Garden of GARDEN OF theTwHEeWekEEK A feast from foraging
GORDON CASTLE WALLED GARDEN, FOCHABERS, MORAY
Gordon Castle Walled Garden is a continuing renovation project to breathe life back into this historic treasure. At more than eight acres, it is one of the largest in the country and, once restored, will be the largest fully productive walled garden in Scotland.
In its heyday – 200 years ago – it provided an abundance of fruit, vegetables, cut flowers and herbs for the castle and estate, and employment for many locals. It was laid mainly to raspberries in the 1950s and run as a commercial soft fruit farm during the latter half of the last century. In its best years, more than 50 tons of fruit were harvested. Eventually it became uneconomic and has since been kept on a low maintenance programme to preserve its integrity and the 249 espaliered fruit trees that line the walls.
When Angus and Zara Gordon Lennox took over the running of the estate from his parents in 2008, they decided to revive what was by then little more than an overgrown field. Since then, the 18th-century plot has been restored and there is now a cafe, a shop and a luxury brand. The cafe uses a “plant pick plate” ethos, which means that the dishes include garden-grown produce and all other ingredients are sourced locally.
Complete with rare and heritage plants, the garden produces a huge range of fruit, vegetables, cut flowers and herbs for use in the cafe and products. In addition, the 400 espaliered trees lining the walls, the recently restored Victorian Mackenzie and Moncur glasshouse and the four-colour themed cut flower beds all give the keen gardener something to admire. The garden has been redesigned by award-winning designer Arne Maynard to allow a modern twist on a traditional design, making the garden as beautiful as it is productive.
Website: www.gordoncastle.co.uk Telephone: 01343 612317 Opening hours: Daily, 10am-4pm
Admission costs: £6 adults, £5 concessions and under-16s free
Garden of the Week is in association with Discover Scottish Gardens. For more information, advice and day-out ideas, visit discoverscottishgardens.org
Hawthorn berries make an excellent sauce