"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?"
Like September this month has lived up to itís reputation and has been,truly, autumnal. The odd clear, dry day has been swamped by days of heavy rain and wind. However the tree colours are wonderful both in the Palace gardens and in the surrounding countryside.
People often ask us advice on short tours into the countryside around Pitlochry and this time of year is as good as any. A trip to Killiecrankie or around Loch Tummel will offer spectacular colours and you donít need to venture far into the local hills to hear the mournful ďroarĒ of the rutting stags. For those with an interest in birds waxwings, beautifully coloured migrants, can be seen around Pitlochry in some numbers. They feed on berries and are attracted to this area by the abundance of hips, rowans and cotoneasters.
In the gardens we are getting on with the various projects we have agreed on to enhance the look and ambience of the grounds. The main stairway has been planted with double banks of nepeta( catmint) and bulbs. Species daffodils and tulips have been planted in the borders and we have tried again with 1000 crocus and bluebells and hope we can defeat the crows this year. Later on we will move the rugosa roses to their new bed and establish a scented rose garden at the back of the hotel next to the outdoor pool. The herb garden is,also, being revamped. Fruit trees will be planted in orchard style, a deeper herb and flower border is planned along the wall and a bed full of colour is to be established at the far end of the garden.
Meantime logs need to be cut and split for the open fires in the hotel, piles of leaves gathered and composted and the lawns will soon be given their winter scarify and feed. A busy time is autumn. 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.