In my last post, I showed you the June borders at Crathes Castle Gardens. Here is a small peek at some of the rest of the gardens. Betty and I, along with other visitors and also the gardening staff, stopped to ooh and aah at these most marvellous flowers, the blue Himalayan poppies. The shade of blue is really heavenly:
The Scottish climate seems to suit them!
The handkerchief tree, seen behind the glasshouses, was looking particularly beautiful:
Betty took a photo of me at the edge of the lower part of the garden. Behind you can see some of the yew hedges, which delineate the upper terraces, and a very little bit of the castle.
Betty and I walked down a path that had this beautiful shrub (enkianthus campanulatus) growing on either side. The lichen on these plants gives you some idea of how clean the air is. About half way down this narrow path, I realised that we were completely surrounded by bees! But they were so busy that they ignored us.
Along this path and to your right is the entrance gate – so we have come full circle from the doocot, which is diagonally opposite this corner.
At the top of the stairs there is a terrace, often used for croquet. The castle is to the left of the photo. Here you see some of the many amazingly trimmed yew hedges. These are said to date back to 1702.
Looking back from a staircase leading down from the croquet lawn to more gardens below:
There are several more “garden rooms” below and behind the croquet lawn. Here’s one of them, with great swathes of what I believe is nepeta (aka catmint / catnip – I wonder if there is a resident cat?):
And just because I like it so much, another view of the part of the garden where the June borders are:
I would have liked to stay there all day, but domestic duties called. So Betty and I made our way to the cafe for some refreshment. Betty treated me to coffee and “a fine piece”. This is the Aberdonian phrase for something delicious to eat – something from the pastry food group!
And do you know what we had? Cranachan cake! In case you’ve never had it, cranachan itself is a very Scottish dessert, made of whipped cream, whisky, raspberries and oats. The staff at the cafe had taken things a step further and incorporated these ingredients into a cake, which was delicious. I’m amazed that I had the presence of mind to take a photo before devouring it.
The weather was beautiful and we sat outside.
I will miss Betty, and Crathes, very much. But I will be back, and I very much hope that she and I can go gallivanting to a nearby castle. (We went to Drum Castle last summer.)
The National Trust for Scotland has posted several video tours of Crathes Castle Gardens here, if you’re interested.