‘Huge house was part of our plot’
Family needed space for three kids and host of pets
WITH three young children and a menagerie of pets in tow, the Gardyne family had one priority when they were looking out for their dream home – it had to be big. And when they heard about the plans for a new development at Darroch Wood, they couldn’t resist finding out more. “This has been our third house in Aboyne so we were familiar with the village when we first heard about the plans,” said full-time mum Nicola, 38. “The more we heard about it, the more interested we became, and we started keeping an eye on it. “We saw the plots were all going to be really big, with large gardens which would be perfect for us, and there was also lots of space between the houses.” Nicola and Stephen – a 37-year-old operations manager in the oil industry – bought their house, which occupies a corner plot, when it was new three years ago.
And it offered plenty of space for them and their three children – Ailsa, 10, Ella, 6 and Angus, 3. The huge, fully-enclosed side and rear gardens include a playhouse and climbing frame, perfect for the youngsters who can run and play outdoors. But that’s not all. Other treasured members of the Gardyne clan include boxer dog Ruby, boxer-husky cross Tiggy and three Maine Coon cats, which Nicola shows professionally – Storm, Tulli and Vanilla. Bella the Guinea pig and three tanks of tropical and marine fish complete the family – for now. “We love living in Aboyne because it has a wonderful community feel and the schools are very good,” said Nicola. “There’s so much going on locally for the children, from dancing and swimming to martial arts classes and there’s also lots for the really wee kids too. “But it can also be a quiet, private place to live if you don’t want to seek out lots of activities.” The family spend most of their time together in the spacious dining kitchen which extends out into a garden room, overlooking their grounds. On a sunny day they have two separate decked seating areas outside to choose from, including one with its own fire pit. And the location of their five-bedroom house has been perfect for every member of the family – including the fourlegged variety. Nicola added: “We’re a five-to10-minute walk from the school
PET PROJECT: Nicola Gardyne, with kids, from left, Ailsa, Angus and Ella.
WELCOMING: The master bedroom, left, and the kitchen/family room. Above, exte