NORTH­ERN LIGHTS

Country Homes & Interiors - - THE HOME OF MODERN COUNTRY -

A plant-filled Scot­tish gar­den and con­ser­va­tory that are just as cap­ti­vat­ing in au­tumn and win­ter as they are through­out the rest of the year

Cold, bright days en­hance Caro­line and henry gib­son’s scot­tish gar­den, thanks to a Col­lec­tion of plants and trees that work their magic through to win­ter

With Vic­to­rian plant hunter and botanist robert For­tune her three-times great un­cle, Caro­line gib­son can le­git­i­mately claim that a love of plants is in her blood. Whether she has in­her­ited his gar­den­ing genes or, as she mod­estly says, sim­ply ‘learned by trial and er­ror’, her plant­ing and de­sign skills are clear to see in her three-acre ru­ral gar­den, 15 miles south of ed­in­burgh – even on a bright but bit­ter novem­ber day. trees and shrubs catch the win­try sun­light, their bark, fo­liage and berries ablaze with sea­sonal colour while, be­yond the gar­den bound­aries, frosted fields add ex­tra sparkle to the mag­i­cal scene.

Caro­line and her hus­band, henry, an ar­chi­tect, moved back to their na­tive Scot­land with their young fam­ily 23 years ago. ‘We sold our house in Sur­rey and rented in this area,’ says Caro­line. ‘We wanted a de­tached house with a gar­den that was a chal­lenge, some­thing i could put my mark on, but there was noth­ing avail­able. ev­ery­one i met i’d ask, “are you think­ing of mov­ing?” even­tu­ally a cou­ple rang us and said, “Yes, we’re go­ing to sell.” We moved in six weeks later. it was serendip­ity.’

in an idyl­lic lo­ca­tion along a sin­gle-track road and sur­rounded by farm­land on the edge of the lam­mer­muir hills, Frostineb turned out to be ev­ery­thing the cou­ple were look­ing for. it had two large pad­docks, a long flowerbed around the house and a large area of bare earth, which they ini­tially grassed over. then Caro­line started cut­ting curved herba­ceous borders and the de­sign be­gan to evolve. to­day, each part of the gar­den flows into the next; each with its own at­mos­phere, like walk­ing from room to room.

Cre­at­ing a gar­den at an el­e­va­tion of 800ft, how­ever, does present its chal­lenges. ‘it’s cer­tainly a few de­grees cooler

Plant­ing around the pond in­cludes cor­nus, grasses and bam­boo. In the back­ground is a ley­landii hedge that shel­ters the gar­den from icy winds.

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