10 years on – Photos

I’ve been trying to take photos of the same views every 3 months to give a record of how things have changed over time.  I didn’t start from the word go, but some of the photos date from when we first bought the site in 2007, since they are good views!  It has been ten years that we have been here now, so I thought I would share some before and after shots.

View from above the road.

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This is taken from the prevailing wind direction (South West) As you can see we have been trying to establish a wind break of trees along the top of the bank.  Our property boundary is the middle of the road  The ones by the road have done fairly well, the ones further along to the SE/right less well.  The soil is either too shallow, or too wet (the rock shelf holds the water) for them to thrive.  The spruce that were by the house have all provided their tops as christmas trees in the past to stop them getting too big (they are very close to the house).

Fruit Garden.

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These aren’t quite the same angle but give an idea of how the fruit garden has evolved.  The willow fedge was planted in 2009, and is still a bit sparse in places due to the soil being a bit shallow.  I put rubbish such as dock roots and bramble thinnings on the uphill side of it to try and build up the soil.  The tree that you can see in the centre on the earlier picture was a pear tree that did not survive.  The soil is a bit shallow there, even though I had built it up a bit I think the tree got a bit dry.  The morello cherry that was planted at the same time is doing well, you can see it in silouette against the polytunnel in the recent picture.  I pruned it to open it up a bit this year.  It had one cherry last year!  The monkey puzzles here were planted as 2 ft trees in 2009.  You can’t see them in the earlier shot, but I can see two ( towards the left) in this year’s shot.

From above orchard looking towards river

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Again, not quite the same view point.  The picture from 2009 must have been just after shearing!  I can just see the fenceline at the bottom where we had started planting the trees in the pond area at the bottom.  Note no deer fence in the earlier picture.  They are definately starting to look like trees now, and even woods maybe in places!

From North corner by river towards house.

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The trees here had been in a couple of years by 2012.  The deer fencing however had only just been erected, and we soon noticed a difference in the growth of the trees – or at least the growth which has survived.  Two houses to the north of us have been erected since we’ve been here.  These alders are amongst the best grown trees now.  We may consider coppicing them soon, before they get too big.

River from viewpoint

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The first picture was taken as we were planting trees along the south boundary.  You can see the temporary fence that excluded the sheep.  The deer fence on the perifery went up a few months later.  The spruce in the centre are slightly close together pehaps, but won’t grow back once cut down.  That will leave a clear space for planting something else.  It’s fairly damp there, so maybe more willow.  We’re especially pleased with the growth of the alders on the right hand side here.  In six years they have grown from foot high transplants to being able to exclude vegetation partially underneath them, and becoming an effective wind break.





9 thoughts on “10 years on – Photos

  1. J & D > We now wish we’d been a bit more systematic with photos, because like you we’ve started with very little, made slow progress, and had lots of setbacks. And yet, isn’t astonishing what a difference there is looking back over the 10 years (15 in our case)!


  2. I’m glad that over all your trees are growing successfully and that fencing has worked to keep deer and sheep off. I have the same issue with shallow soil… I know there are things you can do but apart from the work involved, I feel that if it is too much effort it is better to find something that works without it, such as your cherry vs the pear tree.

    By the way, the strawberry runners are ready to send. I’ve got your address from back in June but what name should I put on the envelope: ‘SkyeEnt’?


    1. I’m Nancy Bell. If you click on my profile picture there is a little bit about me. I have few secrets!
      Not all the trees as individuals are successful, but as a whole they are doing well. The cherry is doing better it 1) has deeper soil and 2) has a bit more shelter perhaps next to the polytunnel? The house and garden are are not deer fenced. I think maybe the smell of Dyson (male dog) keeps them away at the moment.


      1. Thanks, Nancy. I couldn’t find your profile on my phone (we don’t have a computer at home). Anyway, I’ll post the runners after the weekend.

        I’m happy to hear Dyson may also be deterring unwanted attention towards your trees.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Wonderful project. I visited on the strength of your liking a comment of mine on waiting for a Freegler. When I lived in Newark and some friends took on a cottage on a Welsh hillside, they transplanted many arboreal seedlings from our garden. Quite a few of them survived

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m trying to propagate more local seedlings now. If you look back at my earliest posts on lessons learnt, that was one if the things that in hind sight I wish we’d done differently – get more local provenance tree stock. I’m sure that’s why some of the trees have struggled more, like some other incomers they just don’t likd it on Skye.

      Liked by 1 person

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