"The Atholl Palace is one of my favourite places where each year we meet up with good friends and have fun. It's the perfect place to stay in a perfect setting with lovely people looking after us. What more could a person want?"
One of the lovely sights and sounds, of spring in the grounds, is that of the wild geese flying north to their summering grounds.
In the last few weeks each morning has seen the classicV formation of the great skeins passing over the Palace, their “wink-wink” call showing them to be pink feet geese. Just as the geese go north, summer visitors arrive, from the south, to nest in the buildings and grounds..Swallows, swifts, warblers, flycatchers and wagtails, just some of the birds you can see on a summer evening’s stroll.
Wildflowers, too, mark the changing seasons. Wood anemones now carpet the woodlands, celandines offer a bright contrast and every corner, it seems, has drifts of lady’s smock (the cuckoo flower). In the wildflower garden honesty is in flower, cowslips and primrose offer a delicate contrast and the ancient fruit trees are attracting the honeybees. Pond-skaters and tadpoles are active in the new pond. The first herbs are ready for the kitchen… chives,rosemary, parsley, sage, wild garlic and wild mustard are the first to offer, with lettuce and radish on their way under the cloches.
Daffodils dominate at this time of year. Take a closer look at them, a daffodil is not just the big,trumpet-shaped yellow one. Scattered through the beds are some species forms. Some are delicate and papery, some are double headed and some are beautifully fragrant. We will increase them in years to come concentrating on those which offer more than just a bright flower, form and fragrance will be our guide. Some of the earlier rhododendrons are now in flower. Halfway down the drive is a special favourite with lovely red blooms and the fragrant azaleas will be out soon…. Try not to simply walk passed, take time to sniff…. you won’t be disappointed. Nervously we have been awaiting the re-emergence of the herbaceous perennials. What has survived and what has died in the winter? Little green shots are beginning to appear, the garden is waking. Imperial fritillaries are in their glory, a few smaller snake’s head are also in bloom.
As part of the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s “Wildlife Week” the hotel will be hosting a guided garden tour, showing off the gardens and explaining their history and how we now attempt to blend formality with the native flowers and wildlife. This takes place on Sat. 5th of June. The free tour meets at 2pm in the Pitlochry Wildlife Garden(opp. Blair Athol distillery, where limited parking is available) and then onto the hotel grounds, finishing around 4.30pm. Places will be limited so booking is essential.
For further info. tel. 01796481394
Book at the local Tourist office tel. 01796472215
Or by email on firstname.lastname@example.org
Enjoy the gardens. Innes Smith
Innes finished in 04:41:34 and came 1987 out of 4117 who completed the race. A fabulous achievement!
Thank You to all sponsors.