Inverewe garden

Posted by Red Ruby Rose Wednesday, April 15, 2015 2 comments

Saturday morning didn't look like the best day to be trudging round a garden. Heavy skies and a brisk wind for starters, but we've toughened up these days and we piled on our waterproofs and headed off to Inverewe garden in Poolewe, which is a 10 mile jaunt up the road through some of the most spectacular scenery in the UK if not Western Europe. I'm not over-egging it, it still takes our breath away every time we drive the Gairloch to Poolewe road.
The heavens opened as arrived and we braced ourselves as we trudged through the walled garden. As everyone else huddled in the gift shop we had the whole garden to ourselves as the sky cleared revealing a sparkling jewel of a garden. It's a combination of factors that make this place special. Not only the latitude and aspect, but the incredible foresight of the founder Osgood Mackenzie who built the garden up from a windswept rocky outcrop. The planting is lush and diverse but still wild enough to not feel too showy. Now I will want to go again and again, to experience the changing seasons and planting which have combined to create a magical place.

Visiting the Shiants

Posted by Red Ruby Rose Sunday, April 12, 2015 0 comments

On Easter Sunday we took an impromptu boat trip to see the Shiant Isles from Gairloch. I'd been intrigued to view them up close since reading Adam Nicolson's Sea Room. We went out with Nick Davies of Hebridean Whale Cruises, this was our third trip out on his RIB boat and even though he was disappointed we didn't spot whales or dolphins this time we were more than happy to share our trip with white-tailed sea eagles, puffin and seal. The islands themselves were majestic and mysterious, looming out of the mist with sheer green-tinged basalt cliffs.

Equinox and Spring stirrings

Posted by Red Ruby Rose Friday, April 3, 2015 0 comments

Spring is arriving in subtle ways here in the North West of Scotland. Unlike the heady burst of a Somerset Spring where the sap seems to visibly rise through the branches and bulbs, there is a steely caution to the daffodils that have braved the March winds by the Lochan outside our window. I have a new found respect for the Pampas grasses which have survived the brutal winter gales and are just starting to sprout new green growth.
The surest signal of the shifting season was the toad activity for two nights leading up to the Equinox. I let the dog out for his evening sniffs and he yelped with curiosity and delight at the writhing scene. Hundreds of the little croakers!

The campsite near our house is open again after the winter break and we are slowly adjusting to the lights and activity. Sharing the beach is taking a bit of getting used to too, we've been so spoiled.
Beachcombing has been a little less frenetic - January and February seemed to be the key months for the amazing shell finds so now I'm sorting out and photographing all the treasures.

The colours of the scallop shells are amazing, from steely blue/grey to pink and orange. It's just as well I have to wait until next year for the next batch of great finds as I'm running out of space for them all.

Wallet clutches with wristlets, featuring original prints

Posted by Red Ruby Rose Friday, March 27, 2015 0 comments

Recently I've been pouring lots of energy into updated product lines and ideas. I think it's the sea air! Finally I have the first range of new wallet clutches to share. I have used these sweet metal clasps before as a standard wallet but I wanted a slightly different shape and style so I flipped them to the base of the bag so it opens like an envelope clutch. Inside there is a slip pocket and a zip compartment. Zips! I conquered my irrational fear of the little blighters.
Rivets hold the compartments together and there are eyelets at the top so a wristlet or chain handle can be added.

Oystercatcher wallet clutch, £42 at

There are 18 designs, a mixture of existing prints and some new ones too.

Flowerdale arboretum

Posted by Red Ruby Rose Sunday, March 8, 2015 4 comments

When the weather's too wild to walk on the beach we head to sheltered Flowerdale. The arboretum has an atmosphere, the trees hang heavy with lichen and the little micro-worlds of moss sparkle in the rain. A magical place.