Gardens - Scotland

Mertoun Gardens, St Boswell's Borders

A pleasant garden along the banks of the Tweed, with a very old dove cote

The gardens are well off the tourist beat and get few visitors. Overlooking the banks of the River Tweed, they are signed off the B6402. They are reached down a long woodland drive with parking in the stable block where there is an honesty box and a leaflet about the gardens.

Arrows point the way through a gate and along a path past a pen with golden pheasants which leads to the  front of the house. This was built 1703-5 and is a rather plain rectangular building which is not open to the public.

Mertoun Gardens

In front of the house are lawns with an ornamental pond with white water lilies and yellow iris.  There re informal flower borders with catnip, hebe, Sedum spectabile, geum and Astilbe.

Mertoun Gardens

Much of the garden is parkland and woodland with many very old specimen trees and Azaleas which by the end of June were getting past their best. Well made gravel paths drop down to the stream with the circular dove cote dating from 1567 and thought to be the oldest in the country.

Mertoun Gardens

The walled garden is here. We were a bit dismissive of this at first as it  is built on a very steep slope with mown grass and a few fruit trees.  In one corner is the old Mertoun House dating from 1677, a well proportioned and attractive building and now the head gardenerís house.

The working garden is at the top of the slope. There are vegetable gardens and herbaceous borders colourful with geraniums. peonies, ornamental poppies, allium, thyme, rock roses, catnip, foxgloves, lupins, aquilegia, hosta. There were figs and apricots growing in one greenhouse and tomatoes in another.

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