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Mike's Blog - Day 184

I emailed a colleague up at the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh yesterday for his thoughts on our Monkey Puzzle. Apparently, the sudden demise of these trees is all too common and it will need to be felled. It has deteriorated since the spring.

He did say it would be OK to leave the stump as a feature. It looks like a giant elephant's foot.

We reckon it’s about 160 years old. Apparently a similar tree was felled at Bowes Museum a few years ago and made into bowls. So we might have quite a few bowls then!

I mentioned the “ha-ha” yesterday. For those of you who have never met this strange term, it’s a type of invisible boundary. Basically it is a ditch, with a vertical stone wall on one side. This stops sheep or cows getting out of their field, and from the other side the ditch is hidden, so you get an open view of the fields beyond. This dates back to way before the Botanic Garden was started, and I have attached a 1964 picture showing it in action.

Where the cows are is roughly where the Colchicums are, and the top right of the picture is where the greenhouses are.