"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?"
At last the colour in the herbaceous borders is fading. As we get nights of near frost the dahlias, chrysanthemums and roses, which have offered so much late colour, are near the end of their season and the garden as a whole dies back for winter.
To prepare for the season ahead we will be lifting and drying the dahlias. The gladiola corms will be lifted also although some we left in situ last year, in fact, flowered well this year. The rose beds have already been mulched with last yearís leaf mould and the plants will be cut back by about half to prevent wind rock, the harder pruning being left until the spring. We are dealing with the leaves differently this year. Instead of collecting and storing all the leaves, for leafmould, we have adapted the ride-on mower and the leaves on the main lawn areas and under the lime trees are being mulched. Not so tidy, perhaps, but an attempt to put some goodness back into the ground rather than taking it all away. This is a long-term project which we hope will eventually strenghthen the trees by feeding their root systems.
As ever at this time of year new projects occupy our minds. The main pond has been drained to allow us to repair the Victorian silt trap. The path network in the grounds is about to be upgraded and work on the Japanese garden is ongoing. We have also, recently, signed up to a comprehensive forestry managent plan which commits us to a significant amount of work on the woodland to protect and enhance itís biodiversity and make it a better place for hotel guests and locals to enjoy.
Another project which is giving us cause for thought is our, proposed, small rock garden. This is to be contructed near the entrance to the new museum and will be an important, visible feature for museum goers. Starting from scratch offers endless possibilities but also has the drawback, due to having to import stone and gravel to form a basic shape, of not getting it quite right. We will muse over this for a while yet until the basic structure is clear in our minds.
For hotel guests the squirrels are still very active. The last of the autumn leaves are a lovely show and a walk in the woods at this time can give a very different perspective when compared to the lush foliage one would see on a summerís evening. 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.