The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

Captain's Blog (11) Our "Awfully Big Adventure"


By david


Wednesday14 July 2010.

Weather forecast for today came true! First day of torrential, non-stop rain for weeks! Plans made,so adhered to them, and glad that we did! Might not seem like a gardening topic, at first, but, as our tale unfolds, all should become clear!

Peter Pan statue in the town centre of Kirriemuir, Angus county, Scotland

This was the first stop on our trail of the author who has privded much of the inspiration for our “Pirates” themed garden. He was born here 150 years ago, on 9th May 1860, and went on to write one of the most enduring stories ever created – and one of the the most well-known, fictional, pirates – James Hook!!!!!

There was a “clue” as we followed the map from the carpark to our destination………………………..

Now closed, run-down, alas!

My own James soon found a house with a plaque on the wall …

This is where James Matthew Barrie was born and spent his early childhood.

Barrie’s writing desk and many other items, are now in a room here.

Hmm! I think, perhaps, that Johnny Depp (aka Capt. Jack Sparrow) does quite resemble Barrie, as in the movie “Finding Neverland”, lol!

Another room in the house is furnished as a children’s bedroom, rather like one which Wendy, John and Michael Darling might have had. This is a great idea for kids. There is a large chest filled with dressing-up costumes for pirates and fairies……..

….and the chance to experience flying, with wind and sound effects.

We visited the wash-house outside, where Barrie and friends put on shows for friends, taking admission “fees” in the form of marbles and sweets.

In one corner is a very large crocodile with a ticking clock in its jaws!

The garden area continues the Peter Pan theme, with a huge crocodile made of willow, another Peter Pan statue, a “Pirates Workshop” (not open today), cannons, treasure chests, etc.

Barrie’s early childhood plays in the wash-house, later childhood pirate games with friends in their garden at Moat Brae house, Dumfries, meeting the Llewelyn Davies family in Kensington Gardens, London, and the gardens of Cudlow House, Rustington, Sussex, where he had many holidays (GOYer Shirley_tulip kindly mailed us info on Cudlow earlier this year), were all inspirations for his Peter Pan stage play; also, his lifelong fear of dying, hence a story about a boy who never grows up.

When he died in 1937, he was brought back to Kirriemuir, and buried in the family plot in the local cemetery.

Our next “appointment”, just a few streets away, was at the community garden where GOYer Scotkat does voluntary work (she sometimes posts pics and says what is going on here).

Nothing going on here, today, however, as it was just too cold and wet. It was great, however, to be able to examine how the recycled plastic bottle greenhouse had been constructed.

Door Section

The greenhouse is due to be erected at a special event at the end of this month or first week in July.

Plastic bottles also make great planters and birdseed holders

Tyres make good planters, too

Scotkat met us here, and showed us round, before went home with her to see her own beautiful garden and greenhouses. Then, she drove us out into the surrounding countryside to Peel Farm, where she runs a children’s gardening club on Saturdays. As soon as the car turned into the carpark, and I saw the old tracvtor and farm shop, I had a feeling of “deja-vu”. We had been here once before, several years ago, when Eilidh was being trundled around in her pushchair. Time, now, I thought, for an updated photo with the tractor.

After sampling the cakes in the restaurant, we drove back to Scotkat’s house and picked up my car for the trip home. There is, however, a final “twist” to this tale! Before breaking up for the summer holidays, the children at the gardening club had been given an “assignment”, with the chance of winning a prize. Each child was given a tray and a plug plant of dwarf lavender “Peter Pan”, and asked to grow a miniature Peter Pan “secret garden”. Scotkat very kindly gave James and Eilidh the same. I wonder what they will come up with?

We were also given 2 mystery bulbs to plant, to see what grows. We think that they could be some kind of lily?

And so, our day ended as it had begun, with a Peter Pan “theme”, lol!
it was also good to get home and, for once, not have to water our own “Pirates” garden. :-))

More blog posts by david

Previous post: "The Haven" (3)

Next post: "Chip Shop Plants"



What a fantastic day out you had. Scotkat deserves a medal for all that hard work. Ask a busy person is so true because she is just so effective. I hope she gets lots of support from the community. I was interested to see how she put all those bottles together. We'll all look forward to seeing what James and Eilidh come up with. I wonder how long it will take to solve the identity of that hidden treasure inside the bulb. Glad the weather did not dampen your spirits. Can anyone have a go at the flying? My grandchildren would love this.

15 Jul, 2010


"Awfully" good blog David :o)))
Do you have water butts now filled up in your garden ?

15 Jul, 2010


lovely blog David......glad you had a great day out

15 Jul, 2010


What a great day out for the children and Eilidh looked just like Tinkerbell lovely . Great idea with the plastic bottles what a great way of recycling. The tyres, I use to use these in the 70s, only I would cut the tyre in a little over half all the way around and turn both sides inside out the larger side useing for the stand the other to plant then paint them, or make a swan out of them as a planter.

15 Jul, 2010


Scotsgran - for this greenhouse, the joined-up bottles were threaded onto bamboo garden canes, which are then stapled onto the wooden batten framework. The whole thing has been made by a local man in his spare time.
The "flying experience" is part of the museum and children just help themselves and try it out. There is also soundtrack from one of the movies playing, where Peter is helping Wendy to fly - a very clever idea! :-))

Tt - I was beginning to think "What an awfully big blog" LOL!! No butts (must ask my landlady about possibility of this, though), but plenty of spare pots and tubs which we haven't yet used, so no drainage holes, well-filled yesterday and today. :-))

6d - "Swan planters" from tyres? Brilliant idea!!! Also, to turn them inside out, too! :-))

As Scotkat has shown in her pics, the tyres make a great way to grow potatoes. Just add another tyre or so and more compost as you "earth up" the foliage, maybe even add in another layer of seed potatoes, too. Excellent!

15 Jul, 2010


Fascinating blog, David, so much packed into one day - bet you all slept well that night! Ingenious idea for the bottle greenhouse - a work of art really. Thanks for such an interesting blog - I really enjoyed it :)

15 Jul, 2010


What a fantastic day out for all of you David. Just shows you can have fun out and about whatever the weather ! Those recycled tyres make brilliant planters !

15 Jul, 2010


looke as if you've had such fun! :0)))))

15 Jul, 2010


Thankyou David a fantastic blog to be continued.

And everyone Davids children are a real joy.

I will also add to my community garden blog of what we do next time I get along.

Along 28th August at kids garden club we will be planting up an apline bed.

15 Jul, 2010


Lovely and interesting blog and pics,David.Glad you had all had a good time,despite the awful weather..Some great ideas there...

15 Jul, 2010


Another great day out for you and the family David, that bottle greenhouse is a fantastic idea as are the tyre planters. Thanks for sharing your day .......

15 Jul, 2010


I hope that this will continue, Kath, and look forward to yoiur news. ! Many Thanks, again, for adding so much to our wonderful day out!!! XXX

Just goes to show, methinks, how gardening to a theme can be extended to days out with the kids, and how real meet-ups with fellow GOYers, can be so rewarding! Gardeners (especially GOY ones) really rock!!! - trying to be "cool" like the kids -LOL!!!!!!

15 Jul, 2010


Fabulous David what a great day out you all had a blog full of interest as ever loved it :o)

15 Jul, 2010


You all had a wonderful day . That's great :o) It was interesting to read this.

16 Jul, 2010


It relly was a great afternoon but David and kids in morning my hat goes off to him for still meeting up that dreadful weather.

I could only meet in afternoon but sent text when got home earlier to arrange to meet a wee bit earlier than planned re weather.

We all got soaked my hair normally staight but with all the rain went a bit wavy:)

Greenhouse open night was to be 28th July but re weather cant get it put up so next planned open evening in 4th August.

David is hopeing to be able to pop over .

If not I shall post photos of the event.

16 Jul, 2010


Many thanks for giving the new date, Kath - hope I can make it!

I also had a reason for choosing this particular Wednesday - and so, the weather wouldn't have mattered a bit! Next week, J and E will be in London for a week at their uncle's. He lives right next to Kensington Gardens, and we have spent a great many happy hours there in the past, in the Peter Pan-themed children's playground next to the Elfin Tree. Kensington Gardens is, of course, central to the story of Barrie and his inspiration for his original Peter Pan stage play, and has, of course, the "official" Peter Pan statue. I am sure that they will get more from this summer's visit, now, having seen the "beginnings" and the "end", so to speak. It was so great, Kath, to have you continue the "thread" with your Peter Pan miniature garden theme, and your gifts to my children. I have squinted at their ideas (interesting), but will leave alone. There might be some interesting results after their break!!! :-))))))

17 Jul, 2010


How wonderful David for your children to see both and to get involved and your children getting the pleasure of dressing up.

I did for get to say to you David the task of a Peter Pan minature garden also has to have story written by the children all about their own minature garden .

If you are able to pop up to Peel to see the minature secret Peter Pan Gardens ,it will be a great afternoon.

I am so thrilled to have planned to get my kids garden club involved in a fantastic summer holiday project.

17 Jul, 2010


What a fabulous Blog, David, I've scrolled through twice in case I missed anything the first time ... lol ! The writing desk is wonderful, so glad it's been saved and the children being able to dress up and pretend to fly is a brilliant idea. Thanks for name-dropping me too, glad to have assisted you.
Have a great weekend. : o ))))))

17 Jul, 2010


Nice blog like the idea with the bottles. I have one on my Bramley apple tree ,with an apple grown in it.

21 Jul, 2010


At last I read your awfully big adventure too, today.
Great, also for the children ;-)
I wish our children were still small, then we could follow your example.

27 Jul, 2010


fab story, fab blog david and lots to see nr you , great to see .thanks

6 Aug, 2010

Add a comment

Featured on

Recent posts by david

Members who like this blog

  • Gardening with friends since
    14 Aug, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    16 Jul, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    12 Jan, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    4 Apr, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    18 Sep, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    29 Jul, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    16 Feb, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    9 Aug, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    22 Apr, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    22 Oct, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    7 Jun, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    5 May, 2010

  • Gardening with friends since
    8 Apr, 2010

  • Gardening with friends since
    28 Mar, 2010

  • Gardening with friends since
    14 May, 2010

  • Gardening with friends since
    10 Nov, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    3 Apr, 2010

  • uma

    Gardening with friends since
    28 Oct, 2009