We are fortunate to have around 11 acres of land here at Heddle. Our scale is significant - last summer we spread 12 tonnes of mature horse muck - that allows large scale drift planting ideally suited to the contemporary gardening philosophies of gardeners and visionaries like Piet Oudolf whose style we attempt to interpret and adapt to our local conditions.
Currently we have brought around two and a half acres into our naturalistic planted gardens. Today there are 7 or 8 distinct areas, each with their own character and at varying degrees of maturity. We believe in planting native British shrubs and herbaceous perennials but allow some adaptation to accommodate plants that can thrive in our sometimes extreme climate conditions.
In addition, starting in 2005, we have planted around 3000 trees and over 1000 shrubs in four separate copses though out a further 2 acres or so of our land as habitat creation to encourage and support a sustainable biodiversity and encourage a native ecosytem to develop and support a significant Orcadian wild life biomass. In other words we like birds.
Next summer we will farm a two acre ploughed section for seeding with a winter bird crop. We missed the timing to do this this year.
In addition to our on-going tree planting program and general garden development we have further plans that include a half acre Potager vegetable garden (building this Winter) and finally the creation of 2 acres of Lochan in the wetlands which hopefully will be scheduled for next summer (2012).
We are gardeners.