Not kept in secret, although hidden away, Fingask Castle did feel like a secret find yesterday. The promise of snowdrops drew us along some quiet back roads only a few minutes from a very busy dual carriage way that I have driven along so many times. Since writing this gardenwatch blog I have been surprised at the activity going on in my garden that previously I have missed. It is also becoming clear I have been missing much outside my own garden too.
Topiary and statues I had expected to find at Fingask based on the description on the Scottish Snowdrop Festival website. With that in mind I had asked my Mum to join me on this trip to discover snowdrop displays. However, I had no idea the humour and charm we would also find there. What a setting this castle had. The red flowers of a rhododendron brought us from the lawn up to a shaded path behind it. Sculptures at the end of this path drew as along it. What a wonderful focal point!
Fingask Castle has been bought by the Threipland family four times in the last 400 years! I wonder if they are responsible for adding the selection of sculptures and more unusual garden design features of this garden that we discovered as we walked around. Notice the window frames placed into the hedging. Looking to the plants, the river of bergenia coming down the grass banking and around a water feature caught my eye. We didn’t explore the garden behind the wall as it appeared to be a private area.
Let’s have a closer look at this pair below… having a quiet drink on the terrace! The next statue tells quite a different story. I am guessing by the look on the faces of the family the man (husband/father most likely) is going away to work. Perhaps he will be away for some time. Our visit had absolutely no concept of time as we explored this magical place. Oh… but we were here to see snowdrops…..
A gentleman, not the one in the statue below, suggested we walked a particular route down the hill away from the castle to find the snowdrops. I am guessing by his attire, manner and voice he could have easily been the owner. He was with someone at the time so it wasn’t appropriate to ask him.
Below the road and under a bridge, making their own white streams and waterfalls, snowdrops brought life to this area. We followed narrow paths through dense shrub plantings. Scatterings of snowdrops were seen along the way. They were looking particularly beautiful on the wonderful browns of the ferns lying on the ground. Snowdrops are just so very pretty and elegant aren’t they?
It was time to go and we headed for the car park admiring the view all the way out to the Tay Bridges before we left. However, I didn’t put my camera in my bag quite yet. I laid it on the back seat of the car knowing full well I would use it just once more! On our drive up we past a wonderful display along the roadside. I stopped the car on the way down to capture our first and last images of the snowdrops at Fingask Castle.
This weekend I hope to visit another quite different area with displays of Snowdrops so fingers crossed the weather will be fair. This year I am looking to see if any other area, within travelling distance, can beat the vast numbers of snowdrops I saw at Dalmeny last year. Now that woodland really does take your breath away!
Meantime, I should give a quick recap on what’s been going on in my garden. Mm… I need to get out there a do some ‘real’ gardening. Things are moving on out there with crocuses now showing their lovely smiley faces when the sun comes out! Tulips are pushing their leaves through the ground and there are hellebore flower buds just about to open. Ah… the gardening year has well and truely started!
Finally, if you are considering visiting this garden I should add that it isn’t open on Saturdays. I will be discrete here to avoid an onslaught of advertisers. A cake and a special white dress may well be the reason. You might like to look at what else this Castle has on offer besides snowdrops. It really isn't so secret after all and is quite a special location for…
All photos above were taken on February 24th, 2009.