Posted by: christinelaennec | June 12, 2011

Crathes Castle Garden in the Rain

We try to get to the gardens at Crathes Castle, just a short drive to the west of Aberdeen, every June.  Yesterday was the day in June that we were able to go – and it was pouring with rain!  However, this did not deter us.  While the Dafter and her friend were sensibly relaxing in the cafe, Michael and I took turns enjoying the garden.  Needless to say, it was not crowded.  Although it was raining fairly heavily, the colours at 4:30 pm were surprisingly vivid.  But I want to start outside the garden, just to show you how amazingly clear the air is in Aberdeenshire – look at the lichen on this tree!

Lichen on a tree outside the garden wall. Crathes Castle, Aberdeenshire, 11 June 2011.

The gardens at Crathes are famous for their “June borders” – and justly so, in my opinion.  This path leading down to the “doocot” (dovecote) is like a slice of Monet’s garden at Giverny:

The June Borders, Crathes Castle Garden, 11 June 2011.

Here is the more popular view, taken from in front of the doocot, looking up towards the castle:

The June Borders, looking towards the castle. Crathes Castle, Aberdeenshire, 11 June 2011.

I like the little rivulet of water running down the path!  The garden has several “rooms” and several levels.  Here is a view from the upper part of the garden:

Looking down over the garden from the upper level. Crathes Castle Garden, Aberdeenshire, 11 June 2011.

Outside the walled garden there’s a woodland garden, but it was so wet that I didn’t venture through this tempting gate:

Looking out into the Woodland Garden. Crathes Castle Garden, 11 June 2011.

One of the other famous features of the garden is the yew hedges, which are said to date back to the 17th century.  They really are quite amazing – and there are a lot more of them than just the ones in this photo:

(Two of) the ancient yew hedges at Crathes Castle. 11 June 2011.

And finally, because I’m sure you’re dying to know what I’ve been knitting, and because my new lacy cardigan perfectly matches all the damp green:

Modelling opportunity with the Dafter at Crathes Castle. "Geno" by Marie Wallin, knitted in Rowan Cotton Glace yarn.

Thank you to everyone who kindly left a comment on the Dafter’s recent post.  She really enjoyed writing it, and replying to the comments.  I wish you all a very good start to your week!



  1. So we were both ploutering about in the rain yesterday afternoon! I’m long overdue for a return visit to Crathes – haven’t been there since 1982.
    You mean it was warm enough to feature short sleeves? I am only now recovering from the cold yesterday. There’s something especially cold about June cold. The borders at Crathes are looking lovely tho, although I imagine they’re not quite as billowy as they would be in a warmer year.

    • Ha ha, yes we were both damply ploutering about! I wouldn’t claim it was warm enough for short sleeves. I had the other sweater and the jacket back on pretty pronto after our modelling moment!

  2. Short sleeved in Stornoway yesterday and positively tropical today. What a wonderful cardigan and great colour. Love your pictures – those gardens are beautiful. xx

    • Thanks Jacqui – so glad you’re getting some lovely weather in Lewis! Hope it stays beautiful for you.

  3. The gardens are beautiful! Glad you went even in the rain. Love the yew hedges-amazing! And great sweater too!

    • Yes they are beautiful gardens – and we Oregonians must never be deterred by rain of course. Glad you enjoyed the post, and ta for the compliment!

  4. This garden must be spectacular in person. The photos are stunning enough! Love seeing your little dance with your daughter – very fun! Your cardigan inspires me. I have one waiting to be sewn together.

    • I’m glad you liked the wee cardigan dance. I used to resist assembling things I’d knitted, until I took a day-long workshop on finishing, and now I actually enjoy it very much!

  5. lovely cardy. those yew hedges are something else .. wow! i like the gardens around the doocot … you are right, quite monet. and of course, a wonderful picture of you and your dafter. 🙂

    • Thanks ajb! You should come see for yourself! 😉

  6. Beautiful gardens, beautiful jumper and beautiful person inside it xx

  7. Never thought I’d see you Charleston on the blog! Gorgeous photographs! I haven’t been to Crathes in years – I must go.
    Off to Ravelry to find a close-up of that cardi – it looks great from here!

    • Yes, the jazz band was just out of shot! (See how unpredictable I can be at times.) I will try to get some close-ups on Ravelry – and many, many thanks for yarnover help Roobeedoo!

  8. I love the cardigan– it looks perfect for castle gazing.

    • Thanks, Sigrid. In fact, as I’ve confessed to Linda above, it wasn’t warm enough for short sleeves. But I think I will get some use out of it before autumn comes near the end of August!

  9. What beautiful shots you captured…so glad you ventured out in the rain. Your sweater is perfect…wonderful job.

    • Thanks very much Lisa – it’s always nice to get compliments from accomplished knitters! Glad you liked the photos even if they were rainy.

  10. I get giddy just imagining being able to visit a castle that was just down the road – for fun! The closest thing we have is Cinderella’s Castle at Disney. OK, that’s not really true. My Mom and I love touring historic homes and we’ve visited several wonderful ones. Maybe not so old, but definitely beautiful. What fun you seem to have.

    • Yes, it amazes me too that we live near so many beautiful castles. But I find visiting a “younger” historical house in the States just as interesting. I’m fascinated by the pioneer era in the West, and what women went through to make homes for their families. It’s all relative!

  11. How beautiful is this place! Looks like a fairy tale garden. I want to go and live there right now!!! 🙂

    • I think you’re right Luciana, it is a fairy-tale garden! I should go there more often.

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