"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?"
After much discussion and “consulting of books” we came to our decision about the style of roses we wanted to plant on the main stairway, in the new beds around the outdoor pool and in the herb garden.
So it was on a lovely winter’s day that Kenny and I took the scenic drive through Glenshee and Braemar to visit Cocker’s Roses in Aberdeen where we had arranged to meet the owner to discuss our plans
Our demands, to us, were simple. The roses had to be long flowering, fragrant and easycare. Our first surprise, having already dug over the beds with dung, was that roses don’t like many things. Fresh dung, bonemeal and fertiliser seemed to be taboo if coming into contact with the roots. Feeding, we were advised, should be done March to June, then stop. Anti fungal spray should be applied early and fortnightly. So, armed with technical data on the ideal rose husbandry routine we made our choice. We have gone for a mixture of hybrid T’s, floribundas and half standards, with fragrant climbers and ramblers in the herb garden. We were advised that single colour beds would give the most stunning effect so we have chosen yellow for the stairway and red for the pool area. Now we have to wait for delivery, plant them according to the advice we were given….then wait and hope that it all works out. Roll on June.
In preparation for the revamping of the pool area we have built two sets of steps to help you off the steep banks, either end. The old beds have been cleared of their tired plants and as well as roses we are going to plant lavender in blocks and replace the rather poor willow tree with a flowering cherry. Again, we look forward to the change this will bring to this lovely suntrap.
Earlier this year( March) Kenny witnessed a squirrel moving it’s young. It seemed very early but only this week we saw a pair mating, so young squirrels will,again, be on the go in February. Incidentally if you want to watch squirrels, they seem to be most active up until about 11 o’clock in the morning and the feeder on the way to the herb garden is the top spot this year.. Meantime have a Happy Christmas and prosperous New Year and to all of you who have shown an interest in the gardens this past year we look forward to meeting you again next year. 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.