1871 was the year that in February Thomas and his new family moved into the Garden House:
Feb 10th Friday I took possession of my new house at Palé, got in my furniture and made all comfortable.
The photograph above was probably taken in 1871 or possibly 1872; the shrubs planted by the house are very immature, and Thomas Alexander is a very small child. The reverse of the photograph shows the photographer, and annotations, the upper (pencil) appearing to be in TR’s handwriting, the lower, (pen) probably by Henry Ruddy, Thomas’ first son of his second marriage.
[ I understand that the Garden House is now privately owned, and not part of the Palé estate, and is now known as Rose cottage]
Later the same year the Robertsons moved into Palé:
Sept 18th, Monday This was a great day here, owing to Mr. Robertson and family coming to Palé to live. There was a fine demonstration of welcome. The carriage was drawn up from the Lodge, and that by workmen.
Note three gardeners at work on the lawn – possibly scything.
The Robertson family celebrated their arrival at their long-planned home by planting significant fine trees in the garden. The choice of the trees and their siting was no doubt Thomas’ suggestion.
Nov 2nd Thursday Mr and Mrs Robertson planted an Auricaria each, the former on the south side of the drive and the latter on the north side. Both trees are a good size.
1872 January 15th Monday Master Robertson planted a Deodar and a Picea Nordmaniana on lawn, each near the ends of the walls of the fruit garden.
31 Wednesday Miss Robertson planted a Deodar on lawn in front of the pantry window. Miss Annie planted a Deodar and a Picea grandis, both near the library. Miss Henrietta planted a Deodar and Picea pinsapo, both near the little walk leading to the flower garden.