Garden Portrait: Edinburgh Botanic Garden

It is almost 9 months since my visit to Edinburgh, where I finally met the restless lady who takes us on regular walks in the north-east of England and the Algarve where she spends all most some of her time. After a morning of walking the streets of the city we got on a bus and headed out to the Botanical Gardens for an hour or two.

The entrance gate is quite stunning.

Being the end of the summer season the main interest in the garden was seed heads. I found a few interesting ones.

Crab Apple – Malus sylvestris

Insects were still busy collecting the pollen.

We walked and we talked and we finally found our way to the Japanese garden area where the large lily pond enthralled us both and the red bridge enticed us further into the garden.

The not so subtle smell of candyfloss was in the air (Cercidiphyllum japonicum, known as the Katsura Tree) and the leaves on the acers were turning.

Eventually we arrived at the huge glasshouses, but decided against paying to enter as it was such a glorious day after the cold, damp, dreich day before and we wanted to make the most of being outdoors. Besides we really didn’t have the time needed to really take in what was inside.

The borders near the glasshouses were filled with late summer planting and a variety of colourful penstemons lined the pathway to the entrance, but deep in conversation we really only fleetingly took in the beauty of this garden.

Pausing to admire the view over towards Calton Hill and Arthur’s Seat in the distance. Places that in order to explore would mean another meeting as our time together drew to a close.

Calton Hill and Arthur’s Seat

It was lovely to finally meet up with Jo and to share a walk with her, so it is only fitting that this post is linked to her walks 🙂

IF YOU ENJOY A WALK, LONG OR SHORT, THEN HAVE A LOOK AT JO’S SITE WHERE YOU ARE WELCOME TO JOIN IN WITH HER MONDAY WALKS.

Garden Portrait: Glamis Castle Italian Garden

In addition to the Walled Garden is the more formally designed Italian Garden, close to the actual castle. The garden  was laid out by Countess Cecilia, the Queen Mother’s mother, c.1910 to designs by Arthur Castings. The fan-shaped parterres of formal beds are separated by gravel walks. Between the two gardens lies the Pinetum which was planted c.1870 and has a variety of exotic trees, many native to North America.

Other features include pleached alleys of beech, a stone fountain and ornamental gates which commemorate the Queen Mother’s 80th birthday.

Pleached beech trees

Like most formal Italian gardens there is a fair amount of statuary here.

And in September the beds were full of colourful dahlias of all sorts of shapes and sizes.

IF YOU ENJOY A WALK, LONG OR SHORT, THEN HAVE A LOOK AT JO’S SITE WHERE YOU ARE WELCOME TO JOIN IN WITH HER MONDAY WALKS.

Garden Portrait: Glamis Castle Walled Garden

Glamis Castle lies in Angus, Scotland and is probably best known as the childhood home of the Queen Mother (Lady Elizabeth Bowes Lyon). At the age of four her father inherited the Earldom of Strathmore and Kinghorne and with it Glamis Castle and the family spent some of their time there.

It is the setting for Shakespeare’s Macbeth and is referred to several times in the play: – “Glamis thou art” “and yet woulds’t wrongly win: thou’dst have great Glamis”. It is widely believed that Duncan was murdered here by Macbeth.

Today it looks more like a French Chateau having been extensively renovated in the 17th and 18th centuries.

The walled garden is reached via a short walk through the estate alongside the Nature Trail and Pinetum.

Once used as a fruit and vegetable garden for the castle it fell into disrepair and only recently has major redevelopment work started, including the installation of a spectacular fountain.

Even in late September the garden was full of colour. Roses were still blooming.

The wide gravel pathways radiate from the centre of the garden with deep herbaceous borders on either side. Sedums, monarda, heleniums, echinacea, rudbeckia and asters were dominant.

Trellises and pergolas were still covered in flowering roses and clematis and more dramatic colour can be seen in the brightly painted Japanese bridge and the vivid red door in the wall.

Naturally I was drawn to the lean-to Victorian style glasshouses, which appear to still require a lot of work. However, the dilapidation has a charm of its own.

Next time we’ll have a wander around the Italian Garden.

IF YOU ENJOY A WALK, LONG OR SHORT, THEN HAVE A LOOK AT JO’S SITE WHERE YOU ARE WELCOME TO JOIN IN WITH HER MONDAY WALKS.

garden photography: big tree country

During November I want to see trees or leaves or anything found in a woodland environment

(this can include individual trees or leaves or woodland/forest views, fungi, wildlife or wildflowers – it can be of an autumnal flavour or anytime in the year, up to you)

I mentioned last week about Perthshire being the country of the BIG trees, so my final post for this month’s theme on trees is about the impressive giant Douglas fir.

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The tallest tree in the British Isles is a Douglas fir sited next to the Hermitage in Dunkeld which is 12 miles from Douglas’s birthplace in Scone, Scotland. Douglas was born in 1799 and was one of the greatest plant hunters of the Pacific and NW of North America.

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Many of our walks in the area took us through forests of these magnificent trees. Above and below are scenes from the walk to Bruars Falls.

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The Douglas Fir (pseudotsuga menziesii) is named after David Douglas who sent the first seed back to Britain in 827. Its botanical name commemorates Archibald Menzies who discovered the tree in North America in 1791.

It can be quite amazing walking amongst giants.

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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 November: Woodland
  • 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 December.
  • Please visit the sites in the comments to see what others are posting.

This is your last week to share any woodland, tree, leaves etc with me as next Sunday we begin the final month of the garden challenge which is:

Urban spaces – a town square, a flower tub, a hanging basket, a floral clock or any floral display including a public park. And as we are approaching Christmas you could even share with me your town’s Christmas lights.

Thank you for all your very generous likes and comments this month, it has been a pleasure sharing with you some of my favourite tree photos and visiting your posts. I look forward to seeing what you have to show me in December.

Friday Fountain Challenge: November

My final November fountain is from Scotland, though it is fairly typical of anywhere in the British Isles – a memorial fountain.

The heart of the oldest part of Dunkeld is ‘The Cross’, where the High Street broadens out to flow either side of a central area that was once home to the Mercat (or market) Cross.

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The Atholl Memorial fountain was erected on the site of the market cross. It was funded by public subscription and built in 1866 to the memory of George Augustus Frederick John 6th Duke of Atholl. The duke had introduced a piped water supply to Dunkeld prior to which all water had to be drawn from the Tay, which explains all the wynds leading to the river.

Water Wynd

Water Wynd

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The fountain was designed by a Perth based architect C S Robertson with sculptures by John Rhind. Details in the carvings include birds and animals, gargoyles, family crests and masonic symbols – the 6th duke was Grand Master Mason of Scotland from 1843 until his death in 1864.

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The result was highly decorative and also functional. The water that flows from the fountain in summer today is not drinkable, but when first built it could serve both passing humans and horses.

The ownership of the fountain was passed to the National Trust for Scotland in 1991 and restoration of the fountain including restoring the flow of water was carried out with donations from several organisations and people. The water is turned off in the winter to avoid freezing.

If you’d like to join in with the fountain challenge then please pop over to Polianthus for the rules

This month is the time to feature fountains from your own country. I’m sure she would love to see you.