Gardening, Local Beauty Spots and …….?

The Clyde Estuary from Skelmorlie

In my last blog I was speaking about a change of plan, which led to us visiting Scotland’s most ‘Southerly Point’. However we did manage to reinstate the planned visit with the family at Skelmorlie, and were blessed by amazing weather. So before I share about the garden here are a few photographs.

The hills of Clyde, the wonderful Clyde’

For the past few weeks however I have spent some time in the garden and greenhouse. The grass was cut and strimmed, the patio power washed and paths weeded. It’s been good to have the help of my grandson and my long forbearing wife! We have enjoyed the Spring flowers and the tulips in particular have been beautiful.

Its Springtime in the Garden!

With the Greenhouse now up and running, some seeds have been sown in the propagators, and some are already being repotted. ‘Plug plants’ bought locally are also being brouught-on, and will soon be ready for planting out once the threat of frost has past. This year I’ve reduced the number of tomato plants to four, but I’m still planning to grow the usual peppers, corn, chives, parsley and lettuce, and three bags of potatoes amd one bucket of carrots! I have also installed some new shelves (see below) in the greenhouse and plan to grow some house plants just for fun and a change. Plans are one thing, but I’ll wait and pray, to see how the season progresses. Here are some pics.

The Greenhouse at the beginning of the season 2023

April of course brings us into ‘Summertime’ and clock settings have moved on one hour, so its great to note that the sun is not setting now until 8.40pm. This allows us to have a short drive to some of the local beauty spots, in the evenings, as an alternative to the afternoons. Here’s some pics of local beauty spots visited this month!


Gardening in Scotland is always tricky business as the weather fluctuates so quickly. Today the sun was shining as I worked in the greenhouse, but as we went shopping in late afternoon, the sky was dark and we had heavy hailstones. Tonight the greenhouse will definitely require the heater as the temperature is due to drop below freezing again. So we need to keep on guard as things change quite rapidly.

Below is the poem which is carved in the plaque above ‘the Bonnie wee well‘, on the Gleniffer Braes, which we visited the other night. I remember the first time my mother took me there for a drink as a wee boy when we were walking on the hills. It seems a shame to see it looking rather dilapidated now, with the well dried up. The larks, which as children we watched on the moor, now also seem to be few and far between. Great memories however of this place.

“The bonnie wee well on the briest o’ the brae, where the hare steals to drink in the gloamin’ sae’ gray, Where the wild moorland birds dip their nebs and tak wing and the Lark weets its whistle ere mountain to sing”. Hugh Macdonald – 1817-1860

Springtime is my favourite season of the year, as everything is bursting into life again after the wet and dreary weather, which we had for much of this past winter.

And of course, Springtime always includes Easter, and at our Church we had a special weekend remembering the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. First a meal together then Communion on the Friday night, followed by a service in the park on Sunday morning, with ‘an egg hunt’ for the kids. The main Easter Service brought the Church together for a great celebration, when we joined with Christians from around the world proclaiming, and celebrating the fact that ‘Christ is Risen’! Then on Easter Monday there was a picnic at ‘The Kelpies’ near Falkirk to cap a great weekend. You can listen to the Sunday sermon here, well worth a listen!

I did say in my last blog that I would tell of other places we visited when down in the Mull of Galloway, but I decided to make a short video instead, which you can see here. (A six minute watch) I hope you enjoy it.

Trust you are well wherever you are! I wish you successful gardening, and God’s blessing.


It is Summertime, in My Heart!

When I looked out our bedroom window this morning my phone was registering a temperature of minus 7 degrees centigrade, so it was tempting to stay in bed. The resident robin however was looking in the window, just to remind me that the seed box needed topping up! It was certainly a Christmas Card setting, lovely to look at, but how thankful we were that the central heating is still fuctioning well. And the garden looks somewhat different too in winter, take a look!

The weather changes so quickly here in Scotland and it has often been said ‘that here you can have all four seasons of weather in one day’. Just shortly before this cold snap set in, we had spent a lovely weekend with family at Skelmorlie on the Clyde Coast. It’s winter, so the days are short, but one advantage is that the place is quiet and it’s easy to find a place to park. We visited the Isle of Cumbrae on the Saturday, and it seemed as if we had the island to ourselves.

By 3.30pm we were headed back for the ferry just before dark, after stopping off at the Ritz cafe for something to eat and a hot drink and to play the Juke Box! ๐Ÿ™‚

Soon we were back home to the family’s place at Skelmorlie. There is nothing quite like sitting toasting your feet at a warm fire on a winter’s night, after your evening meal, and enjoying some good conversation. Then its off to bed!

Reflection: You’ll have noticed the strange heading of this blog ‘It’s summertime in my heart‘? I know summertime is not actually reflected very much in the story or photographs. These however were the words of an old song that came to mind as I looked out of the window this morning. We sang them at our Youth Camps many years ago and still they come to mind.

Summertime In My Heart
It is summertime, in my heart
It is summertime, in my heart
Since Jesus saved me
New Life He gave me
Evโ€™n in wintertime, itโ€™s summer in my heart.

I wonder what your reflections are when you think back to summer days in your childhood? For me I remember sunny days and going out to play with my pals in the ‘bluebell woods’ just a couple of hundred yards from where we stayed. Time was spent having our picnic, building dens, playing cops and robbers, and best at falling, and climbing the trees. Then there were family holidays by the seaside ….

Winter of course was different, foggy days, ice and snow, wind and rain, scurvy legs and Snowfire, a hot salt sock round your neck for a sore throat, cod liver oil and malt, and your chest rubbed with Vick! ๐Ÿ™‚ Games nights at home, table tennis, Ludo, Halma and Snakes and ladders, and push-h’apenny!

Two very different seasons!

Life of course has its changing seasons too! I think in the good times we could say ‘its summer in my heart’, and in times of difficulty ‘it is winter in my heart’. The childhood song above tells how Jesus makes a difference even in the winter times, which come to us all throughout life. At Christmas time we remember His Name was Jesus because he came to be a Saviour, and still is. He gives new life to all who will open their hearts to Him. He saves from our sin and its consequences, He stays beside us as our comforter and guide, and leads us safely home.

Jesus calls, ‘Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.’

I’m so glad I opened the door of my heart to Him, he has been the light of summer and of winter in my journey thus far through life. JESUS is God’s unspeakable gift at Christmas!

Happy Christmas to all my followers and fellow bloggers!