The Woodland Garden in a Nutshell

The summer of love in the Woodland garden has been a joy and now the harvest is upon us. So it is a good time to look at our annual wonders, from giant heirloom tomatoes (from our wonderful new greenhouse) to squash, courgette, beans and peas, artichokes and corn. The wilder chards and kales, skirrit and yams have all worked their way into the fruit bushes and trees. The first “woodland potato bed”, just outside the garden gate, was a star performer! 

The pond is looking healthy and recently we cut back the reeds to leave a bit more open water and allow for more diverse planting. So we welcome some bullrushes, yellow iris and water lilies. I think we had an agreement from our feathered friends when a black bird landed on my shoulder a couple of weeks ago whilst working on the pond. 

The wild strawberries did well, so too the redcurrants, the plum, apple and pear trees. Though the cherry trees are doing less well and we may lose one this year, they have a relatively short life span so it’s not unexpected. 

Many new herbs and exotic plants made an appearance this year, the chameleon plant (fish herb) and the Bucks-horn plantain to name but two.

We also had the glorious display of wildflowers in our new flower meadow. A mass of golden marigolds, cornflower and poppy. 

There is a small and very special patch being tended by one individual, a Woad garden plot. This is part of a wider goal of opening up and looking at our relationship to plants. 

We have seen many visitors and hosted a permaculture afternoon, Speyside school visited us and numerous meetings occurred in the Outdoor Learning Space (OLS), some bush-craft work and it is heartening to see people regularly coming to proactive meditation, to bird watch or to read a book. On the table in the OLS, you will also see the book of the Garden, a collection of stories visitors add to. We are also doing a lollipop survey of what the word “harvest” means to you.

We also now have an inviting outdoor fireplace, where we cook up a harvest tea, using leaves and fruits in the garden (including a newly discovered tea bush) to share with visitors. 

As ever we have much to do, we are working on a retainer wall near the pond, keeping paths clear and the fence with the info boards is about to collapse! So helping hands are needed. 

But for now, let us now enjoy the harvest and prepare for longer nights.

Draeyk van der Horn

FHT Woodland Gardener
Green Moray Councillor  

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Findhorn Hinterland Trust, Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) SC045806
228 Pineridge, Findhorn, Forres, Moray IV36 3TB