Gardens - Scotland

Edzell Castle Gardens, Angus

The finest Renaissance gardens to survive in Scotland

Edzell Castle built of red sandstone glows in the sunlight. It overlooks a walled garden, created in 1604, and thought to be the finest Renaissance Gardens to survive in Scotland.

They were laid out by Sir David Lindsay and his  second wife Dame Isobel Forbes, whose coat of arms and initials can be seen above the gateway in the east wall. Unfortunately he died bankrupt before he saw the garden completed.

Edzell Castle

In the centre is a large spherical trimmed yew bush, surrounded by four smaller bushes.  Low trimmed box hedges (now beginning to get in need of replacement) contain rose beds. These form the shapes of the Scottish thistle, English rose, and French fleur-de-lis. Further planting is clipped into letters, spelling out the two Lindsay family mottoes, Dum Spiro Spero (while I breathe I hope), and Endure Forte (endure firmly). Round the edge is a higher clipped box hedge with clipped yews at the corners with more clipped yews on either side of the gaps in the middle of the four sides.

Edzell Castle

The walls are divided into regular compartments each about 10”square. These were planted up with blue and white lobelia. Large rectangular compartments along the base of the walls are planted with yellow tickweed.

Edzell Castle

Above these is a carved panel. Those on the west wall represent the cardinal virtues. Those on the south wall, the liberal arts. On the east wall are the five planetary deities plus the sun and moon. Along the top of the wall are small round topped niches which may have contained a statue.
Edzell Castle

In the south east corner is the summer house. The vaulted room in the bottom was used as a banqueting hall for the taking of sweetmeats after a meal. The room above contains the only surviving example of the castle’s carved oak panelling. They were rescued from a house in the village and thought to have been part of window shutters of great hall.  In the south west corner are the remains of what may have been a bath house.

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