Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter already! The daffodils have already finished, the azaleas, rhododendrons and camellias are coming into their own, anemones and violets are popping up all along Pan’s walk and the drive is lined with primroses. Already the bluebells are muscling in on the act and before we have time to breathe summer will be on us.

There are a few sad gaps in the garden though. The sharp winter – unusual for us – has left several of the older and more exotic plants damaged or dead, including a glorious fremontedendron on the wall of the Privy Garden and several tree ferns in the oriental woodland walk. On the other hand, Geoffrey sees this as another chance to plant and enlarge the beds, so they will not be missed for long.

Peafowl eyeing the redcurrants
Peafowl eyeing the redcurrants

The potager is undergoing a radical clear out, too. Several beds have lain fallow for a couple of years and are now being cleared and planted with herbs and vegetables for the summer. We are particularly looking forward to having sorrel for soup and borage for Pimms again! And, as you can see, the peafowl already have their eyes on the redcurrant bushes in the fruit cage.

The house is all clean and bright and waiting for new guests and we are proud to announce that once again Kilmichael is to be an AA Red Star hotel and Inspector’s choice for 2011. Similarly we have received VisitScotland’s Gold Award and our self catering cottages are still firmly in the five star category. Moreover, the cottages won a gold medal for design at the Scottish Hotel Awards (see accolades!), so all in all, we feel just a little bit proud of ourselves and our staff.

Chinese aviary complete
The new Chinese aviary

Speaking of staff, Helen is back from her extended trip to foreign parts and our two waiters, Rastislav and Imrich, are joining us for another year. Imrich’s handiwork beyond the Dining Room can be seen in the glorious Chinese Aviary, which is now complete with gilded dragons and temple bells and boasts its first occupants, a pair of very superior quail!

Well, time is getting on and we can almost hear the garden growing. The wild garlic is almost at the door and it won’t turn into soup by itself.

We really look forward to welcoming old friends and new acquaintances to Kilmichael.

Blossom and sun on mountain
Spring sun on the mountain
Wild garlic by tree and burn
Wild garlic... soon to be soup!

Scottish Hotel Awards - Design Gold Medal logo

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Kilmichael Country House Hotel and Deluxe Cottages
Glen Cloy  •  By Brodick  •  Isle of Arran  •  KA27 8BY

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