Garden Portrait: 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.

Published by Heyjude

I have lived in the UK for most of my life, but when young I definitely had wanderlust and even ended up living in South Africa for several years which was a wonderful experience. I now look forward to a long and leisurely retirement doing what I like most - gardening, photography, walking and travelling.

28 thoughts on “Garden Portrait: Bolfracks Garden

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