Gardens - Scotland
Scotland’s most important formal gardens
in the depths of rural Perthshire, these delightful gardens
are reached by a dramatic drive along a narrow road lined
with mature beech trees, forming a canopy above.
A stone archway in the wall leads into the outer courtyard of the castle with the disused C15th tower house and a gateway through to the small ticket office.
Beyond is the inner courtyard and the present castle built in 1689, when the 4th Lord Drummond was created Earl of Perth and wanted a castle befitting his status.
The Drummonds supported the Jacobite cause and the house and estate was declared forfeit and seized by the state in the 18thC. It was sold to Captain James Drummond who began a number of improvements. The formal gardens and terraces were laid out in the 1830s. The castle was restored and remodelled in 1890. It is not open to the public and is a splendid large stone building with turrets and family crests.
A metal gateway leads from the inner courtyard to the top of the terrace and the gardens. Even though we have visited the gardens many times, the first view of the gardens from the top of the terrace never fails to take our breath away. It is stunning. Photographs are impressive but the actuality is even better.
They are an amazing sight with neatly trimmed low box hedges with roses and bedding plants, ornamental Acers, carefully trimmed trees, urns, statues and peacocks. The central design is a St Andrew’s cross with a tall obelisk at the centre. This is in fact a sundial made by John Milne, master mason to Charles I, in 1630. Beyond, the eyes are drawn across the garden to the wooded hillside beyond with a wide swathe of grassland running up the hillside.
Stone steps run down through a series of stone terraces to the garden below.
There is a narrow brightly coloured herbaceous border beside the grassy walk along the first terrace. Steps lined with fuchsia bushes lead down to the second terrace with Yucca and huge blocks of white quartz along the top of the wall.
Gravel paths run through the main garden with carefully trimmed box hedges marking out the design of the parterres. The central path has lavender bushes between the box hedges. The rest of the design is filled with rose bushes or yellow and red antirrhinums. Large and small ornamental Acers are planted round the gardens.
In the grass areas beyond the formal flower beds, are coniferous trees, all carefully trimmed. Many are shaped to look like giant mushrooms.
At the end of the garden, gates in the walls lead down to the vegetable gardens and greenhouses.
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