Imagine a sloping field with cattle grazing… a stone wall surrounds it. Imagine this field twelve years on as a garden bursting with mature plants and overflowing with inspiration. It isn’t a dream…
Parleyhill Garden in Culross opened its gates as part of the Yellow Book of Gardens opening for Charity on July 19th. Wow… and what a gem of a garden this was! What a contrast to the formal gardens of Kinross House on my last visit but both gardens boasted equally stunning plants and planting in their borders.
Sculptures also appeared in both gardens but from quite different eras. Works by local artist Julia Francis were being exhibited in this garden and will be present throughout the season. “All of Julia’s work draws inspiration from the ‘spirit of movement’ as observed in the medium of dance and in nature.” Julia was present in the garden to chat to visitors about her work too.
Topiary and seating areas were also included in both gardens. I liked the contrasts in location for the seating throughout this sloped garden. Enclosed or with a view down to the River Forth, corner spots or simply surrounded by plants.
One of my favourite seats in Open Gardens visits are the ones just inside the garden gate with a table where (usually) ladies sit to take the entrance fee. A sun hat and umbrella are often close by … as are the owners. It is great to be welcomed into the garden.
We briefly spoke to the owner… with the fine Scottish name of Ronald McDonald! I asked him if it was okay to take photos and put them on my blog and he was fine with it. I have never taken photos on Open Garden visits before and would never dream of doing so without asking the owners.
There is great restraint on my part here not to chat endlessly about what parts caught my eye in this garden. Instead I’ll invite you to share your impressions of it.
Okay… just a couple of things I’ll mention… masses of bees were on a good clump of sea holly flowers. I spotted the first daylily I have ever bought (recently) in a border… argh… I think I’ll need a different location for it… more space required! I also spotted drumstick alliums in flower… mine weren’t. One week on and they are now but I guess the micro climate of the river and walls brings plants on there.
We parked in the village for our visit and walked along the water/railway path before winding our way through the narrow, cobbled streets and up past many pretty cottages with pots and baskets of colour decorating them. An added bonus of visits such as this is you discover hidden parts of the towns and villages so full of character.
Culross (pronounced coo-russ) has one well known building of character… National Trust Property Culross Palace which is well worth a visit. Now, Culross Palace also has a very steep, terraced and interesting garden but sorry by the time we left Parleyhill it was closed… another day perhaps.
As promised I do have some bird and wildife action for next time. Oh… I was so tempted to upload today’s video footage and post it instead of this posting tonight… but Mel’s comment earlier expecting to see a garden visit tonight has kept things in order! Thanks Mel… I’ll have more time to be creative with my video footage now 😀
Finally, I would like to thank Ronald and his wife for sharing their garden so others can enjoy it and I can share it with you. I also have to commend them in all the work they have put in and no doubt will continue to do. From a field to this… what an achievement!
All photos above were taken on July 19th 2009.