Diary of a Scottish country lady
February after the snow
Wishing all our readers a very Happy New Year. Between the snow showers earlier this week, a calm moment with clear reflections in the moat. Now the moat is frozen over with a light layer of snow on top. The snow in the potager is laced with birds' tracks as they look for the remains of the crab apples, and check out the thyme, parsley and fennel which are flourishing.
Crab apples covered in december snow in the Potager
Snow today, and the crab apples are looking wonderful (my dog thinks they are the best toy in the world, and jumps and pounces on them, tossing them up in the air and bringing them inside and chasing them down the passages!) The moat froze just enough, in parts, for the snow to rest on it.
Inside we are busy decorating everywhere for Christmas - with the story of Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs, as well as our traditional creche, fir trees, army of nutcrackers and Christmas stockings waiting for Father Christmas (the Pere Noel) to come down the chimney.
Sully in November mist
The season of mists and mellow fruitfulness is upon us - the spiders' webs are covered in dew drops in the morning, the mist rises from the moat, there are still a few pumpkins glowing orange in the kitchen garden (not as many as there were because they are delicious, especially, and surprisingly to me, just steamed). Storks have flown over on their way south, and a few days ago a swan was overhead, both with their very distinctive cries.
It is quiet at the chateau now for a few weeks, after the excitement of Hallowe'en visits, as we prepare for the Christmas season.
Summer at Sully
Summer heat is coming! The Château sits serene above the moat against a brilliant blue backdrop, and the fish in the moat are growing larger on the bread fed to them by visiting children.
The kitchen garden is filled with flowers and vegetables, and there will soon be lots of blackcurants waiting to be tasted (at their best straight off the bush). Most of the redcurrants, green and red gooseberries will soon eaten or made into jam - on sale in the shop. There will again be hens resident in the bottom of the garden, sleeping in the Dovecote (doocot to the Scots), and laying well (we hope!).
The parasols are giving welcome shade outside the Tea Room, and the walk through the woods to the Chapel is deliciously cool. The Stables are also cool, and quiet - unless Sir Muffins and his troupe of assistant detectives from visiting schools are passing through. Early this afternoon Sir Muffins and his assistants were on the track of a missing ruby, while Dame Petronille led a group of children through the garden identifying herbs before joining Dame Meurette in the Château basement for fruit and vegetable tasting, and our 2.30 guided visit turned into three, with one visit in English, one in French, and one in Dutch.
A German couple said it was the most alive Château they had ever been to.
Spring is coming...
Cowslips and wild phlox cover the grounds, and the garden is filled with tulips and primroses in a multitude of colours; the apple and pear and cherry trees are all in blossom. The gooseberries were the first to be in leaf giving a welcome green to the garden early on. The sun is shining and we are basking in a delightful early spring warmth.
"The most alive Château we've ever been too."