"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?"
On the first Sunday of this month we took part, along with about a dozen other local gardens, in the inaugural “Pitlochry’s Secret Gardens”. Organised by Pitlochry in Bloom it offered the public a chance to visit and enjoy some of the best of Pitlochry’s private gardens in what turned out to be lovely weather.
From our point of view it was a great success. The gardens were looking well, the sun shone, and we got some good feed-back from the visitors both on the herbasceous planting that has already been done and what we have planned in the future.
Kenny had an idea that some botanical poetry might bring added interest to some of the visitors and, with the help of the girls in reception to whom we are extremely grateful, had some appropriate poems printed out. Norman McCaig’s Bell Heather was a particular favourite.
Sweet pea growers seem to be complaining that this is a disappointing year for this lovely flower. Not ours. We have various types of sweet pea planted around the garden and they are a terrific show. The pastel colours and heady scent make this one of our special flowers every year. The added bonus of course is that we can pick them every few days to bring into the hotel as cut flowers. Other cut flowers that we pick at this time include freesias, crocosmia, love in a mist, chrysanthemum and sunflower.
When we took over in the garden 18 months ago we discovered a small collection of fuchsias in a cellar. Opinion had it that these, seemingly, dead plants had been without light and water for at least 3 years. Most, in fact, were dead but one had some small, colourless shoots. Cuttings were taken and they rooted, we named them “son of”, and in the borders you can see the vigorous growth and lovely red and purple flowers of the new plants.
The herb and vegetable garden has developed well this summer. The golden hop is rapidly engulfing the pergola, we have managed to persuade perennial tropeolum to grow and it is making its way upward also. Mange tout peas, rocket, beetroot, chard and lettuce are all flourishing with beans one of our few disappointments.
If you are taking a break at the Palace in the next month, don’t miss the poppies….and ask us, we can be persuaded to divulge the simple secret so that you, too, can have a lovely show of poppies in your own garden. 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.