Blair Castle and walled garden
This Spring our tours have included many beautiful Scottish gardens across our country. We visited the stunning 9 acre walled garden at Blair Castle. Created between 1747 and 1760 by the 2nd Duke of Atholl. Sadly it was abandoned in the 1960’s but very happily it has now been restored and is an excellent addition to any visit to Blair Castle.
The entrance to the Hercules Garden through the south wall was created in 1924, when the 8th Duke and Duchess received a set of beautiful gates from friends and family. After the second world war the lack of labour and difficult economic times took their toll and the gardens fell into decline. Finally in 1989 the importance of the gardens were realised and restoration work began. The pathways, the very unusual Chinese bridge, many yew tress and statues were all restored. Many of our tours include this part of Perthshire and can easily include a visit to this special castle and the walled garden.
Scone Palace and maze
We also visited the Scone Maze. The maze is in a star shape and comprises 2,000 beech trees, half of them green and half of them copper. They were planted in such a way as to create a stunning tartan effect. We visited in June just after the maze had had it’s annual haircut and so it was looking very neat indeed.
The Scone maze is 215 feet across and at it’s centre sits a pentagonal fountain. The site of the maze is in fact the ancient area of flat ground known originally as the Monks Playgreen. it was here until 1559, that the monks of the Abbey of Scone played their own version of football. The nearby Scottish gardens of Scone Palace are also a delight to visit. We strolled among the towering conifers and enjoyed the mounds of pink, purple and red rhododendrons in May. In 2013 work started on a collection of Acers which will produce a fabulous display of autumn colours for years to come.
Castle of Mey walled garden
Our third garden of our 2017 spring tours was the northern Castle of Mey. Favourite holiday home of the Queen Mother for 50 years, this walled garden protects the flowers and vegetables from the harsh north winds of the Pentland Firth. The garden was peaceful and colourful and well worth a visit after the castle tour.
Of the four Scottish gardens we toured in spring 2017, the spectacular formal gardens of Drummond castle near Crieff in Perthshire were quite stunning.