Castle Fraser, Aberdeenshire – the walled garden

As you can see from the photo below box topiary is quite a feature of the walled garden at Castle Fraser, they don’t seem to have a problem with box blight – fingers crossed for them!

Castle Fraser, walled Garden, Aberdeenshire    3

Aberdeenshire is quite far north so it takes the plants a bit longer to get going in the spring.

Castle Fraser Garden, Aberdeenshire

I absolutely love walled gardens though and I still miss the high wall that we had in our old garden.

Castle Fraser, walled Garden 4

Click on the photos to enlarge them if you want to see them in more detail.

Castle Fraser, walled Garden

There’s an unusual old sundial in the garden.

Castle Fraser, walled Garden, sundial
Despite Castle Fraser being fairly far north they are still able to grow fruit, thanks to the walls, and the apple blossom was just beginning to flower when we were there a few weeks ago, it’ll be looking great now I imagine.

espalier, fruit trees, Castle Fraser, Aberdeenshire

My Garden in Fife – 10th of March

I’m so behind things blogpost wise that so many I had planned just don’t seem relevant any more, but I decided to show the photos that I took of my garden back on the 10th of March when I was so pleased that at last there was some colour in the garden. I can now hardly believe that it’s the 1st of May today, so the garden is looking quite different now, but the photos are a good record for me to compare the various years in my garden.

crocuses

miniature daffodils, my garden

holly, my garden

Quince, my garden

snowdrops, my garden

Who doesn’t love pansies?

pansies, my garden

I’m happy to say that all of the primulas in my garden are self-seeding.

primula, my garden

Below is a Viburnum, just before the flowers open. I have at least three of these shrubs in my garden, I love it and so do the birds as in the autumn it has blueish purple berries which they obviously find very tasty as the garden slabs get stained with their purple droppings!

viburnum, my garden

my garden

The garden is looking quite different now, during the last few weeks I’ve been taking photographs of the fruit blossom. Sadly some of the shrubs have been blasted by frost since then, you have to be ever hopeful and optimistic to be a gardener in Fife!

My garden in Fife, Scotland

With the weather warming up here my garden has been coming to life, over a couple of days last week I took the photos below. Since then the weather has been even better, this week has felt almost like summer, however for next week the forecasters are saying it will be much colder with wintry showers – I really hope that doesn’t mean snow!

crocuses
crocuses

pulmonaria
pulmonaria

miniature daffodils
miniature daffodils

primula
primula

quince
Quince

snowdrops
snowdrops

viburnum
viburnum

pansies
pansies

garden
my garden

garden
my garden

Since taking the photos I’ve been out doing some weeding and general clearing up after the winter, and more things are in bloom now. There have been an amazing amount of really big fat bumble bees around so I hope that the predicted bad weather for next week won’t be too bad for them!

Balbirnie autumn walk part 2

I took a lot of photos on my autumnal Balbirnie walk a couple of weeks ago. I thought you might be interested to see some more of the area – so here they are.

autumnal trees, Balbirnie, Fife

tree, moss, Balbirnie, Fife

autumnal Trees, Balbirnie, Fife

The allotments are sheltered by a tall wall and backed by a lovely band of trees as you can see.

Balbirnie allotments gates, trees, Fife

So far the weather has been so mild, the birds just aren’t interested in eating the berries, so we get to enjoy them longer.

Berries, Balbirnie, Fife

Balbirnie Trees, burn, Fife

Balbirnie, Burn, Fife, trees

Balbirnie Burn, Fife, trees

How do you feel about leaf-blowers? At this time of the year they’re in use regularly around the grounds of the local big hotel which is near this woodland. Those ear-splitting contraptions must be just about the most useless tools ever invented, especially when the leaves are just blasted off the grass and left at the edge. One gust of wind and they’re all back on the grass again, and the really annoying thing is that about four strokes with a garden rake would do the job faster and silently, and obviously they should be gathered up into a wheelbarrow to make leaf-mould. With the man actually in control of the leaf-blower wearing ear defenders, the rest of us just have to put up with the racket! Yes I feel grumpy!

Glamis Castle, the walled garden, and more

It’s a few weeks since we were at Glamis Castle, but I htought you might like to see the few photos I took of the walled garden. I love the gates.

Walled Garden, Glamis Castle

There was still a lot of colour in it, despite it being late September.

Walled Garden, Glamis Castle, Angus, Scotland

And there’s a small Japanese garden area complete with Japanese style bridge.

Walled Garden Japanese bridge

I love old stone bridges like the one below.

Glamis Castle Bridge, Angus, Scotland

And old stone staircases too. This one is a lot wider than most, but Glamis Castle was not built as a place of defence it was never expected that this staircase would have marauders bounding up it. The very narrow spiral staircases in castles make it just about impossible for people to wield a sword, especially if you happen to be right handed.
Stairs and antlers, Glamis Castle, Angus, Scotland

You can see my previous posts about our day out at Glamis Castle here, here and here – if you haven’t already seen them.

The Italian Garden, Glamis Castle, Angus, Scotland

There are lots of woodland areas to walk around within the grounds of Glamis Castle, but there’s also a walled Italian garden. I love walled gardens, apart from the fact that the high walls protect the plants from the worst of the winter weather, they always feel so private and safe. Below is a view of the entrance to the garden.

Italian Garden entrance, Glamis Castle, Angus, Scotland

Glamis Castle from the walled Italian Garden.

Glamis Castle from Italian Garden

Despite the fact that it was late September there was still plenty of interest in the garden, and quite a bit of colour.

Glamis Castle, Italian Garden , Angus, Scotland

Glamis Castle, Italian Garden, Angus, Scotland

Italian Garden, Glamis Castle, Angus, Scotland

There is of course a fabulous backdrop of mature conifers in the shape of the arboretum.

Italian Garden, Glamis Castle, Angus, Scotland
I’m truly glad that I don’t have the job of trimming all those hedges, they do look great though.

Italian Garden,Glamis Castle, Angus, Scotland
I believe the purple flowers are verbena. I did have one such plant in my garden but sadly it gave up after a few years so I presume they don’t like clay soil.
Italian Garden , Glamis Castle, Angus, Scotland

Italian Garden, Glamis Castle, Angus, Scotland

You can read more about Glamis Castle gardens here. The whole place is definitely worth a visit if you are in the area.

My garden in Fife, Scotland

Just a couple of days after I did my previous garden post, when I had a bit of a moan about the lack of colour in the garden – things started to flower. The irises below must be happy where they are as they’re multiplying.
Irises, my garden

The Olearia shrub below is an evergreen with tough leaves but at this time of the year it produces very delicate looking daisy-like flowers.
Olearia, evergreen shrub, daisy flowers

The white foxglove planted itself there, as did the fern I think, but if you look closely between the fern fronds there’s a plant with a very delicate blue flower, I can’t remember its name but I bought it at the Logan Botanical Garden in the south of Scotland and it seems to be surviving well. I’ll have to look out its label
Foxgloves, fern, my garden

The London’s Pride below is a nice frothy pink but it doesn’t show up well in the photograph, it is however doing its best to take over the ‘rockery’ area.

London's Pride, my garden

My dad had big daisies in his garden which he called Shasta daisies, and I bought the ones below as a reminder of him and his garden, he started me off in gardening when I was a wee girl. Sadly he’s been dead for 40 years now. I went back to my childhood home a few years ago and walked up the lane which skirted the garden and peered through the hedge, but there was no garden left – only grass and a garden shed. THEY do say that we shouldn’t go back to places!

flowers, my garden

The roses are doing well now, Firecracker below is indeed a cracker although it doesn’t have much in the way of scent, it flowers for a long time so I don’t suppose we can have everything.

Firecracker rose, garden,flowers

Firecracker rose, garden, flowers

My garden – in Fife, Scotland

I took these photos of my garden just a few days ago using my phone, it’s fair to say that it’s all a bit ’40 shades of green-ish’.

My Garden , Fife

my Garden, Fife

It’s that awkward time of the year when the spring flowers and tree blossom are over, but the summer blooms haven’t started yet.

my Garden , Fife

The Japanese maple below is colourful though.

my Garden, Fife

The foxgloves have started to flower.

my Garden, foxgloves

Just a few days after I took these photos the roses started to bloom, but I’ll keep those photos for another post.

my Garden

Branklyn Garden, Perth, Scotland – part 1

Earlier this week we visited Branklyn Garden in Perth which is a smallish garden, just two acres, which is owned by the Scottish National Trust. It’s a lovely place and has some gorgeous plants, it’s especially scenic at this time of the year with all the acers, rhododendrons, azaleas and Himalayan poppies in flower at the moment.

acer , meconopsis, Branklyn Garden, Perth, Scotland

There are some wee winding paths through the acers/Japanese maples, but there are wider paths too.

acers, Branklyn Garden, Perth, National Trust Scotland

The orange coloured flowers are particularly striking. I think these are azaleas rather than rhododendrons.

orange azalea , rhododendron, Branklyn Garden, Perth, National Trust Scotland

But the primulas and meconopsis are putiing on a great display at the moment too.

primulas, poppies, Branklyn Garden, Perth

I think you’ll agree that the acer below is contributing a lot of colour too, with it’s zingy citrus shade and the red of its seed pods.

Japanese maple, acer, Branklyn Garden, Perth

This garden is like a slice of heaven, the only thing which mars it is the sound of traffic from the nearby road below it. Obviously when the original owners of the garden built their house and garden in this location the traffic was a lot lighter.

orange azalea, Branklyn Garden, Perth

There is a small stream which runs through part of the garden, but I’ll leave the photos of that to another post. It was just so lovely to get out and about and do something quite normal but certainly different from sitting at home as we have had to do for so long, and it felt safe.

acer, Branklyn Garden, Perth

Rhododendrons in Balbirnie

Rhododendrons, Balbirnie, Fife

Rhododendrons, Balbirnie Park, Fife

As we’re now allowed to travel out of our immediate locality for the first time in what seemed like a very long time we decided to go to visit some old friends a couple of hundred miles away, very carefully of course and keeping well away from other people. It was lovely just to have a change of scene, but two days away from home seemed like enough for us at the moment.

Rhododendrons, Balbirnie, Fife

Anyway, before we left home I took some photos of the local rhododendrons which are looking really good at the moment. These plants are growing in what was a private estate and would probably have been planted in Victorian times. Some of them have a beautiful scent, which I think is quite rare with rhoddies. But in my own garden it’s the apple blossom that is most attractive at the moment, because of the freezing cold weather we’ve been having it has been flowering for weeks, it remains to be seen if we will actually get any apples from the tree though as it’s to be just above freezing tonight – in the middle of May!

Apple blossom, my garden