Ryder Cup: Willow figures & garden welcome

As Gleneagles plays host to the 2014 Ryder Cup, the folk of Perth & Kinross (the area of Scotland Gleneagles is situated) have been getting ready to welcome everyone here all summer! It is my privilage, as a garden blogger living in the area, to share with you some images that might not make it to the huge TV audience this weekend.

A warm, welcome to golfers and gardeners alike…

The Fifth hole at Kinnesswood decorated with team flags 🙂

A series of willow sculptures were commissioned in honour of the Ryder Cup being held at Gleneagles. Local artists Georgia Crook and June McEwan produced delightful characters which were installed in the towns and villages which successfully applied for these pieces of art depicting solitary golfing figures.

Perth & Kinross Council has brought all these solitary golfing figures together with a Willow Sculpture Trail (competition to collect letter clue to make a topical phrase, deadline 10/10/14). The number of willow figures represent the traditional 18 holes on a golf course plus that well known 19th hole where golfers gather after play to relax – usually the bar of the golf course clubhouse 😉

Roadside Willow golfing figures sited at Kinnesswood & Bridge of Earn

The Sixth hole at Bridge of Earn making a big impact in a small community. Congrats to all involved helping Brig in Bloom! Nice job 🙂

So… if you fancy a round of golf with a difference, you can explore the area of Perth & Kinross through its current willow sculptures. In order of play they are Auchterarder, Aberuthven, Dunning, Kinross, Kinnesswood, Bridge of Earn, St Madoes, Perth, Coupar Angus, Alyth, Blairgowrie, Little Dunkeld, Pitlochry, Aberfeldy, Comrie, Crieff, Muthill, Braco and back at the clubhouse, Blackford.

The images in the links above don’t show extra amendments that the residents were encouraged to add to help bring the sculptures to life (like the bunting and flags above). Window displays in towns and flags outside buildings have appeared now too, all in celebration and support of this sporting event the whole area is delighted to play host to.

Like visiting gardens and in the Gleneagles area just now? How about a break from the golf for a couple of hours with a stroll around a garden you might not expect to see in Scotland?

The garden below was a surprise to me when first visited many years ago. We thoroughly enjoyed our recent, return visit passing all the activity and building of structures at Gleneagles en route too! What a contrast there is between Gleneagles and a garden visit like this one right now…

Drummond Castle Gardens.

Nearby (8.9 miles from Gleneagles) Drummond Castle Gardens have extended their opening hours to welcome everyone visiting the garden on the Ryder Cup week. During the period of 21st – 28th September 2014, the garden is open from 10am – 6pm daily.

I absolutely recommend a visit – it really is sooo relaxing to walk around with its pathways that just draw you in and along them clearing your mind as you walk. You feel like you could be part of a period drama. Here’s a bit of chat on the garden before some photos from my visit back on the 10th of September 🙂

“Drummond Castle was built on a rocky outcrop by John, 1st Lord Drummond. The 2nd Earl, a Privy Councillor to James VI and Charles I, succeeded in 1612 and is credited with transforming both the gardens and the castle. The keep still stands but the rest of the castle was restored and largely remodelled by the 1st Earl of Ancaster in 1890.

From the east gateway on the Crieff Muthill road, visitors drive up the long beech avenue to the car park and then walk to the outer castle court. On passing into the inner courtyard and attaining the top of the terracing the full extent and majesty of the garden is suddenly revealed. The dominant feature of the parterre design is a St Andrew’s Cross with the multiplex 17th century sundial at its centre.

A strong north-south axis runs through the garden, down the impressive flight of steps to the sundial, through the classical archway and kitchen garden beyond, cutting a swathe through woodland before rising to the top of the opposing hillside. This idea of drawing the countryside into the garden is essentially French; however, Drummond is an eclectic garden and also rooted firmly in the Italian style with its fountains, terracing, urns and statuary.”

Drummond Castle Gardens website 25/10/14

Just imagine how many bees would have been feeding on those magnificent,
long plantings of Stachys byzantina (syn. S. lanata; Lamb’s Ears).

Just imagine living here – a family does 🙂

Knot the garden for you? Sorry couldn’t resist 😉

The Peacock gardenwatch team patrol the vegetable garden!
Staff benefits include regular quality control tasting of produce 😉

Dazzling dahlias front the impressive Greenhouse.

The impressive Greenhouse packed with high quality flowers, fruit & veg.

The even more impressive cold frames behind the impressive Greenhouse!

You’re impressed I can tell, but its time to head home or back to watch golf 🙂

Take care on the steps and on your journey home – haste ye back 🙂

On my road home now, road signs for the Ryder Cup are never far away. Back at home, helicopters ferrying VIP’s have been heard today bringing this event quite literally to our own back garden! We will be watching TV coverage with a helicopter soundtrack I suspect but that just adds to all the excitement of a special sporting event such as this.

Wishing everyone a great weekend especially the players and visitors to the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles. Finger’s tightly crossed that our, not always predictable, Scottish weather is kind to everyone attending and that visits to Drummond Castle Gardens can be enjoyed too 🙂

Copyright: Original post published on https://www.shirlsgardenwatch.co.uk/ by blog author Shirley, September 25th 2014.

11 thoughts on “Ryder Cup: Willow figures & garden welcome

  1. My Husband and I are watching the Ryder Cup as I type. At least it is on tv. I am enjoying your tour of the Castle garden. I love those willow sculptures. I would like to have one in our garden. 🙂 I will watch for these sculptures. Maybe one will be shown on tv. Love this post. I hope you have a great weekend too.

  2. Nice to see the whole of Perth & Kinross getting into the spirit Shirley. It must be an incredible atmosphere rightnow.
    Drummond Castle is quite a 'home' isn't it? I've never been but it certainly deserves a visit at some point.
    Those sculptures are marvelous – well done to one and all. My paternal grandfather was born in Dunning – so I suppose I've a bit of Perthshire in my heart 🙂

  3. They showed some of the willow sculptures on Breakfast News this morning and I immediately thought of you and close you are to them. Thanks for showing us some more of them – I thought it was a great idea 🙂

  4. Hello everyone, thanks for all your comments 🙂

    Adrian, thank-you, 1x photo shot doesn’t really capture the sculptures, being made of a natural material it takes on a different appearance with even the most subtle changes in light. I loved the warmth of the early morning sun on the first close-up one and with the flags gently waving together I felt it said something about the competition 🙂 You are not alone on disliking golf and often the commentary on TV doesn’t help and then there’s that quote "Golf is a good walk spoiled." However, pre children I remember one particular late summer evening on a small hilly course. There was a warm red sky and a hot air balloon popped up and down in the sky as we (newbie golfers but don’t play now) enjoyed this walk hitting a small ball with a stick. With no other players around at this later time we were mesmerised by our surroundings and it’s a walk we will always remember 🙂

    Lisa, I guessed you’d get good coverage in the US 🙂 I have wanted to blog on this garden for a few years now. This day was free to go and it was an eye opener seeing the activity roadside at Gleneagles as we passed it. We loved seeing the stacked unit/boxes with ‘snoozebox’ on the ends. It was fun tying the two in. I too would love one of those sculptures in the garden and I have the perfect place in mind too 🙂 VP below says they have been shown on breakfast TV here but I missed it. I agree these Peacocks suit their setting 🙂

    Angie, It is 🙂 It’s nice to see more peeps visiting the area. We are even seeing visitors and staff shopping in our local supermarket and we are a drive away. It was my daughter visiting with me the said wouldn’t it be great to live there. I’m guessing she meant growing up there too! The sculptures are better in ‘real life’ my photos and the ones shown on the links to them all don’t do them justice. You may have Perthshire in your heart right enough 🙂

    VP, doh… and I missed it too 🙂 Great to hear they covered it though 🙂 I posted this just before midnight the night before – If I had known they were going to cover it I would have mentioned it. I now regret not trying to get more photos over the summer when I’ve seen them. I initially thought they were in support of the Commonwealth Games until recently when the Ryder Cup signs and clues appeared. I only discovered the idea behind them when writing this post and I agree it’s a great one! I genuinely thought of you when I took the BOE photo as I took a photo along that road for one of your out on the streets postings ages ago 😀

  5. Exciting times Shirl and what a great chance to welcome lots of visitors to your region.The willow sculptures are brilliant. Himself is a keen golf fan. He would normally be glued to the tv coverage but has drawn a short straw and is working throughout the competition. Recorded highlights are not quite the same.

  6. Hello to you both, thanks for your comments 🙂

    Anna, it has been good to see so much activity around with the extra visitors. Yes, I liked how the communities added the extras with the sculptures too. Shame himself missed seeing the golf live – we did too and it really isn’t the same watching the highlights. When I wrote this post back late night Thurs I didn’t realise (not having Sky Sports) we too would be just watching highlights 🙁

    Sue, A fashion statement willow sculptures can make in a garden right enough – I saw a great group on holiday which I’ll get round to posting on a some point. In this case, it wasn’t so much a fashion statement in a garden these sculptures made as these were sited by the side of back roads and at Railway stations etc where non gardeners would see them too. I liked that – they were for the communities and passers by 😀

  7. This is a wonderful posting for 2 reasons Shirl. 1 I loved the sculptures but 2) you have transported me back to age 15. I am catching up on blogs having been away from mainline blogging for a year but Drummond Castle was somewhere I visited with my parents en route to Skye in 1979, and I remember walking round even then thinking what a fantastic place. It looks like over the intervening 'few years' it's got better and better. Love the parterre image.

  8. Hello again, Andrew – wonderful to see you back blogging again! Oooo… age 15 all the way to your special birthday this year (I remembered but didn’t send you good wishes respecting your wishes to keep out of social media etc around then). Hope you managed to have a good day 🙂

    Delighted to bring you back some teen memories – it is a most delightful space to walk in. I struggled selecting my images and had lots more of the parterre. Since you were there one of the two trees Queen Victoria planted have been lost. The balance is okay though as so many trees have matured and have height now.

    I wonder if you were familiar with Aultbea on the west coast – we spent hols there this summer. Saw small group of little plovers for the first time – how sweet they were. Visited Inverewe Gardens too with photos for many blog posts there – there were willow sculpture there too but nothing to do with the Ryder Cup this time.

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