Gar­den of GAR­DEN OF theTwHEeWekEEK A feast from for­ag­ing

The Herald Magazine - - etc GARDENING -

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

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