Posted by: christinelaennec | June 25, 2012

A beautiful escape: Crathes Castle Gardens in June

Yesterday Michael and I had the opportunity to go visit Crathes Castle Gardens.  It lashed torrential rain on the way there, and then magically cleared up for our walk around the gardens.  Everything was sparkling.  And it was a red-letter day in more ways than one:  the first day Michael didn’t have to work since mid-April!  Hooray!  Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers about our work situations; things have eased now.  Here are some photos from the gardens:

Yew hedges, Crathes Castle Gardens, Aberdeenshire, June 2012.

The yew hedges are said to date from 1702 – amazing!  Below, the white border was buzzing very loudly with bees:

White border, Crathes Castle Gardens, Aberdeenshire, June 2012.

The June borders were, as always, highly delightful:

The June borders, looking up to the Castle. Crathes Castle Gardens, Aberdeenshire, June 2012.

I don’t know what the name of this part of the garden is, but yellow seemed to be the planting theme.  Even the trees seemed a bit yellow in the sunshine!

Crathes Castle Gardens, Aberdeenshire, June 2012.

Looking across the lawn where on my birthday visit people were playing croquet:

Crathes Castle Gardens, Aberdeenshire, June 2012.

Another photo of the yellow-themed garden, showing the side of the castle:

Looking towards the side of the castle; Crathes Castle Gardens, June 2012.

As we walked around, we thought of how great it must be to visit this garden as a child.  There are so many wonderful hiding places.  In fact, the Dafter has been taken to Crathes Castle for school trips many times and is completely jaded by it!  Not something that I can imagine…

A great hiding place and lookout under one of the yew hedges. Crathes Castle Gardens, Aberdeenshire, June 2012.

I really like the ice house, which looks a bit like a very secure hobbit dwelling:

The ice house at Crathes Castle, Aberdeenshire, June 2012.

I suppose long ago the winters were so much colder that they would cut blocks of ice and store them here for the rest of the year.  We take so much for granted in our lives – but not these beautiful gardens.



  1. That was a lovely trip down memory lane, thank you. It’s a while since I’ve been to Crathes but it is a cracking place for a day out. I don’t remember the ice house though, I must visit again some time and look for it. Your photo of the yellow with the castle is wonderful! I agree that it would be a magical place to visit as a child, but the poor Dafter being jaded by it! Hurrah for Michael’s day off, let’s hope for many more to come.

  2. So glad your were able to enjoy time off together, that you visited such an interesting location, and that you shared your post with us! I am amazed at the wonderful shapes of the trees and imagine it must be a LOT of work to tend them! I especially like the pictures of the gate and the ice house! Thanks for making the time to share with us, Christine 🙂
    Gracie ❤

  3. What a wonderful way to spend an afternoon! I really like the white border and the June border, with it’s tiny hedge-like edging. I can imagine myself playing hide and seek in the Yew shrubbery as a child (And maybe getting lost in the process!) The Castle is interesting, and I love the tiny windows up near the top. So mysterious! So glad that you found a little time to walk in such a lovely place. xx

  4. What lovely pictures – i must pay a visit some time!

  5. A favourite place of ours too, such a beautiful and restful place. I hopped over to read your birthday blog post from September last year. I refuse to believe you will be 52 this year. I thought you were mid-forties. Tell the Dafter that your beautiful sense of style and natural beauty obviously shines through after all! 🙂 xxx

  6. I was in Cruickshank Gardens today and thought of you! 😉
    I really must take a trip to Crathes sometime. I haven’t been there for years.

  7. OMGoodness! What an amazing place! And I’m so glad that Michael had a day off (finally) and that things are easing into place. Thanks for sharing these lovely pictures!

  8. Lovely pictures, Christine, just what I needed after all the frazzles!

  9. Beautiful Gardens and wonderful photos Christine xx

  10. what a gorgeous sunny day to visit a garden.

  11. It never ceases to amaze me how looking at other people’s photos of things I see often makes me wonder if a) I have a really duff camera (I don’t) or b) if it’s like drinking a cup of tea you didn’t have to make yourself – it’s just always more delightful if someone else does it for you!

    Lovely pictures, and seeing yours almost makes this familiar place seem unfamiliar and exotic!

  12. Dear all,

    Thanks so much for your comments, I’m so glad you liked visiting Crathes with me.

    Lorna – the ice house is easy to miss; it’s just before you get to the car park as you walk down the hill away from the castle. Yes, I too hope that the taking-a-day-off trend can continue for Michael and all of us!

    Gracie – you’re so very welcome. I love sharing things on my blog, it makes me look at the world a bit more closely, I think. Re. the work of keeping the garden, I know there are a lot of volunteers who tend the garden (great job or what?!) but I expect the yew hedges may be left to professionals.

    Karen – I hadn’t noticed the tiny edging (box, I think?) but you’re right, it’s good! I should post a few more photos of the castle itself – it has some amazing little windows on the top floor.

    Laura – I hope that you can!

    Tina – Och away! I am blushing, and terribly pleased, since especially after a hard year I feel like I look at least twice my age. You can comment here any time! 🙂 I happen to know you have been at Crathes because I have seen a photo of you on the steps in the garden!

    Roobeedoo – Cruickshank Botanical Gardens is right up there with Crathes, I think. I hope you do get a chance to go back this summer.

    Dianne – thank you, it was great to see him unwinding a bit. Glad you enjoyed sharing our visit!

    Jill – I’m glad; you have had your share of busy-ness and I recommend a beautiful garden. Preferably your own, with a glass of wine in hand?

    madewithloops – thank you very much!

    Sigrid – indeed, we were extremely lucky with the weather. The bees were making the most of it.

    fifona – It’s definitely b)! I have that exact same feeling of wonderment, seeing a familiar thing through someone else’s eyes so that it becomes fresh and new.

  13. Worked as a tour guide at Crathes as a teenager – the year all the guides embroidered a piece of work I believe is now displayed in the great hall. Lovely to see your photos – years since I was there

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