"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 early brood of ducklings came….and went. They look so vunerable in their first few days out of the egg, almost like thistledown drifting across the water, and they are with all manner of things ready and waiting to eat them. However other females are still sitting and,with luck, the later broods will make it over these first few days and provide a spectacle on the ponds and lawns this summer.
In the gardens some lovely, early flowers are out. Frittilaries, both the snakeshead and the imperial, can be seen in the borders and they really demand a close look to appreciate their full glory. Erythronium(the dog’s toothed violet) are a lovely show at this time,also. Dens-Canis is in the woodland and the gentler Pagoda is in full flower in the Herb Garden. Cowslip is naturalising all over the grounds and,again, it is a beautifully understated spring flower. Weather-wise it has been the opposite of 2007 with cool, showery weather holding things back. However it only takes a couple of days of warm sunshine to kick-start the grass and flowers and away they come. Blossom has appeared in the Japanese garden and the whole ambience of this new addition to the gardens is very pleasing. Many weeks ago we asked a friend to carve out the shape of the seed of the Giant Sequoia, the massive tree which is the centre-peice of the new garden. He chose a piece of Douglas Fir and away he went. Well the other day he re-appeared with a carving of the seed. Kenny and I were astonished to put it mildly. The carving is absolutely stunning in detail,size and finish and in the next few days we will choose a spot for it in the Japanese Garden and fix it down. It is worth a visit on it’s own….a real testament to the very skilled craftsman that is Angus Clyne
Away from the more formal areas of the Palace the mass planting of daffodils has proved well worth the effort. The cuckoo flower is out and,as is it’s way, it springs up all over the place without any need of help from man. The first shoots of larch are out and they add a nice,green backdrop to all the yellow of the daffodils and cowslip. As has been said many times before in this diary, to really appreciate the Palace grounds you need to spend time and wander. Red Squirrels are busy, bullfinches are on the buds of the Bird Cherry, blue tits are in almost every nest box and roe deer can be seen at close quarters most evenings.
It’s been a cool spring, but nature has a way of equalising things out, so warmth is expected soon and then everything will shoot….including the grass and there’s plenty of that to keep a gardener busy. Enjoy the grounds. 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.