The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies. Gertrude Jekyll

Annie's Little Plot

Annie's Little Plot

Monday, 27 February 2012

The majestic Scots Pine.

I've not posted on my blog for a few weeks, for a couple of reasons, I had a terrible stomach bug which knocked me back for nearly a week. Terrible, I don't want to go through that again. Unfortunately it coincided with my other half, Martin's big birthday but I recovered just as we were due to go away for a few days, which is the second reason why I've not posted for a while. The break was well timed though as we both had a much needed rest. It was a bit of a last minute booking, we decided to go up to Scotland to try and catch the last of the snow, so Martin could do some snowboarding and I could do some walking. So whilst I'm catching up on reading my favourite blogs most of you have been making the most of the mild weather and getting going in the garden and at your plots. However, the mild weather was not good for us and unfortunately the Cairngorm mountains were severely lacking in snow, so no snowboarding for Martin. If we'd have gone the week before we'd have been OK, but the mild weather and the rain has caused most of the snow to melt. But we got out and did some good walks instead. This is the Cairngorm range from Loch Morlich.
We stayed in Aviemore which is in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park. I just wanted to share a wonderful place, Loch an Eilein, it is within the Rothiemurchus estate, one of the largest surviving areas of natural forest in Europe. The ancient Caledonian forest used to cover most of Scotland but now only around 1% remains and is home to some specific wildlife not often found elsewhere in the UK. Such as red squirrels, crested tits, crossbills, capercallie, wildcats, pine martens to name but a few. It is largely Scots Pine, Birch, Rowan and Aspen. According to Rothiemurchus website the average age of the majestic Scots Pine trees is over 100 years old and some over 300 years old. Loch an Eilein (loch of the island) is a beautiful loch within the forest, with a 13th century island castle.
You can walk round the whole loch.

But for me the trees are the stars of the show.

The bark at times encrusted in lichens.
Some of them look truly ancient.

A little surprise at the end of the walk.


  1. Scotland is such a beautiful place. We went on holiday there last year for the first time and were blown away by the scenery and wildlife. We went to Skye and Mull but I'd love to see the Caledonian forest will have to make a note of that loch you can walk round sounds just our thing. I had wondered why you hadn't been posting. Sorry to hear you were ill. These bugs can really take it out of you can't they. At least it sounds like you had a lovely break and rest in Scotland.

  2. Thanks wellywoman, yes I love Scotland too, I try and go at least once a year. Skye and Mull are spectacular for the scenery. I also love the area round Ullapool, shame its such a long drive. It was good to recouperate in such lovely surroundings. All well again now and eager to get going in the garden and at the allotment. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for good weather this weekend but we'll see. I can sow some seeds whatever the weather.

  3. Glad you enjoyed your break - it looks lovely - sadly, I'll probably never see it as I am not a very good traveller. Hope you are feeling fit and well again ready to tackle all the gardening year holds.

  4. Thanks Elaine, thats a shame but well you have such a lovely garden, I can imagine its hard to leave that as much as anything! Its good to be back in my plot at such a exciting time of year. I'm ready and raring to go.

  5. Good to see this post as I was beginning to wonder where you were!
    I think that a break like that at this time of year is ideal, and that's a great place to visit. Flighty xx