News from Grandtully



November is always the most difficult month to write about and photograph as it is just before Christmas and the days are short and often dark and dreich. The annual fireworks at Grandtully play park usually gives us something to comment upon but they were cancelled this year due to “safety concerns”. It seems the event is now too popular for the crowd control methods used to date and some rethinking has to be done for next year. A great shame but a sign of the times we suppose.


We have had the first fall of snow this winter. Not very deep but pretty nonetheless and a welcome change from the dull and wet week just passed.

We have been using the log burners fairly regularly now and the log pile (being mostly quick burning willow) is being depleted quicker than we would like. We may have to buy some in if the pile we have stacked for winter 2018/19 is not dry in time. We still have a little to cut and stack but it is now time to seek out new sources!


The garden is looking very bare now but Hazel managed to find some berries to photograph. Not many left now for the birds to feast on, but these pyracanthas are still worth their attention.


We have only two more sets of guests to welcome to the Bothy before now and the new year (one over Christmas) and do not expect bookings until the new year. We often get lots of enquiries in January for the spring and summer season, so are looking forward to that.


The electricity supply company decided to replace our pylons and cable this month – it all went off without a hitch until farmer Hughie decided to drive some sheep down the lane just as the poles were being loaded onto the truck – fun and games resulted but the sheep went past the loader, over the road and into the field.


The weather has been drier and colder than of late so our three remaining hens are only laying an egg a day between them now and we had to buy eggs for the first time this year the other day. Having said that, we found four in the laying boxes the other morning and four more today!


Three more bare-root roses went in during the first week of November. Two of these are hybrid musks so we should get a lot of cutting blooms from these in a couple of years’ time. We have done some clearing up, but there remains loads to do clearing the fallen leaves and the dead stuff away. We hope to complete another growing bed up the top of the field this month assuming both that the frost stays away and we can get a spade in the ground or that the rain stays away and we can walk on the grass without sinking in! Two more apple trees are on order for planting this month – they are due now, but the grower has advised it has been too warm and dry in his area and he cannot dig them up at the moment as they are not yet dormant.