garden photography: Bolfracks Garden

OCTOBER is the month to share your favourite gardens.

(This month share with us what is special about your favourite garden. Why do you like it? When is it at its best? And how do we get there. Of course you may wish to share your own garden in which case unless you open it to the public, keep the actual location private. )

Continuing northwards we reached Scotland. A few days later with the weather returned to clear and sunny we discovered Bolfracks Garden on the A827 between Loch Tay and Aberfeldy in Perthshire. A short sharp turn uphill brings you to a gravel courtyard in front of a castellated Gothic-styled white house which is private. The gardens are open every day from 1st April until 31st October between 10 – 6 pm admission is £4.50 for adults.

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The garden faces north and has a fabulous view over the Tay valley and is built on quite a steep slope. Originally a Stuart property it was later bought by a branch of the Menzies family ( in fact you can see the Menzies castle from the grounds) who owned it through the 18th century and built the farmhouse. The Gothic front was added about 1830 by the Taymouth Castle Estate.

Views over the Tay Valley
Views over the Tay Valley

The soil is acid with good rainfall so suits rhododendrons and azaleas and camellias and other acid loving plants. There is a collection of old roses, viola, old daffodil varieties, hardy geraniums, sorbus, hydrangea, viburnums and a wide range of herbaceous perennials. And specimen trees.

Rugosa Rosa
Rugosa Rosa

It is probably at its best in spring with all the bulbs, bluebells and woodland planting, the mainly grass pathways were a little slippery from the recent showers, but with care we happily made our way around the garden.

One of the rose rooms
One of the rose rooms

The dark burgundy flower at the top of the rose rooms caught my eye, thinking it to be a climbing rose I was surprised to discover that it is in fact a beautiful double clematis, such a rich colour. And it complements perfectly the soft pink roses and the ruby-red penstemons.

The herbaceous borders contained many pretty flowers including hemerocallis, and even though many were going over their trumpet-shaped blooms added height and colour. Butterflies and bees were attracted to the attractive sedum edging the border. And there are one or two beauties that I didn’t recognise.

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Herbaceous border
Japanese Anemones
Japanese Anemones

The gardeners have their work cut out on this site, mowing the sloping lawns takes a lot of stamina and you wouldn’t want to leave any tool at the bottom of the garden when working on the upper slopes.

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The woodland garden is entered via  log-edged steps and guarded by a pair of lounging lions. From there you can wander through the Burn garden and in to the Spring garden, not too much to see at this time of year, but the running water of the burn, the little bridges and the turning leaves of the specimen trees and shrubs all create interest.

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A delightful garden. It was practically empty on this day except for a single American lady who was enjoying the planting and two gardeners who were hard at work, one of whom I enjoyed a lovely chat with. Hopefully he will see this post.

Bolfracks is a garden I would return to in the spring if it were not so far away. But if you have the opportunity, then I certainly recommend that you do so. You will not regret it.

Source of information: Bolfracks leaflet.

If you would like to join in with Garden Photography then please take a look at my Garden Photography Page. No complicated rules 🙂

  • Create your own post and title it October: A Garden Portrait
  • Include a link to this page in your post so others can find it too
  • Add the tag “GardenChallenge” so everyone can find the posts easily in the WP Reader
  • Get your post in by the end of the month, as the new theme comes out on the first Sunday in November.
  • Please visit the sites in the comments to see what others are posting.
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28 Comments Add yours

  1. Another wonderful garden, still flowering beautifully. I love the idea of garden rooms, and as always your garden prospects are as beautifully photographed as the close-ups. Of course I want to know what the flowers are that you couldn’t identify! A lovely view over the valley too.

    Like

    1. Heyjude says:

      I was amazed to see so much colour in all the gardens we visited. I like the idea of rooms, sadly I only have space for 2 – 3 very small rooms in my garden!

      Like

      1. What’s your definition of a garden room?

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  2. Sue says:

    What a delightful find, Jude! Wonderfully laid out, great planting and fabulous views….what more could you want for a perfect day out?

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    1. Heyjude says:

      We had a lovely day driving around the loch, but plans were thwarted by a road closure to a glen we had planned on visiting and having lunch at a pub. The gardens were a bonus find on the way back to the cottage 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sue says:

        Always good to get nice surprises in the event of earlier disappointments!

        Like

  3. Colline says:

    What a beautiful garden to wander around in. The views are stunning.

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    1. Heyjude says:

      It is in a delightful spot.

      Like

  4. What a beautiful garden! I think my favorite photo was the one of the peeling bark – I’ve never seen one with such rich, vibrant color like that.

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  5. I love Japanese anemones. Here we also call them windflowers, probably because of the way they wave about so gracefully in the slightest breeze. This is another gorgeous garden, Jude.

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    1. Heyjude says:

      We call the spring anemones ‘windflowers’ but they are the low-growing ones. https://smallbluegreenflowers.wordpress.com/2015/03/28/anemone-nemorosa-wood-anemone/

      Liked by 1 person

  6. nowathome says:

    You are so privileged to have such beautiful gardens close to you! Us here on the West Coast have mainly indiginous plants!! Very windy and dry here!

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    1. Heyjude says:

      One thing about the UK is that we do have awfully good gardens. The best in the world I think, though not always on the grand scale of the US and Canada.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. BeckyB says:

    Stunning . . . . I’d happily have both the herbaceous border and those views!

    Like

    1. Heyjude says:

      I love the wide herbaceous borders – you do need a big garden to incorporate them though.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. BeckyB says:

        Oh i know. We possibly have space for one border but I also have ground elder so losing will to live to do anything.

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        1. Heyjude says:

          Can’t like this 😦

          Liked by 1 person

        2. BeckyB says:

          Thanks – really appreciate the support. And if you ever happen to stumble across a winning solution do let me know!

          Liked by 1 person

  8. Anabel Marsh says:

    Gorgeous! I was wondering how I’d missed this as we’ve stayed near Aberfeldy a couple of times – then I remembered both were in winter. A good reason to go back in summer I would say!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Heyjude says:

      Spring Anabel, it is definitely a spring garden and will be fabulous then.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. restlessjo says:

    Never heard of this one, Jude, but it looks a good bet for Spring. It’s a shorter hop for me. 🙂 I’d forgotten how very lovely your photos are. How was Barcelona?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Heyjude says:

      A great spring garden Jo. Definitely an area to visit as there are a lot of lovely places close by. I was a little tired of all the driving though so we didn’t go too far. Barca was fab! Tired and sore feeties, but lovely. Nice to see you back.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. restlessjo says:

    Here I am, girly! Some Autumn colour to cheer you up 🙂 🙂
    https://restlessjo.me/2016/10/29/six-word-saturday-214/

    Like

  11. What a joy it must be to wander through all that verdant colour. The subject of ‘garden rooms’ sounds intriguing, i would want like sound and scent to be components …

    Like

  12. Lucid Gypsy says:

    Charming, and much more my cup of tea than Drummond!

    Liked by 1 person

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