After what seemed like the longest, wettest winter, during which it became the norm to hear a splashing and squelching underfoot and most of my vegetable beds lay under 2 inches of water, we have now had more than 4 weeks of dry, sunny days here in the North-West and, believe it or not, we are now desperate for rain!
The sunsets have been spectacular, the hues over The Minch and the Inner Sound sublime and no words could come close to describing this nightly visual feast adequately.
Our plant-life, at least 2 weeks behind in its usual spring growth, has leapt forward and more than caught up, in an exuberant frenzy.
These tinder-dry conditions, which have brought devastating wildfires to nearby Torridon and Skye, have meant that the usually free-flowing streams and field drains are bone dry. As I walk to the furthest back field of our crofts, the ground below is cracked and parched and where my wellies would normally sink deep into bog and moss, they now hit the ground hard, with a crispy, crackling sound.
Interestingly, the bog cotton seems not to be put off by this transformation of its usual habitat and there is a profusion of its little popcorn-like heads, sprinkled across the fields and open spaces like never before!
We started much later this year with our usual spring clear-up and weeding, as so much of the ground was still under water and I feared for my perennial plants like strawberries and artichokes. Astonishingly, they’ve survived and are now absolutely thriving, thanks to a huge load of fresh compost and this Highland garden is a very happy one, with bumper crops of rhubarb and strawberries, lettuce and cabbage to look forward to!