"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?"
For the 3rd year running our garden has won the gold award for “best large hotel”. In addition we were surprised to win gold in the “baskets and containers” class. As I have said before, although Kenny and I are the “front of house”gardeners these awards are the result of the teamwork of many departments. To all of those who have been part of the re-structuring of these lovely grounds, thankyou and onwards to new projects next year to continue the development process.
Although the season of high summer is passed the borders are still looking well. The dahlias are a wonderful show and we are beginning to come to terms with presenting them as cut flowers in the hotel. The various forms of lily which we planted in the borders and pots are also at their best and we will certainly do more with them next year. Gladiola are always eye-catching and are great for the inside of the hotel. To the surprise of our southern guests we still have masses of sweat peas. They suffered a bit early on, due to the dry weather, but have put on a lot of growth in recent weeks and provide two cuttings a week for inside flowers. And coming late in the season, but very valuable none the less, are the chrysanthemums and asters. Bold, bright colours just as the garden is winding down.
On the steep bank next to the steps is the, often overlooked, wild area. At this time the devils bit scabious and knapweed are in full flower. As well as being brightly coloured these wild flowers are unsurpassed for attracting butterflies and hoverflies. Peacock butterflies are much more numerous than usual this year and can still be seen in numbers on this bank.
As always at this time of year the red squirrels are extremely active. They are going through large amounts of nuts from the various boxes we have around the grounds and if you watch closely you will see that they are stashing most underground…preparing for a lean time in winter when it comes.
We have several projects in mind for this winter to continue the improvements in the gardens. Perhaps the three with greatest impact will be a new “Japanese garden”, a “rock/alpine bed” and a major upgrade of “lovers walk” to bring it up to a standard that will allow wheelchair users access to this lovely walk.
When heavy tackle is required for major landscaping we normally call in a digger. There is no doubt a 30ton machine can move a lot of material in a short time but the downside can be a mess. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Ivan, digger driver with the “lighter touch”, whose ability to manipulate his machine to give a fine finish is greatly appreciated and saves Kenny and I much heavy work.
Autumn is almost upon us. The borders are still colourful but soon the trees will turn. Autumn gold is the “in phrase”. Come and enjoy it all at the Atholl Palace. Innes
Innes finished in 04:41:34 and came 1987 out of 4117 who completed the race. A fabulous achievement!
Thank You to all sponsors.