"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?"
Well just as I thought my prediction of a cool,wet spring was looking laughable,the snow,rain and cool weather returned!
For most of March we had continuous warm weather which was well received by plants and gardeners alike. That all came to a sudden halt in the first week of April when traditional,Scottish weather returned. A heavy frost down to -5 deg flattened the lovely shows of tulips and daffodils and,for a while, it looked as though that might be the end of them for the season. But no, once the frost had relented they straightened up,opened their flowers and were back to normal. It’s astonishing the capability that hardy plants have to do this. They look beaten up, dead and gone....but recover.
So how has this spell of unseasonably warm weather affected things? The daffodils and crocus have been very poor, especially the early varieties. Many blind clumps with good foliage but few,in any, flower heads. The many hundreds of tulips that Kenny was inspired to buy and plant last autumn have,on the other hand, been an astonishingly beautiful show. Most are in the herb garden where they are safe from rabbits and roe deer and they are amazing with several different varieties on show. They have also been very welcome “cut flowers” for inside the hotel.Early flowering shrubs,like Forsythia, have also put on a good show this year and the flowering cherries are also covered in blossom.
When the sun shone warmly,in March, several species of butterfly made an early showing. Small tortoiseshell were the most common but green veined white(I think) were also seen flitting about.
Last autumn when I was fishing on Loch Leven in Fife,first week of October, I was privileged to witness most of the 30,000 or so Pinkfeet geese arrive for the winter. It was an awe inspiring sight to see and hear them arrive after their long journey. Well, on the morning of the 12th April most of them must have set off again as the sky around Pitlochry was full of skeins going north.Thousands must have passed over on that lovely morning....a wonderful experience just to look and listen to them "wink winking" away to each other. The moles which caused us annoyance during the winter have gone back to the woodland and the lawns are now mole-hill free again and the warm spell encouraged me to get the early tatties in. As luck would have it the night after planting it went to -5 deg but I think all will be well.
So we are back to normal weather. Not much grass growth just yet but the real push from all plants will come the next warm spell we get. Then it will be all hands on deck weeding, grass cutting and sowing veggies. 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.