The first weekend in June sees the Gardening Scotland show at the Royal Highland Showground near Edinburgh. The West of Scotland Dry Stone Walling Association do an exhibition garden for the show each year, and very kindly invite members of the Scottish DSWA branches to join in (see posts from June 2011/2012 for previous years' entries). This year, the garden was designed around a Celtic knot.
The plan had originally been to have the crossovers as free-standing arches, but this proved too tricky with the somewhat irregular stone, so instead a more straightforward crossing was used.
The result was impressive as ever, and won a bronze medal.
On the 19th of May (so, still a while ago, but not such a big delay as my last post) we held a joint practical day with the Friends of the Pentlands group. I wasn't able to attend myself, but Margaret has very kindly provided us with a report and some photos:
Four members of DSWA (Richard, Alan, Dave and Margaret) turned up, working with five members of Friends of the Pentlands. All five Friends had attended a training course in dry stone walling run by Bruce last year. We were planning, digging out and laying the foundation stones of a curved seat, which will be built into the hillside at Swanston in the Pentland Hills, just to the south of Edinburgh.
As you can see from the photos, it was very misty when we arrived, but on a good day our stone seat will provide a resting point with marvellous views over to the T Wood, the Braid Hills and the south of Edinburgh.
We're looking forward to further joint working days with Friends of the Pentlands to complete the project - the next joint event will be on Saturday 8th June.
On the 11th of May (almost a month ago - my apologies once again for not keeping this up to date) the South East Scotland branch of the Dry Stone Walling Association visited Vogrie country park, to complete the work done last year on the boundary wall. I couldn't make it along in the morning, but dragging my family with me I got there at lunch time. The original estate house is now a ranger centre. It has a good little cafe in it too, where we stopped for lunch (the kids were too hungry not to - and that's my excuse, and I'm sticking to it).
Richard, Mike and John (with Coolie the dog, as ever) had been hard at it since early doors, and had got the bulk of the work done by the time we arrived.
Theoretically, the children had come to look for minibeasts (bugs, to us old-fashioned folks). However, the temptation to join in the walling proved too great, especially when the ground level on one side of the wall makes it nicely child height.
Not much more effort took the wall up to coping height, and then the others broke for their lunch.
As I may have mentioned on previous blog entries, the stone here has a pronounced grain and is very brittle. Fortunately there were enough big bits to complete the wall, but any attempt at shaping the stone usually ends up in a pile of shards.
It's good stone for fossils, though:
After lunch we cracked on with the copes, and by mid afternoon the section was complete.
Here's how it looks from the path through the woods:
And here's what's traditionally referred to as "the cows' view".
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).