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Flowers of Scotland

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

This evening, I am embellishing my flowers theme by including cactus flowers from nearby Queen's Park Botanic Garden, Glasgow. These first two images were taken this afternoon and provide an interesting colour dimension to Spring.

The following two images are from a vast collection of daffodils at Greenbank Garden, a National Trust property south of Glasgow.

This is Narcissus Ellen
Narcissus Southern Bell

Elsewhere today:

  • Met up with my techie friend to discuss various aspects of the website and blogs going forward. Quite a few interesting ideas to implement over the coming months.
  • Responded to a wide range of tour enquiries from around the world for both this year and next.
  • Designed an itinerary for a private Scottish Highlands tour for later next month.
  • Posted information to my GlasgowAncestry blog on Hopper family history.
Looking at the bigger picture, main news item is the continuing effect of the volcanic dust cloud on air travel (and tourism). It appears that prospects for the U.K. are not likely to improve much until the weekend. In the meantime the airlines are bleeding cash. Fortunately, May tends to be a relatively quiet month and hence I have no cancellations as of today.


posted by Catswhiskers @ 2:04 PM  0 comments


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Day Tour from Cruise Ship, Scotland

Monday, April 19, 2010

This morning I collected a group of guests who had just arrived from North America on a cruise ship at Greenock.

Our first stop was the quaint little heritage village of Luss on the bank of Loch Lomond. The main village was originally built to house workers at a nearby slate mine but the properties are now mainly occupied by seniors. Some of gardens are very colourful. After a stroll through the village we went to end of the pier to admire Loch Lomond and Ben Lomond.

View of Loch Lomond from the pier at Luss.

Viking 'hogback' gravemarker at St. Kessog's Church, Luss. This probably dates back about 1100 years and indicates the antiquity of this Christian site.

After Luss we drove down to Balloch at southern tip of Loch Lomond and then on to Aberfoyle and the Trossachs. The hills and mountains still retained the residue of the winter's snow. This is Ben Ledi.
After the Trossachs we drove on to Doune Castle with its Monty Python connection. The castle dates from then 14th century and for a while was used as a hunting lodge by the Scottish royal family who were at the time located just a few miles away at Stirling. The castle was restored by the Earl of Moray in 1883 and is an impressive building.

After Doune Castle we went to Blackford in Perthshire to have a spot of lunch and tour Tullibardine Distillery which proved a great success. The guide took us the through the process of malting, mashing, fermentation, distillation and maturation culminating in a couple of samples. This was a good tour providing a useful insight into this small, privately owned distillery which serves niche markets.

Tour group with guide.
Whisky Stills at Tullibardine

Sample of single malts at end of the Distillery Tour.

After Tullibardine, we drove down to Stirling for a short visit to the famous castle which includes the Great Hall, Kitchens and Royal Chapel with tapestries.

Finally, we drove back from Stirling to Greenock to return guests to the ship and fond farewells.


posted by Catswhiskers @ 12:42 PM  0 comments


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Visit Pollock House, Glasgow, Scotland

Sunday, April 18, 2010

This evening, I decided to obtain a little exercise and cycled down to Pollock House with aim of obtaining garden images of emerging Springtime.

P0llock House is an impressive Palladian mansion dating from the mid 18th century which is built on an estate which for hundreds of years has been home to the Maxwell family. The house is now in care of the National Trust and is open to the public.

The gardens at Pollock House are interesting but hardly a riot of colour ad diversity. Image below shows a fairly new formal garden in the library parterre. Some interesting shapes and colourful polyanthus.

This is the White Cart Water (river) which runs in front of the house. In the early years of the industrial revolution this river provided power for a wide range of industries in the Glasgow area.

Front view of Pollock House which was begun by famous Scots architect William Adam and finished by his son, John.
Side view of the house with a sprinkling of colourful plants. These gave off some pleasant scents.
On the way home I stopped by and obtained image of a Highland Cow (see top of this post) which is part of a small herd owned by Glasgow Council. Very docile and photogenic animals.

Finally, the following images continue my recent theme of daffodil types at Greenbank Garden. I never realised there was search a diversity!

This is Narcissus Camparella.

Narcissus February Gold.

Elsewhere today,I have been busy with some business admin matters. Responded to an enquiry for a tour of the Scottish Highlands and posted information to my GlasgowAncestry blog on Meikle family history.

Main story in the news is the shutdown of British and European airspace due to the Icelandic Volcano. Lot of pressure from the airline industry for some relaxation which would no doubt be welcomed by some of the thousands of stranded airline passengers around the world. Be interesting to see how this particular event unfolds. If there is no relief in the near future then severe losses will continue to mount in a wide range of industries including travel and tourism. In a worst case the neighbouring volcano could also blow-and result in even more havoc and pollution.


posted by Catswhiskers @ 12:19 PM  0 comments


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Spring Garden at House for Art Lover, Scotland

Saturday, April 17, 2010

This afternoon I went round to Charles Rennie Mackintosh's House for Art Lover, Glasgow, principally to view the garden which is usually kept in very good shape. As the images below show, I was not to be disappointed. Top image shows a notice above the entrance which reads:

The kiss of the Sun for pardon
The songs of the bird for mirth
You are nearer God's heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on the earth.

Image immediately above is a side elevation of the House itself with some seasonal garden colour.

Image below shows the central garden walkway with colourful plants and topiary.

The following two images are of colourful polyanthus.

Here is a colourful flower bed which gave off a wonderful scented aroma.

I took a fancy to this interesting shrub which could be a Tulip Tree.

Finally, I am tracking back to my recent visit to Greenbank Garden and it vast collection of daffodil varieties.

This is Narcissus Malvern City.

An interesting corner at Greenbank.

Narcissus February Silver

Narcissus Flower Carpet

Weather today was dry but a few degrees colder than yesterday.

Elsewhere today:

  • Posted information on Ferguson Ancestry to my GlasgowAncestry blog. One member of this family died in Colorado, USA in 1890. I wonder if he has any descendants there?
  • Worked on an extension to a small group tour scheduled for July.
  • Called a Canadian client to assist with a self-drive tour of Scotland and Ireland for August.
  • Had confirmation in of a self-drive tour for a couple from the U.S.
Skies remain deadly quiet due to the Icelandic volcano, no doubt causing much disruption to the travel industry. Will be interesting to see how this situation unfolds over the next few days.


posted by Catswhiskers @ 10:16 AM  0 comments


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Spring in Scotland

Friday, April 16, 2010

This afternoon I took advantage of the warm, sunny weather and cycled into the countryside to obtain some images of young lambs, a couple of which are posted here. These animals are very cute frolicking in the sunshine.

Continuing the horticultural theme of last two days I have also posted images of daffodils from nearby Greenbank Garden.

This is Narcissus Comet

This is Narcissus Syn California

With Spring firmly entrenched and summer on its way I am busy with new tours and tour enquiries from all around the world. Today, I have finalised a small group, 3 day tour of the Scottish Highlands and am well advanced with a short two day tour for an Australian family. Late this evening, received an enquiry for a self-drive tour. Nice to be busy! Just hope the Iceland volcano, Eyjafjallajokull, calms down ( or the winds change) in time for the summer period, otherwise there will be a massive fall off in inbound tourism this year.


posted by Catswhiskers @ 12:21 PM  2 comments


Anonymous Janice said...

Hi Nigel!

Indeed, so cute they are those little lambs :-)and the flowers are gorgeous.

Thanks for sharing these great photos.Really a pleasure to view them.

Take care and talk soon.


April 16, 2010  

Blogger Janice said...

Hi Nigel !

I've just read on your site that Highlands and Islands have lost nearly 100,000 sheep annually for 5 years (total flock 8 million)... how many people whose ancestors have been cleared off their native land will return there,I wonder... What I wonder too, as I am passionate about traditional knitting, is whether there is also a decline in wool trade in Scotland ? There are so beautiful yarns there !

Bonne journée !


April 17, 2010  

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Spring Blooms in Scotland

Thursday, April 15, 2010

This evening, I am continuing my theme of Springtime which I think is apposite-its a sunny day with lots of emerging colours.

Images follow on from yesterday with examples of the wide range of daffodils found at Greenbank Garden near Glasgow.

This is Narcissus Pentwan

Narcissus Copperfield

Narcissus Golden Anniversary

Narcissus Cardiff
If anyone out there is seeking a dedicated Gardens Tour of Scotland or England then let me know!

Main news of the day here is the (invisible) volcanic ash cloud which is covering the U.K. and most of Europe at a height of about 30,000 feet. This has resulted in an unprecedented shut down of British airspace together with wide ranging airport closures around northern Europe. The culprit is an active volcano in Iceland which on its own has achieved what many 'green' eco protesters have long sought in the form of a shut down of air transport with resultant reduction in carbon footprint. It will be interesting to see how long the eruption continues and how such will affect the aviation industry. Another headache for airline management!

Elsewhere today, I have been working on a new tour enquiry and posted information on McIlraith family history to my GlasgowAncestry blog. If it were not for a guest's family bereavement I would be out touring in this pleasant weather.


posted by Catswhiskers @ 10:05 AM  0 comments


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Spring Daffodils, Scotland

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

This evening, I am focusing on a horticultural theme as manifested in Spring Narcissus blooms. Earlier today I cycled up to nearby Greenbank Garden which is renowned for its collection of 350 named daffodils. During my short visit I was able to locate 21 different species a selection of which are provided below.

This is Narcissus Soestdijk

This is Narcissus Smiling Maestro

This is Narcissus Miss Muffet

This is Narcissus Lemon Silk

Elsewhere today, I have arranged private tours for a visitor in Inverness and Edinburgh, exchanged correspondence re a prospective Whisky Tour and received an enquiry for a tour in 2011. Sadly, a private tour of the Scottish Highlands which was in early stage discussion was cancelled when the clients changed their mind. As with most years, I find June extremely busy but May less so.

Posted information to my GlasgowAncestry blog on Stewart family history.

Weather here in Glasgow was dry and sunny if a little cool.


posted by Catswhiskers @ 12:45 PM  0 comments


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