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"Big Tree Country" - Part 10


By david


Atholl Palace Hotel, Pitlochry – Part B.

After lunch, I continued my search for “specimen” trees in the hotel gardens.
Adjacent to the car park, I found a recently-created bed displaying many varieties of heathers, which is colourful at this time of year.

According to my garden map, which I’d printed from the hotel’s website, I was to walk round the side of the building to the rear. This gave me a chance to admire the Victorian architecture.

The Verandah Restaurant is the prominent, white part of the building

View of the outdoor pool, taken earlier from a window in a function room

Once I’d stopped admiring the building, I turned round and saw a tall, unusual tree dominating the treeline.This is a Tulip Tree (Liriodendron tulipifera).

Tulip Tree Leaves

Below is the information board situated close to the tree.

My next stop was the hotel’s herb and vegetable garden, where some of the produce used in the kitchens, as well as flowers and foliage for displays, is grown.

Restoration of this garden was commenced in 2002, and it is on a smaller scale than the Victorian original, so as to be more manageable.

Herb bed, dominated by sage and marjoram, a seat in an arbour covered with Golden Hop, and a vegetable bed beyond

Even in September, with many bare patches, this garden is still filled with scent and colour.


Lettuce “Lollo Rossa”


_Swiss/Rhubarb/Ruby Chard

Japanese anemones mingle (a la Spritzhenry) with Geraneum

Apple “James Grieve”

Cercis and, behind it, Cotinus

Plum “Victoria”

I really had to force myself to leave this lovely spot, but time was “marching”, and I still wanted to see another two trees. First was a Coastal Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens).

This was planted here in 1880 but, at 28 metres tall, has some way to go yet.

I have left my favourite tree until last – the Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii).

Douglas Firs in the hotel grounds

I am a “huge fan” of David Douglas, planthunter extraordinaire, and always really like seeing these trees. On this garden visit, I got to see and hold Douglas Fir cones for the first time. I knew that these are unique among fir cones, as they hang down from the tree branches rather than sit upright; also, they have those “three-leafed bracts”, on the outer side of each scale.

I have to say that I had a “GOY” moment as I laid these cones on the reverse side of my map to photograph.

They reminded me of one of my favourite blogs, by Gilli (in British Columbia, where the Douglas Fir is a true original). Gilli related the native Indian legend of the Douglas Fir Cone, based on these bracts. Do read this one, entitled “The Legend of the Douglas Fir Cone”, posted 19/12/2008. It’s a really nice story.

Well, all too soon, I had to leave (without time to visit the museum). I had to be back in The Present, at home, with dinner prepared, before the school bell rang, and my children came barging through the door!

As I drove out through the iron gates, however, I noticed a fascinating floral display on the street corner:-

A Victorian Lady, “taking the air”, whilst pushing a Perambulator of blue and white flowers (mainly Petunia/Surfinia) – presented by the local Women’s Rural Institute)



More blog posts by david

Previous post: "Big Tree Country" - Part 9

Next post: Excerpts From A (recently discovered) Garden Diary (1)



David thanks for sharing your visit,it looks a smashing place and I`ve really enjoyed your blogs and photo`s......

28 Sep, 2009


Lovely, David! I'll let you off!

28 Sep, 2009


Love the redwoods, and the hotel looks wonderful, glad you enjoyed your day. :o)

29 Sep, 2009


Top photo of heathers is especially lovely :o)

29 Sep, 2009


Great blog David, thank you for reminding me of that garden. Will visit ourselves when we are next in Pitlochry.

29 Sep, 2009


looks like a fantastic place to visit, the building is beautiful. and as for the gardens .............. well simply lovely

29 Sep, 2009


On David's last blog I noted that we had stayed there a couple of times for the SRGC conference. This coming weekend is conference weekend this year ,and, are we going to the Athol Palace? No, try Grangemouth instead! I am sure that there will be quite a difference. (For those that don't know, Grangemouth is home to one of the UK's largest oil refineries)

29 Sep, 2009


Brilliant David, I have the very same picture of the lady and pram, but did you see the fisherman on the opposite side of the road on the church side of the bridge?

29 Sep, 2009


Wonderful part b of this visit, such stunning trees! Also love the white phlox - and the geranium wallichianum putting mine to shame. Think I'll go and hug a tree,it's dark enough so nobody will see me.

29 Sep, 2009


Who cares if they DO see you, Wagger? I'll join you!
Lol, Bulba, Grangemouth???????? Poor you!

29 Sep, 2009


Don't want to be accused of aping royalty, Madperth :<(

30 Sep, 2009


LOL! There's nothing wrong with being a tree hugger! Ask Indy!

30 Sep, 2009


Many Thanks! I am glad I went to see this place.

Bob, I missed the "Fisherman" :-(

B and MG. Have a great time in Grangemouth. Yes, that huge plant is certainly very different from the ones you are used to! :-) Grangemouth does have something I'm fond of. It's the Jupiter Wildlife Garden project, set up by ICI quite a few years ago now. Mainly an educational centre for children/school groups/etc., but anyone can go along, and you can buy some very good native wildflowers, and some rare varieties, too. It's like a wee oasis in an industrial "jungle".

Well, Wagger, did you hug a tree after dark? I wouldn't, at any time. :-)

30 Sep, 2009


~fantastic building and great gardens!what more could you want!

30 Sep, 2009


Aye you would, David!! Dont tell porkies!!

30 Sep, 2009


Can't think of much more, Arlene. :-))

"Oh no, I wouldn't.........! " is it still not panto season, Marie? :-))

30 Sep, 2009


It's ALWAYS panto season on GoY!!!!
Oh yes you would!.......

30 Sep, 2009


Yes it is - at times!

Oh, no, I B****y well WOULD'NT!! I much prefer to stroke them and feel the textures - so, there!

30 Sep, 2009


See! I rest my case!

30 Sep, 2009


Really enjoyed the blog, thanks David :) The Kitchen Garden was my favourite...and the Victorian lady with the pram was just gorgeous :)

30 Sep, 2009


You're welcome, Di. So nice to have a comment like this from someone sane at this time o' night (wink, wink!). :-))

30 Sep, 2009


Lol....sane? I wouldn't go that far...:))

30 Sep, 2009


Maybe it was the comment I meant! Heeheeheeheehee!!

Oh, and I meant to say "Thank You" Wagger, for identifying the geranium variety (there were no labels on anything, of course).


30 Sep, 2009


I'm still here you know!

30 Sep, 2009


What? Is this you? Where did the bonny wee lassie go? Di, what have you done to her? Oh no, and it's a full moon this weekend!!!! Aaaaaaaaaaarghhhhhhhhh!

It's also after midnight, so am now going to rest! Fangs for the laughs, closing my lid now! V V

30 Sep, 2009


Bu***r off! Lol!

1 Oct, 2009


Like the noew Avatar, Mad.

1 Oct, 2009


Thanks Wagger, its really an old one! Think I'll go back to the cartoon soon!

1 Oct, 2009


Amazing place to visit David.

Thanks for sharing it with us. Thoroughly enjoyable:0)

2 Oct, 2009


This is a wonderful series of blogs, although I'm a bit late catching up with the more recent ones.
Interesting information about the tulip tree.

21 Oct, 2009


You're welcome :-)

21 Oct, 2009


Really enhoyed your blog...wonderful pics.

10 Nov, 2009

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