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Patterns in Frost

The colours of winter are often the dull shades of brown or green, but add a bit of frost and everything changes. The veins of the dead leaves are made visible by lines of ice crystals and fern and ivy leaves are outlined by a rim of white. On bramble leaves it is not the veins that attract the ice but the flat leaf surface between them where the crystals grow. Even on the sand, the wrack waiting to float on the next spring tide is rimed in frost. All of this can be found In the corner of Bathing House Wood beside the steps to Downing Point, where shelter from the sun and wind and a flow of moist air coming from the sea have created perfect conditions for frost crystals to grow and paint le

Ivy Clearing: Finishing off

Despite the universal frost and frozen ground elsewhere in Dalgety Bay, the area that the Donibristle P7 pupils had cleared of ivy the previous week was frost free and in the sunshine. With 6 of us working we were able to remove most of the remaining roots and leave a surface of bare soil. We thus completed the task that in pre-history would have been done by wild boar. It will be interesting over the next few years to see what plants emerge from dormant or wind-blown seeds to replace what had been an almost uniform covering of ivy. The soil we uncovered was also very instructive. A light organic rich loam, helped by years of decaying leaf-mould, gave an insight into the nutrient rich soil

Planting on the Wildflower Bank

The seed mix we used to establish wildflowers on the bank beside the steps from Lumsdaine Drive to Ross Avenue contained a range of perennial wildflowers, but while a number of different species have developed since the 2014 sowing, Ox-eye Daisies have dominated. To help boost the numbers of other useful and colourful species, it was decided to grow some plug plants to supplement those that had emerged from the seed mix. Seed from a range of local wild sources was sown in spring and young seedlings were transplanted into small pots for growth over the summer. Sunday saw the first planting on the bank of these pot grown plants, along with other wildflowers that had self-seeded in the garden

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