“I am two tools – shredder and strimmer” jokes Raymond. “I used to have a petrol strimmer and shredder, but now that I have more time I do everything by hand. The great advantage of that is that
I can still hear the birds sing when I work. I hear other gardeners moan about the pruning and clippings they have to take to the tip, but I see it as a harvest of fertility that goes back to feed my garden.”
“When I was in employment I used to run into the garden to get everything done as fast as possible. Now that I'm retired I have the luxury of working at a slow and steady pace.  The slower pace means I can give more care to each individual plant.
In general I'm out when the chickens are. They wake me up at 7 in the morning, and after letting them out I spend a couple of hours in the morning and afternoon outside, with generous breaks for meal times and relaxation.”

Mulching plays a major role in this garden, where cuttings and prunings and ground cover are spread throughout the forest, giving an annual push to what has been called ‘The Wheel of Life’ Other than that, Raymond prefers to keep the local grasses and a ground covering geranium to hold the ground together

New developments/Succession
“I am pretty happy with the garden as it is now and don't want to change much. The Monterey cypresses are coming to an end – two went down in a storm, and we cut down the others in January 2014 and replaced them with tree buckthorn  Hippophae salicifolia, from the slopes of the Himalayas. - four females for fruit and two males that will be pollarded for leaves to be dried for a very nutritious tea. “

A bigger question is what will happen to our garden in the long run. “At our age it is natural to wonder what and who will come after us – both in this garden and in the Towans. It is such an intricate system, it embodies many years of learning - how do I pass on what I've planted, and how to manage, harvest and use it all? “
Finding someone to take on the garden will be a challenge, but Ray takes heart from the fact that  young neighbours are starting to take an interest in his approach.

He is philosophical about the future and aware that growing is, in some way, always an act of hope quoting an early American ecologist remembered for his observations, published in 1915 “Soil, ever slipping in streams to the sea, is a kind of placenta enabling living beings to feed upon the earth” “The purpose of farming is to prepare for the life yet to come” as the motto for his engagement with his garden in the dunes.
ebbingei – prefers 2 varieties to fruit well (garden centres tend to sell clones)
best for fruiting: wild species; Limelight, and Forest edge
glabra – non-fruiting N-fixer
multiflora – Goumi berry e.g “Sweet scarlet” 1/2” berries, reliable cropper
commutata – no fruit so far
umbellata – performs excellently; planted as windbreak; vars “Big Red”, “Red Cascade,” “Ruby”,
“Hidden Springs” (particulary suited to these exposed conditions), “Newgate”.
This species has recently acquired a reputation as a most nutritious berry, cited as having 12 times more lycopene (antioaxident) than the much lauded cooked tomato. It had been renamed autumn berry in the U.S.A. to distinguish from the European Olive.