polytunnel. Not so good to read about those piglets - I know I would be none too pleased either. Your dessert just put me in the mood for some jelly babies, I'm sure there's a pack here somewhere, now where did I hide them?

    1. Hi Angie, and thanks, I was pleased I managed to get some autumn photos, its been beautiful :) Hopefully it will be a pig free winter now! Ha ha, hope you found the jelly babies :)

  2. Aww, poor piggies. Bet they had great fun ;-) Fab photos!!

    1. Hi Ali, thanks, yes piglets, lets not go there! Hopefully the next lot will be better behaved :/