Let’s leave all that frozen white stuff behind for a while. I've a feeling quite a few could do with a break from it. Fancy joining me on a summer garden visit in Scotland? No need for a warm coat, hat, scarf, gloves, extra pairs of socks or boots. LOL… yes it does get warm here during the summer months ;-)
Perhaps you might like to pour a cuppa for this virtual tour that even non gardeners might enjoy… lots of pics and hopefully some ideas for you too. Remember, as always, if you click on a photo it will enlarge.
Back at the end of July we made a return visit to Culross on the Firth of Forth. A couple of weeks before, we had visited this village to see a wonderful private Open Garden.
For Scottish Garden Visits (3) we were heading to the 17th Century terraced garden behind Culross Palace. Let’s pop next door to the Bessie Bar Tearoom first. This was originally a malthouse thought to be named after a niece of Sir George Bruce, a wealthy 17th Century merchant and industrialist. The door’s on the left. After you…
Lovely… now we are all refreshed for the tour! Let’s head to the Palace shop to pay for our visit. We’re not going through the Palace this time. I had only negotiated a run in the car, a coffee stop and one garden visit with my daughter!
However, I should perhaps point out if you are not a member of the National Trust it is quite an expensive visit. To go through the Palace (the ceilings are fascinating BTW) and the garden it was £8.50 (approx $14) per adult.
That’s us, we’ve got our tickets. Let’s step out into the courtyard in front of the Palace. Oh perhaps not… a bit too refreshing out there with that very heavy summer shower. We’ll wait a moment.
Temporary tour guide hat on... Culross Palace isn’t in fact a Palace, built between 1597 and 1611 for Sir George Bruce, it was a merchant's town house. King James VI visited in 1615 but it was never a Royal residence.
Looking out through the doorway with the steps lined with basketwave planters you can get an idea that this may just be a special garden. Wonderful… the rain has stopped. Watch your feet now, there are cobbles underfoot. Let’s head outside...
Oh my… the rain has temporarily and magically changed the landscape. What fantastic reflections in the puddled paving. Don’t you think it has made Culross Palace look just breathtaking? I’m delighted I could get a photo of this moment.
Okay, are you ready to finally start our garden visit? Don’t worry, I won’t chat all the way through. We’re heading through the door behind the white sign. I wonder if you can guess what planting style you are about to see. After you, we're going up some stairs…
The restored 17th Century garden we are about to wander through has many of the plants and features which would have been in the garden at that time. It includes a small orchard with apple, mulberry, quince and fig trees. The main garden is full of vegetables, herbs, aromatic plants, flowers and fruit.
Now, not being a veggie grower I have to say I do admire a well stocked and laid out garden like this especially in the geometric Potager style. I’ll let you look around this area for yourself… look out for the pears growing on the wall to the right of the arched seat. They caught my eye.
Inspiring isn’t it? Not a sign of that frozen white stuff either… bliss! Let's head up the terraces where you can look back down to the garden to get an idea of scale…
Whoppee!! Some summer flowers and colour with bees busy feeding on pollen instead of frantic birds fighting at the frozen feeders! Okay, I’m guessing… you're guessing… that I’m getting more than a little stir crazy with our new white garden! You’d be right there :-D
There could be no fairer flower in this garden than the one I brought with me… my daughter! She was very patient while I took photos… honestly, she wasn’t a bored teenager! She enjoyed taking in the view and people watching… she loves the later :-D
Now, this is a great view of the main garden layout and part of the village of Culross with its houses full of character and history all the way down to the Forth and beyond.
Take a boat or train (line along water edge) to the left and you will head to the Forth Bridges and Edinburgh. Take a boat or train to the right and you will head towards Stirling.
Now, what’s this? I don’t remember the garden extending along here on my last visit when my daughters were younger and we had a National Trust membership. Oh… before we got through this door I want to mention the raspberries growing with red hollyhocks along the wall. I loved this planting combo.
Wow… another terrace… more plants, architectural features, nooks, crannies and seating areas. I love this too. We may be walking in a restored 17th Century Garden but it is being over-looked by regular houses of today. Quite surreal in many ways. Watch your feet now… we are walking on crushed seashells.
Another surreal feature of the view from this garden is the petrochemical works on the other side of the Forth. We are looking across to Grangemouth now. It is scary, don’t you think, that when this Palace and garden were built its people could never in their wildest dreams imagine such a place.
Re garden design I do love all the open period fencing/trellis in this part of the garden. But what’s this looking down to my left? Now, this has really caught my eye…
Regular visitors will perhaps remember my postings on Arbours and Pergolas Part 1 and Part 2. Now, this corner feature would definitely have made it into these postings.
Don’t you think this is a fantastic design. A pergola with built in seat, a cushion of herbs at shoulder height and what looks like grapes planted to grow overhead. Ah… I’m getting lost in that summer feeling now... aren't you?
Ooops… the teenager in the distance is getting a tad restless now. Perhaps you are too… sorry this has been one of my longer postings. I hope you have enjoyed this great escape for a little while.
I didn’t have time to post this garden tour at the time but wasn’t too dissapointed as I thought I could keep this for a rainy day anyway. Little did I know I would be sorting out these photos and writing about this visit when I had a carpet of frozen white stuff covering my garden!
One last terrace view over the garden… I’m coming dear daughter… although what’s that small wooden building on the left? Did you see it? Nope?
Brilliant…they are selling some fresh produce from the garden! What a great idea. I have another one for you too before I take a last look back at the garden.
On researching links for this garden I discovered something about this garden that I had completely forgotten about.
I wonder if you can guess what’s missing from this 17th Century garden scene. Actually, change of plan… I’m going to leave you guessing and tell you about it next time. Mm… I’ve a feeling there may be some who will guess though… but do you know what kind ?
Wishing you a safe, warm weekend enjoying gardenwatching if you can :-D
P.S. If you're in the mood now for more garden visits please do join me for a wander.
All photos above were taken by me on July 28th 2009. Click on them and they will enlarge. Please do not copy these images for commercial use.