View from the top


Walled Garden from the south wall looking north-east


from on top of the south wall looking left into the walled garden (south-east corner) and right into the Secret Garden

Aided by the birds, a nursery of baby beech, rowan, blackcurrants, gooseberries, ivy and cotoneasters not to mention willow-herb, nettles, grass and other weeds has been quietly establishing itself 10 feet up on the top of the walls, so I spent a recent few hours up there chopping them back. They have managed to get a toe-hold in the loose mortar between the coping stones on the top of the wall, rooting into the rubble that lies between the two skins of the wall. I may have to do a repeat performance in the spring probably armed with a pot of Roundup (glyphosate) and a paintbrush to finish off any re-growth for good. Some of the mortar between the stones is a bit ‘iffy’ so we may need to call in the ‘Wall Man’ to give us his opinion.


Walled Garden, north-west corner


the not-so-newly-discovered holly!


the walled garden from the north-east corner


the walled garden from the south-east corner

Anyhow, while I was up there, atop a decidedly wobbly 12 foot ladder, balancing with my knees while I leaned into the wind, I pulled out the trusty smartphone and took one or two pictures which I thought you might like to see; it’s not a view which we see very often. Unfortunately, this being January, there is little colour in the pictures so rather more bare earth (and earth which should be bare!) features than I would like. I’ll get the ladders out again when spring calls!

I also discovered, just over the wall in the old pleasure grounds, an ancient variegated holly which I didn’t know was there (although the Good Lady assured me she did!) – one of the original trees, I would imagine, (along with the Yews, the Sequioa, the Monkey Puzzle and the species rhododendrons) that were planted in the Pleasure Grounds of the Big House. Hollies were popular trees in Victorian times and we have one or two fine specimens.

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51 Responses to View from the top

  1. Jean says:

    I’ve finally gotten a chance to explore your blog and am enjoying it very much. As you may already know, I do a regular “garden blogs of the month” feature on my blog, Jean’s Garden, where I review and recommend garden blogs that I think my readers would enjoy. Your blog is one of three that I am highlighting this month. My post reviewing your blog just went up, and your blog will be featured on my sidebar throughout the month. Cheers.


    • Jean, how nice to hear from you and what a very kind offer! I’m greatly honoured. I have read your piece and it’s excellent. I did though enjoy reading about your other two recommendations which I will be checking out over the weekend!Thanks again!


  2. Andrew says:

    Nice Garden Blog!
    It would be really good to let our members see you over at the gardening blogs community.


  3. Hmmmmmm the last comment may have been cancelled out by a techi stife over passwords. You seem to be in restoration of a substantial old garden. I will follow this with interest, what for instance is the history of the Pleasance Garden?


    • Thanks Catherine. Nice to hear from you. Success this time! Ah, the Pleasure Grounds, I think you mean. This was usually an area of informal lawns, shubbery and fine specimen trees surrounding the Victorian House where the ladies would take a stroll after luncheon while their menfolk discussed politics and played pool! Usually the walled garden was a few hundred yards from the big house and one would walk through the pleasure grounds to get there. That’s the case here although the house was dismantled. Happily many of the specimen trees remain, some of which probably came back as seed from the great plant hunters like David Douglas! There are some nice specimen rhododendrons as well whose buds are now swelling nicely, flowering in May. Before then though, we will have a sea of snowdrops! I hope this helps!


  4. aberdeen gardening says:

    Just when I thought it couldn’t get more interesting. You have inspired me to climb up onto the roof of our house, can I borrow your ladder?


  5. How nice to have a Holly tree! I recently did a post about Holly and Ivy–two absolutely wonderful plants! The Ivy I cut in early December has sprouted roots and is still very much alive. Your garden certainly has impressive structure–even in winter!


  6. Your photos inspired some vertigo on my part but the views are stunning. How lucky you are to have all those walls. We too are blessed with a lot of stone terracing and walls—not quite as tall though.


  7. debsgarden says:

    First, thanks for visiting my own blog, and for your kind comment! Second, Your own gardens are fabulous! The formality really appeals to me. My own gardens, much smaller in scale than yours, are primarily woodland spaces interconnected with meandering paths, though I do have lawn areas and am trying to inject some formal notes in a couple of places. I enjoyed reading the section about you. I especially noted that you are amateurs on limited budget, as I am also. I look forward to exploring your blog further. It is sure to be a source of inspiration to me!


    • Hello Deb, how nice to hear from you. And thank you for your marvellous comments. The garden is pretty much as we found it when we arrived although over the years we have been gradually evolving it such that we can maintain it in the time we have available. We’re also in the process of trying to increase the number of plant species where possible growing from seed to keep costs down. I found your site really inspirational as we have a smallish bit of woodland and your garden’s a real inspiration!


  8. Carolyn says:

    A beautiful sight to see green! We’re dressed in Winter Whites here. Your gardens are exquisite!


  9. What a fabulous view from so many spots around the garden…I love the formal structure so different than mine. All that green is a welcome relief from the snow here


    • Thanks Donna! We’ve been quite lucky this winter with no snow so far, so I’ve been able to get on with tidying up outside. Indeed the last couple of days have been quite mild and spring-like; our first winter aconites started pinging up yesterday – very early!


  10. angiesgardendiaries says:

    What a beautiful garden you have, it must be tremendous hard work – but a real credit to you for keeping it looking amazing. This would be a garden of my dreams!


  11. kate says:

    What a lovely garden you have got – and great idea to take shots from the top of a ladder. Dangerous, but very effective!


  12. Hello 🙂
    Just found your blog through blotanical – such a lovely blog, your garden is lovely and reminds me of an old walled garden that we used to use in Glen Affric for growing all our soft fruit and dried flowers.
    I look forward to reading your posts in the future.
    Would you like to be included in a weelist of Scottish Gardening Blogs I have put together?
    Cat Davidson


  13. It’s a beautiful garden; I love the idea of the walls, for both compartmentalisation and insulation as required.

    Yes, build a tower too so you can see it from high up all year round! I’m sure the bank manager won’t mind.

    As for snow, living in Melbourne, Australia that is not an option. We hit 41 degrees yesterday, necessitating much early morning watering to ensure safety of the plants.


  14. Holleygarden says:

    I would have never thought about having to clean the top of a wall, but it makes sense, of course. Great photos from this perspective. It is all quite beautiful. How fun to find a “new” old holly! I hope you do climb up the ladder in spring. I imagine it is breathtaking with the garden in full color.


  15. I just discovered you blog today. It is a cold and snowy afternoon so I went out searching for new blog. Glad to have found your. I have always loved walled gardens. So nice to see your photos. Here on the shores of Lake Michigan the views go for miles and mile so the “backdrop” to my garden is very different. Very nice blog. If you want to view some of the photos of the gardens here with the lake, check out Enjoyed my visit and discovery. Jack


  16. I love the walled garden! (I think that’s a big part of what I like about gardening on Alcatraz, where a couple of the cutting gardens are built in the foundations of Victorian homes that were removed once the prison was built.) What a marvelous estate yours would be to garden in!


    • Thank you Zann, I really enjoyed your Alcatraz feature – it’s fascinating and it must be very exciting gardening in such an historic place. A real sense of place! I think garden history is fascinating (I’ll be doing a feature on the nearby Dalkeith Palace in the next couple of weeks). It still fills me with awe when I look around and see these ancient trees and shrubs that were planted by gardeners whose sons and grandsons are long gone, and yet only now are showing the impact they were intended to create.


  17. Judy says:

    Love the beautifully manicured round evergreens. Someone has skills!


  18. lyntochter says:

    I know what you mean. We had our house rebuilt about seven years ago now. and whiklst the scaffolding was up we were able to see the beach from our house. Usually it is obscured by trees. No wonder people built towers to live in. You get quite a different perspective from higher up.


  19. pbmgarden says:

    So interesting to see your garden from this perspective.


    • Thank you so much. I must admit it was quite an inspiring view for me too, so I thought fellow bloggers might find it interesting! The main feature is of course the rather unusual t-shaped yew hedge which occupies much of August each year when I clip it! At the moment, it is a rather nice bronze colour which will revert to a fresh green in May or so when it starts growing in earnest.


  20. Anna B says:

    You really have an exceptional garden! I love it! Can’t wait to see it change over the seasons 🙂


  21. I’m very envious that you can even see your lovely garden. Mine is buried under a foot of snow! 😦


    • Wow!I bet that looks wonderful, though! We’ve had no snow this winter so far but it could still come. We’ve had it as late as April. Two winters ago, we had a lot of snow which created a few challenges for us! Thank you for your kind comments!


  22. I agree with Pauline, I hope we get to see this view in the spring and summer. It’s really incredible!


  23. paulinemulligan says:

    You realise that you will have to get the ladders out to mark each season now don’t you?! Lovely being able to see what the birds see as they fly over!


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