I’m a night owl. Meg is an Early Bird. Her blog landed in my inbox this morning and so rather than add it to a blog that has been posted here is our second blog about day 1.
Up early as usual and out with dogs around the woods then down with barrow load to carry in van with all we will need for next seven days. Set off in van with Paul driving and Ewan, Pollaidh high up in the front, with bells ringing over the bumps in the road – (edit: I have meditation bells over my gear stick in the front of the van)
We moved onto the A70 taking us to the right part of Edinburgh for the Botanical Gardens. Timing good, and we find the West Door, and meet up with Ian Edwards, Shauna Hey, Roger Hyam and friends getting ready to come with us……Janet, David, Helene and Judy….we are guided through the gardens to the student garden patches, growing bee friendly beds, with many different kinds of bees buzzing among the borage, marigolds, cornflower and the poppies flowering beautifully…..a bit of drumming and photographs to set us off on our Bee Line.
We walk out and find the track by the Water of Leith – a cycle track, tourist route taking us through Stocksbridge and onto our ways along towards the West and Redhall gardens. We pass bee friendly wild plants – buddleia growing and flowering out of the walls, past old buildings, homes, sites of mills going back to the 18th century.
Along the way, we find parts of the track have been closed because of heavy rain damage in the winter, but our guide Roger got us on the right track.
(Edit: Roger by the way has created this fabulous app)
Our companion walkers left Paul, Ewan and Polliadh and I when we got to the Murrayfield Park, where we stopped for a picnic lunch in the shade of a tall beech tree.
Then with Paul off to get the van, Ewan and I followed red arrow signs giving us the route round the flood protection walks.
With the help of the signs, some passing walkers and our map book, we were in the Rose Garden – walking alongside planted strips of pollinator friendly flowers as well as planted garden beds….we are back on the Water of Leith track…..at one point with the Saughton prison (Stenhouse) looming high on our right and acres of wonderful allotments on our left…..We stopped so Pollaidh could cool off, standing up to her stomach in the cool waters of Leith.
Then onto the last stages of the day’s walking, under the canal dripping from 50 feet up into the river, cross over the road and uphill along the waters of Leith taking our winding route through the whole days walking and finally seeing the walls on the side of Redhall Gardens, our finishing point for the day.
We arrived at Redhall Walled Gardens and received a lovely welcome from Eleanor with a welcome cup of tea.
Find Paul in the Bee Garden taking photos of globe thistles alive with bees…..a plant we need to be cultivating back at Wiston. Ideas grow for creating a bee friendly garden patch as part of our own Lodge garden and we find ourselves thinking of plants we can encourage at all the low levels in the old woodlands….We will be glad for help and advice from our new friends at the Botanics and from old friends at Redhall Gardens.
I am left with a mind abuzz with ideas of things we can do to help in our part of pollinator friendly planting, happy with the support we have found on the way from friends and strangers alike and looking forward to a meal with friends and a well earned rest for the day ahead.
Had a good wish text from Leoni from France wishing us Bonne Chance!