The quaint village of Aboyne and the rugged heights of the Rockies may not appear to have much in common.
For Canadian-born Georgette Hollingsworth, though, Aberdeenshire was a welcome reminder of home.
The oil and gas worker finally put down roots on Royal Deeside after years spent travelling the world, having lived in the Far East, Houston and Norway.
There was something about Fir Trees which captured her heart and she fell in love with the granite period property.
She believes life has come full circle and plans to return to Canada after 20 years in the shire.
“I have spent 35 years abroad and now I want to retire to the west coast,” she said.
“It has been a very emotional decision because I have adored Fir Trees.
“My guess is that it is so named because of the two large fir trees in the garden.
“When we started our house hunt it was pretty tough going. The prices were sky high and competition was fierce.
“Securing a property anywhere around Aberdeen at that time was challenging to say the least.
“Having lost several properties already due to the closing process, I really tempered my hopes of the possibility of owning a home in Aboyne.
“From the moment I first drove into the village, the distant forested hills reminded me of a vista etched in my mind of beautiful British Columbia.
“I recall thinking ‘well if I can’t be back in Canada just now, this may just be the next best place to call home’.
“It reminded me of part of the foothills in the Rockies. I liked it right away and I loved how the village seemed to open out.
“It was a reminder of home and there were beautiful views of the hills.”
There is something rather charming about Fir Trees with the main entrance canopied by a white clematis.
The five-bedroom property was built in 1902 for a local jeweller and has been carefully modernised by Georgette and her partner Robert.
“One of the things I’ve always loved about Fir Trees is that although it’s granite, it’s not completely grey,” she said.
“It has tinges of pink and it also has a lovely history.
“My neighbour told me stories of everyone who has lived here over the years.
“I think it gives Fir Trees even more character.
“My initial impression was that the house looked quite grand from the street.
“But it was hard to imagine it was really as big as it said on the brochure.
“That’s where the magic started. As soon as I stepped inside I felt welcomed and knew I could make Fir Trees my own.”
The accommodation offers traditional quirks and includes a morning room, dining room and family room.
The latter is referred to as “the heather room” by Georgette, as it has been decorated in purple tones.
“It has always felt cosy and we spend so much time in there,” she said.
The dining kitchen offers the ultimate entertaining space and has been completely revamped, with a red four-oven Aga and underfloor heating.
It provides ample space for dining furniture and also offers access to the flagstone courtyard.
The south-west wing provides two further reception rooms.
There is a spacious family room and a triple aspect lounge with wood-burning stove and French doors.
You’ll find all five bedrooms upstairs, including the master bedroom.
This room has a dressing room and en suite, as does the guest bedroom.
One bedroom is currently in use as a pilates studio, demonstrating the versatility on offer.
Outside, the well maintained gardens wrap around the property and are well stocked with a variety of herbaceous plants and flowering fruit trees. There is also a fire pit with seating.
“The gardens have been my real love; I am a very keen gardener and I will miss the grounds terribly,” said Georgette.
“It has always felt very private here and I’ve pottered around to my heart’s content.
“The iron gates are framed by rhododendrons and we’re also situated in a conservation area.
“Yet we’re only minutes away from the fabulous Aboyne Golf Club, gliding field, a local hospital and a cycle path to the village of Ballater.
“It’s now time for a new adventure.”
Offers should be made of more than £600,000.
Contact Aberdein Considine on 01330 824646.