"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 odd weather patterns of 2010 continue with virtually the whole of May passing without any significant rain. This has put even more pressure on the shrubs and trees which suffered throughout the winter as we just havenít got enough moisture in the ground at present.....but the sunshine is welcome.
Most of the shrubs which we suspected had been affected by the winter have in fact perished.In common with many other gardens some of the shrubs looked as if they might be rallying but ,then, they were brown and gone. As I reported last month the hypericum and ceonothus were badly affected as were some clematis,climbing rose and,surprisingly, some conifers.The plants which have flourished in this extraordinary spell of weather are headed by the wood anemone. This lover of shady woodlands has put on the best display for years and given the woodlands a lovely carpet of discreet,white flowers. Blossom on our orchard trees has also been exceptional so,with luck, this will be translated into a bumper crop of fruit in a few months time.The bed of paeony roses,which we planted last year in the herb garden, are not yet in flower but they to look as if they are going to produce a tremendous show of their large,papery flowers.
The Japanese garden is developing and maturing well. Flowering cherries and rhodondendron are giving lovely bursts of colour and the water loving marsh marigold has spread throughout the burnside and gives a colourful show at this time of year. Walking in the garden the other day I was surprised how the astilbes were coming on. They werenít the following day....chopped to the ground, and strolling away up the bank were the resident family of roe deer......licking their lips and smiling as they went! When I was trimming the devasted(by the winter) bed of hypericum in the Japanese garden I stumbled upon a mallard duck sitting on what turned out to be a dozen eggs. The following day she had hatched and her brood were bobbing about in the water. As always with ducklings some did not make it over the first few days but she is now resident in the top pond and on the lawns with six survivors which are growing quickly on all the bread and tit bits guests are feeding to them. A lovely sight.
As part of the Tayside Biodiversity Action Group Spring Festival we have been holding some Tree walks in the grounds.Itís always a pleasure for Kenny and I to take tours around the gardens explaining the history of the place and how it came to be the wonderful,peaceful, woodland garden it is now. You donít need to come on an official tour though, the gardens are there to be enjoyed whenever you feel like it, at your own pace. 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.