Many passers-by must wonder what goes on within these walls. This is the view that many will get, as they drive past on their way from Barra or Eriskay, heading north.
Many of those who do come into the garden to buy produce or our craftwork say something to the effect that they would love to live somewhere so wonderfully sheltered from the weather, and also so completely private! We agree with them, wholeheartedly : we, too, would love to live somewhere sheltered from the elements and completely private. The irony passes un-noticed, and delicious in its perfection.
Historically, the high walls of a traditional kitchen garden satisfied a number of purposes –
- to shelter high-value intensive horticulture from the elements
- to create sun-traps (and night-time warmth) along south-facing walls, favouring sun-loving fruit from warmer climes ; and shade and cool where they face north, for those that prefer it
- to deter thieves
- to provide a private space for the perambulation of the ladies and refined guests at the ‘big house’
- to show off the wealth and standing of the owner
Where we are, right by the Atlantic shore of the Outer Hebrides, I’m not sure any of the above apply ; but somehow they still conjure up a belief in a special place, within the walls.
So for those that don’t find the time to stop, here’s what our daughter Catherine has been doing within the privacy and shelter of high garden walls.
In Navara, Spain.