Autumn bears fruit for historic Moray walled garden

The Gordon Castle Walled Garden in Moray, one of the largest of its kind in the country, is enjoying its first proper harvest since restoration began in 2012.

Gordon Castle's Walled Garden. Image: Supplied
Gordon Castle's Walled Garden. Image: Supplied

This year the garden has produced a significant proportion of fresh ingredients served in the castle's popular Walled Garden Café including potatoes, beans, cabbages, cauliflowers, tomatoes and chillies, while every single salad leaf served over the summer was grown on site.

The last of the fruit from the apple, pear and plum trees are now being harvested and will be used in the Gordon Castle Cider, along with a new range of limited edition gin liqueurs, which will be launched in time for Christmas. The castle also produces its own herbal teas, jams and chutneys, and a bath and beauty range containing essential oils distilled from lavender, rosemary and thyme flower and leaves grown on site.

The 8.5 acre Walled Garden is now half way through a restoration project led by garden designer Arne Maynard.

Four new cut-flower beds now form the central feature of the garden, themed as Glowing Heather, Golden Peat, Scotch Thistle and Icy Glen. The castle's MacKenzie & Moncur Glasshouse has recently been restored and provides a real insight into the Victorian era of the garden's intriguing past.

Looking forward, the gardeners are planning to introduce large pear tunnels that will bring more height and structure around the garden's central square.

Autumn 2015 will also, for the first time, see an abundance of pumpkins, courgettes and squashes as a result of double digging and extensive manuring earlier in the year.

Finally, at the request of the Walled Garden's growing fan base, a maze will soon be planted. At first, a wild flower mix will be used, bringing the maze into bloom in time for next summer. In the meantime, the gardening team will wait and see if their tea bush maze can survive a Scottish winter.

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