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 Portrait: Croft Castle Walled Garden

I love visiting Croft (Herefordshire). There are nice walks around the parkland and even longer walks through the woodland or up to the iron-age fort at Croft Ambrey. My main reason for visiting though is to see what is going on in the walled garden and have a stroll through the ancient trees. The walled garden lies behind the castle and slopes gently uphill towards the old glasshouse which is currently being renovated.

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Every time I visit I see new additions and improvements and this month (late October) I was surprised to see the vineyard looking very well established. We have been here before – last time in spring – when the frogs in the pond were feeling frisky. But let’s have a look at the beauty found here in late autumn.

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Not only are there the expected browns and greys and tawny swathes of grasses and seed-heads, the fading greens and yellows of dying foliage, but unexpected pops of vibrant colour. Rudbeckia, verbena bonariensis, chrysanthemums, sedum, the stunning autumn colour of Rhus typhina (stags horn tree) and the hot splashes of the glory vine tumbling over the old red-brick and creeping through the denuded foliage.

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Borders are still full of flowering annuals such as the sweet-peas, roses, dramatic hardy autumn flowering lilies (N. bowdenii) and deep crimson thistles usually seen in July and August.

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Not many were taking advantage of the deck-chairs and elegant benches scattered around the garden, it was a little too chilly for simply sitting, and on the day that the clocks went back, it would soon be dusk. But the lady by the pond is still relaxed. And I will leave you with a bench I rather fancied.

More lovely walks can be found over at my friend Jo’s place.

Garden Portrait: Berrington Hall Walled Garden

I mentioned the walled garden, which is near the mansion house, on my recent walk in Berrington Hall’s parkland . This walled garden has been transformed over the last few years and at this time of year is full of vibrant colour as well as a heavily laden orchard.

Step inside

Pathway with perennial borders

Behind the potting shed is a productive potager (an ornamental vegetable or kitchen garden), interspersed with annuals such as sweet-peas, marigolds, nasturtiums, everlastings and nicotiana. Often flowers (edible and non-edible) and herbs are planted with the vegetables to enhance the garden’s beauty.

In the Vegetable Garden, a fragrant tunnel of sweet-peas

I always find strolling around a garden makes me happy. The glory of nature combined with the skills of the gardener helps to calm me down when life and its curve-balls come crashing my way. It’s been a bit like that lately.

Sweet Peas

Sweet Peas

Quex Walled Garden

In the most easterly part of Kent you will find the Powell-Cotton Museum, ( a fascinating private collection of 19th century natural history mainly from Africa and Asia ), Quex House and Gardens. The house at Quex is named after its owners in the 1500s who were the Quekes family and who prospered in the wool industry of Kent. My reason for visiting is the historic Victorian Walled Garden which is being restored.  It was an unseasonally cold day in July with rain threatening so I was quite pleased to be within the shelter of the lovely red-brick walls surrounding this garden, and to find a couple of glass-houses where I could pop inside.

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The first small wooden-framed glass-house was just inside the doorway to the garden and full of lovely terracotta pots and a variety of pretty pelargoniums.

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Some of the plants and flowers in the garden have a very tropical look about them.

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and colour was everywhere

I headed into the large glasshouse filled with cacti and succulents to get out of a squall.

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and loved the different textures and shapes

Pots full of red geraniums make an attractive collection

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and a final look at the garden

 And if you live in Thanet then maybe you’d like to volunteer in the garden and help bring it back to its former glory. I know I would.

Felbrigg Hall Walled Gardens

I visited Felbrigg Hall, a National Trust house and garden, which is close to the North Norfolk coast, in August 2013. The weather was perfect for visiting an English Garden and due to the late spring we experienced in the UK that year, many flowers were still in their prime.

I particularly liked the African Garden area where drought-tolerant plants such as sedums, osteospermums, euphobias, aloes and agave plants and palms were show-cased.

The Dovecote

The Dovecote from the African Garden

Felbrigg has a walled garden (one of my favourite kinds of garden) and the planting is spectacular. There are double borders filled with colourful perennials and annuals, communal fruit and veg allotments, beehives in the orchard, bantams, peacocks and guinea fowl roaming freely, an 18th century octagonal working dovecote and even redwoods in the west garden.

echinacea

Echinacea

If you tire of the grounds or the weather is inclement then you can always visit the magnificent hall and library or have a bite to eat in one of the cafés.

For more information about Felbrigg’s Walled Garden click HERE