News from Grandtully

 

July

 

As promised last time, more pictures of rambling roses in bloom this month. Sharon is very proud of her “moon bed” so-called because of the planting was with the phases of the moon and the plants were partly chosen for the reflective qualities at night. The big plants are scabious which were raised from seeds obtained locally. They ended up rather taller than we anticipated but the garden can easily take such large flowers!

 

After some good weather last month, there seems to be quite good regrowth on six of the ten tea plants, so we are hoping that these will survive if we protect them from the frosts next winter. The apple trees with fruit that survived the late April frost are ripening those fruits nicely – those trees that lost all their fruit are at least putting on some good growth for the future, so there is always something to look forward to.

 

We had a little excitement the other day when a squirrel managed to nip through an open door and into the house. This is always a bad idea as squirrels are tremendously nervous creatures and hate being confined. We managed to get it into the study and close all doors except the French windows to encourage it to leave whereupon it jumped from its perch, onto Sharon’s head (!) and escaped so all was well. Sharon managed to capture a quick photo of the squirrel sitting on the Bothy bookings calendar – perhaps it was sizing up the numbers of visitors….

After the previous success in publishing a short bee video, we thought it would be worth trying a video of Sharon in the process of capturing a swarm that had just landed on one of the apple trees (a Howgate Wonder, but we doubt the bees read the label) next to the hives. It is interesting to see how the insects can be gently scooped up in the hand and deposited somewhat unceremoniously in a new empty hive. The idea is to provide them with a nice convenient place to live rather than them having to send out scouts in order to locate a suitable new home. Thus far the plan seems to have worked and they are settling in well. That gives us six hives at time of writing.

Finally, local events over the next month include the Soldiers of Killiecrankie re-enactment which has become a regular feature of the year; and the main event of the Aberfeldy summer calendar, the Athol and Breadalbane Agricultural show on the 12th August. We noted that this coincides with the “glorious twelfth” so we hope that does not impact the contributor and visitor numbers to the show. We hope to post some pictures of the main events in the next News.