"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?"
An abundance of fruit and nuts but a poorish autumn tree colour have typified this season’s back-end. We have noticed a lack of squirrels on the feeders but this, it seems, is because they are gorging on the enormous supplies of acorns, beech masts and hazel nuts within the Palace woodlands
It really has been a great year for nuts. One evening when Kenny and I were chatting to Fionn( owner of the Atholl Palace) we had to pause our conversation for a moment to enjoy the sound of the acorns dropping from the trees, bouncing down through the branches before hitting the ground with a plop......hundreds of them. I have watched the jackdaws greedily feeding on beech masts in the parking areas and the woodpigeons, also, are fattening up on this seasonal bounty. Mike Ross, Palace chef, converted over 25lbs of Victoria plums, from just two herb-garden trees, into a lovely plum chutney…diners look out, it could be on a plate near you in the weeks to come!
The dahlias and asters have bloomed well, only now in the last days of October is their colour fading under the onslaught of wind and frost. Kenny has been busy cutting down the herbasceous bed in the herb garden. The urgency to do this was because many hundreds of bulbs have been planted, by him, to complement the summer show of perennial flowers. Frittilary, tulip, allium, erythronium and daffodil are just some of the bulbs we hope will add early colour and form to this lovely border.
The putting green..... At last an “expert” visited us to advise on this thorny problem. A well-known professional green-keeper, he offered excellent advice on the management, mowing, feeding etc.(4mm and a roll for a fast green, 5mm for a slower and 8mm for a winter cut plus 5 tons of top dressing annually....technical stuff!) I re-iterate a lovely, if challenging, surface will appear for you in 2007. And on the subject of experts……we had a very enjoyable meeting with one of the most knowledgeable people in Scotland when it comes to acers. The Japanese-style garden was our area of concern and , in that, he was most helpful. “I love that specimen” I casually remarked at his nursery. “What does it cost?” “That one, £1500” It seems we could be dealing with, potentially, expensive stock...... we hope you will enjoy this peaceful addition to the gardens when it is planted up in the autumn of next year, although the hard-landscaping and hedging will be taking place this winter.
Kenny and I have many plans for this coming winter to expand the variety of the Palace gardens.So far we have completed a new shrub border at the top end of the herb garden, a bronze deer has been positioned, surrounded by heathers, at Highways to act as a focul point for the new development there and a major face-lift to the main entrance, off the road, is planned although we are still all trying to agree the format at this point as the brand-new Palace sign has brought a new, modern look to the area which the planting will have to complement. Many people ask if winter is our quiet time. Never, it is the time of new plans, new projects and is, actually, busier than the summer. Enjoy it all. 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.