Each summer (see posts passim) the West of Scotland Dry Stone Walling Association build a show garden (prominently featuring dry stone work, unsurprisingly) for the Gardening Scotland show at Ingleston, near Edinburgh Airport. And, being the sociable lot they are, they invite the other Scottish branches to come along the weekend before the show to help with the build.
This year marks the centenary of the Erskine vererans' hospital organisation, and in celebration of that they've designed a garden based on their work. The main feature is a wall which will support the Erskine logo, flanked by two stone trees and four timber beams (representing the four regiments Erskine supports).
In front of the wall will be three raised beds, two shaped like hands which surround a heart-shaped one in the middle
The stone trees are made of slates inserted into the sandstone wall.
It's quite an ambitious project, so it didn't quite get finished over the weekend, but a few keen souls are giving up their bank holiday Monday to finish it off tomorrow - I should have photos of the finished garden after the show next weekend (or even better, why not go along to the show and see it for yourself - it's on from the 3rd to the 5th of June).
Today we returned to Wooplaw Community Woodland (see posts passim) and finally completed the dry stone bridge. Or rather, to be completely accurate, the actual bridge was already completed, but there was still some work needed on the adjoining wall, where the last few yards of copes needed put on. When we arrived, it looked like this (note lovely sunny weather):
And after scrounging some copes from where they'd been re-cutting the ditch by the road and some more from the nearby woods, it looked like this (still sunny):
The other job wanting done here was that as the path on one side of the bridge tends to get very muddy we needed to pave it with stones. We'd actually done this before when we first put a bridge in at this point, but we'd done it by laying down flat stones - a so-called 'Roman road' - and they'd just got squelched down into the mud. So this time we embedded the stones in edgewise, a process know as 'pitching', which not only suffers less from getting bemired but also provides better grip.
By now it was lunchtime, so we went down to the stone seat we'd built for the Wooplaw 25th anniversary a few years back (there's a photo of it being constructed on the home page of this site). It was generally bearing up well, but one of the seat backs had lost a few stones and was starting to come down:
So we put it back up again.
After lunch we left Dave and Steve finishing off the pitching while the rest of us went to see to a couple of cheek ends at one of the car parks which had been damaged. The first of these had just lost a few stones off the top:
But the other had been completely knocked down.
It was a few minutes work to put the first back up:
But the other took more effort, especially as there was no shade here (note - still sunny). However, after Dave and Steve had joined us and (once again) we'd foraged to get enough copes we got it reinstated.
And (after a bit of adjustment with 'the muckle hammer') the gate closed perfectly.
I meant to pop back to the first site to get a shot of the finished pathway, but I forgot. But we're returning to Wooplaw later in the year, so hopefully I'll remember to get a photo of it then.
This blog, and the rest of the site, are produced by Donald McInnes, treasurer of the SES DSWA (I'm the baldy one, sometimes in a saltire hat).