"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?"
The final days of December and the first few weeks of 2007 will be remembered in the Palace and elsewhere in Scotland for a series of ferocious gales. The weather has been relatively mild but much damage has occurred to our collection of significant trees.
It started on New Years eve with all the guests, thankfully, in and enjoying the party atmosphere. At around 10pm a very severe gale blew up and wrought havoc amongst some of our trees. Casualties that were immediately apparent included a driveway lime, two very large Douglas firs and a grand old maple. Many others suffered branch damage and it could be some time before the complete picture is known. The upside of all this is a great increase in our log-pile for firewood and, of course, the opportunity to consider planting some young saplings to carry forward the tradition of specimen trees in the grounds.
Work goes on, steadily, in the Japanese style garden. We have removed many of the scrub maples whose canopies were restricting the light. At first it may have looked a little severe to passers-by but by spring the area will have healed a bit, light will get into the banks for the first time in many years and we can begin to plan our Japanese planting. A leylandii hedge has been planted along the roadside edge of the garden. Before any of you throw up your hands in horror, leylandii!!!, this is a golden variety and it will be kept tightly clipped to around 5 feet to act as a screen for the garden and give passers-by the merest hint of something interesting going on behind.
We have talked for a year or so of establishing a heather garden in the grounds. At first it was to be a rock garden but the limits to the time we have to deal with the growing expansion of the lovely gardens means that we decided to go with heathers as they accept a lower maintenance regime. The site enjoys full sun and lends itself to being moulded into a small hillside…ideal for heathers, rocks and small conifers. This addition to the garden should be planted up early in the spring and we look forward to its development.
Meantime for Kenny and I it’s back to sharpening the chainsaws, pulling on the ear defenders and getting the damage caused by the gales tidied up. A good New Year to you all and we look forward to seeing you in the gardens this coming season. 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.