Fancy a day out?

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 😀

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 😀

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 😀

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.

29 thoughts on “Fancy a day out?

  1. Thanks, Shirl, for a wonderful tour. The poppies and hollyhocks were such a colorful change from all that white stuff we've been enduring in pics, and some of you for real. I hope others will follow your lead and display some saved-back tour photos with colorful blossoms and tasteful gardens.

  2. aloha shirl, i enjoyed that tour immensely, i'm in the process of just starting a potager and its back breaking work considering the layout will all be in stone…boy that was fun going into all those spaces and climbing up and around and checking all the wonderful vistas….i'm ready for another tour how about you?

  3. Thanks Shirl, that was a glorious garden visit. From the colour of the wall rendering in the first pic I thought we might be in Tuscany! Walled gardens are one of my favourites so this was a real pleasure to stroll around with you and forget what is outside my window. Stay warm and safe. FAB.

  4. Hi again Nell, I am delighted you could join me 😀

    Oh yes… being a lover of foliage plants and greens, other colour is always just a bonus for me. However, a serious injection of colour has to be the order of the day at the moment!

    I’m trying hard not to look out my window at my white garden. I’m trying even harder to pretend I’m not seeing snow falling down on to it once again. On the positive, it doesn’t look so cold out today (says me inside and warm) 😀

    Oh yes, Nell… I’d love to lose myself in summer garden visits on other blogs right now. Have a great weekend and all the best for 2010 😀

  5. aloha noel, welcome! You’ve come all the way from Hawaii for this tour… I do hope you’re not too tired to build your potager now 😉

    Ah… yes moving stones around the garden is back breaking work I can sympathise with that one! I always love working with stone in the garden so can put up with a few aches. Most of the time 😉

    This is what is so brilliant about blogging. It connects like minded people from different parts of the world. I had no idea it could be so much fun to share something as simple as a garden visit with the world.

    Now, silly me, I should have thought I might put people in the mood for more visits with this one. Thanks for mentioning you’d like more. I have updated my posting with a link to a another posting with links to previous garden visits. You might want to check out the Naturalist Potager. This is a visit that I’ve still to write up and sort photos for. This is a very special all year round garden… you can see I’ve made more than one visit here 😀

    Now… I see you’ve just posted on a hike through Sonoma hills up in Shiloh's wine country. I am guessing this is in East Hawaii. I’m now looking forward to joining you on that. Ah wonderful… none of the pesky frozen white stuff for this trip too! See you soon 😀

  6. Oh, I'm in love with that garden and house. You've started my morning with happy daydreams and thoughts of beauty — thank you for the wonderful tour.

  7. Hi again Frank, delighted you could join me. I thought you might like this one 😀

    Yes, the rendering does look quite Tuscan doesn’t it? However, this building completely suits its colour… especially after rain. Inside there is much dark wood and some fantastic painted wood ceilings that have been restored too. It is definitely worth a visit too.

    I’m with you on the walled gardens too. I’ve still my September Cambo tour to sort photos and write. By that relentless white stuff falling from the sky at the moment I’m guessing this could be something I’ll be considering doing soon too.

    Before I hit the tour catch-ups perhaps I should look at the domestic catch-ups that have piled up whilst I’ve be on tour 😉

    Tip for you today… shut your curtains! LOL… I’m about to work in my kitchen and I really have closed the blind 😀

  8. Hi again Meredith, I’m delighted you caught this tour too 😀

    This house and garden really has an atmosphere about it that photos really cannot convey. Definitely one that inspires dreaming into the past. I’m thrilled this has started your day nicely 😀

  9. What a wonderful tour guide you are. This garden is wonderful. Seeing the seating at the end makes me wish I could sit outside here. Like you we are under snow and cold. There won't be any sitting out for some time. Thanks for the beautiful tour.

  10. Oh Shirl, what a fantastic guided tour so well described and photographed. Yes it made a great change from all the cold photos of the white stuff.

    I could have been tempted to tuck one of those basketweave planters under my arm. 😉

    Lovely gardens to look at but I wouldn't like the job of maintaining them.

  11. What an amazing place. Not only the wonderful garden but the view of the village and water as well. I have never seen a garden so large and intricate like that in the US.

  12. Lovely, lovely hollyhocks and poppies. It looks almost continental with all the terraces, or perhaps it's just the summer colours and warm ochre walls. Thanks Yan

  13. A great post Shirl – those photos have really warmed me up 🙂 We hope to get to Scotland next year in our camper van so have made a note that this might be one to visit,depending on which direction we head.

  14. This is a very nice post and the photos are beautiful. I love Scotland, it's still my dream and it's on my plan for my next European Travels.

  15. What a fantastic looking place Shirl – love the photos of the Hollyhocks and Poppies – it kind of transports you forward a few months away from the snow and ice – the roads around here if it's any consolation are still treacherous with ice – do hope you're managing to keep warm at home – what a winter you're having in Scotland – not surprised you're resorting to escape tactics! Just finished watching Snow Watch – worth it even for seeing Simon doing his Hare impressions!! Take care Miranda x

  16. Happy New Year, Shirl 🙂

    Great reminder of last summer's beautiful garden trips 🙂

    We've been at minus 20 degrees some days and nights..and I've loved it all.


  17. Hi Lisa, thank-you! I find these postings great fun to write. I couldn’t agree more about that seat 😀

    Today, I am welcoming the rain to wash away the snow. Some bigger piles will take a lot to shift but it was wonderful to open the curtains to see the greens of the plants returning. Now I’ll be able to see if bulbs are immerging through the ground 😀

  18. Hi John, I am delighted you enjoyed it! Change just had to happen… our snow looks like it’s on its way out for this time now too 🙂

    It’s weird (but wonderful) to be able to see parts of my lawn again and large sections of borders. I have a garden again 😀

    I know what you mean about those planters, they did look very stylish! Ah… I know what you mean about the upkeep of this garden too. I should have asked how many people work there.

  19. Hi Sweet Bay, I agree 🙂

    This garden is quite a special place with a very nice location too. That village/town has a great deal of character with many interesting buildings.

    Funnily enough the garden is not quite as large as it looks. It is definitely intricate though and there were many extra bits that I didn’t include in my selection of pics 😀

  20. Hi there Happy, thank-you… great you could join us 😀

    Oh yes… I couldn’t agree more about the green. Today we can see some of the greens in my garden returning as rain washes snow away. Whoopee… it’s like a great reveal going on out there at the moment. I can’t wait to get out for a walkabout 😀

  21. Hi there Yan, I agree completely. They were a treat to see that day but an even better one to look at when white was all around 🙂

    Yep… definitely a continental look going on there. You are most welcome… glad you could join us 😀

  22. Hi there Anna, thank-you! I did thoroughly enjoy doing this one too as I tried to ignore the large white flakes falling relentlessly from the sky at the time 😮

    Great, I hope you enjoy touring Scotland. Location wise if you go east or west you may just be able to visit this garden 😀

  23. Hi there Miranda, delighted to caught this visit. I thought you might like it 😀

    Oh no… I wouldn’t wish treacherous roads on anyone. I’m guessing they are better with you now. I hope so.

    Thanks, we have been warm and now the temps outside are rising again with rain beginning the great snow wash 😀

    Oh dear… I’ve missed snow watch completely. LOL.. yes Simon could always consider an alternative career as an impressionist 😀

  24. Hi there Wildlife Gardener, thank-you… and a very Happy New Year to you too 😀

    Glad you enjoyed the step back to summer. Ah but… I could very easily have guessed that you would have been one of the few that have loved being held in this winter grip 😀

  25. Hi Shirl, I'm a bit like the coo's tail here with my comment..
    It's a few years since I visited Culross and it was impressive then, warm wall colours and the tiered vegetable beds. I don't think they sold veg and the beautiful baskets on the steps are new. I feel like another visit….
    I also learnt where the saying "sleep tight and don't let the bed bugs bite"originated from when I toured the Palace. Oh for a game of trivial pursuits…

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