Just as the sun’s warmth begins to tease the spring worm from the ground, this blog is also emerging after a long winter absence. Three weeks ago the lapwings returned to the valley, rolling in the thin sunshine with their lovely peeee-WHit calls, strutting around on the haugh in their fabulous head-dresses and generally calling the Spring forward. Today they were out in force. It was not a day to stay inside, so I walked out to the moor spring. This is the heart of the Hepple estate, cocooned in heather, cupped by the sandstone hills and hushed by the sound of wind in the pines.Read More
While Val and Nick do sterling work in the glittering halls of Fortnum and Mason, tasting, sipping, and I am sure illuminating all and sundry to the delights of Hepple Gin, a small party heads out towards the junipers at Hepple. What an amazing day to have a birthday…Read More
Mr Garden at the Douglas Fir again. This time, he means business – the needles from the spring were soft, interestingly aromatic, but not as good as those that were picked in the late summer last year. We have tested the needles through the vacuum still recently and right now, they produce exactly what we are after. So, we are making a more concerted harvest from the Hepple woods.Read More
Sean and Mary from the Northumberland National Parks have come today to help set up a number of temporary guards at the juniper stand by the spring. These guards prevent rabbits, deer or sheep from grazing young junipers. In time we will add some of our seedlings to the areas where the self-set youngsters are found. The intriguing thing is how very much better the Juniper do on ground watered by the springs that emerge at this level from the moor.Read More
No time to waste; the tap-roots are already over three centimetres long so we are using open-ended pots for the next stage.
By next year these seedlings should be ready to move back onto the hill.Read More