Gordon Castle's new assistant head gardener gets straight into restoration work

Former Chatsworth and Highgrove gardener Ed Bollom has been hired as the castle's assistant head gardener.

Ed Bollom. Image: Supplied
Ed Bollom. Image: Supplied

He joins as restoration work on the castle's 8-acre walled garden is starting to bear fruit, with visitors flocking to the historic site in Moray to see the changes.

Designed by Arne Maynard, the walled garden is believed to be one of the largest in the UK and is filled with fruit, vegetables, flowers and herbs.

When the team reaches the end of restoration in 2017, the Walled Garden will be a fully productive kitchen garden. The modern design will boast a maze, swathes of cut flowers and a huge variety of vegetables, herbs and fruit - all used in dishes served in the Gordon Castle café.

Bollom said: "I moved to the North East to be with family, but I would be lying if I said that was the only draw. As a gardener, it's not often you get to be part of the restoration of a walled garden as magnificent as Gordon Castle's, especially when it is following a design such as Arne's," he added.

During the winter months, the focus has been the hard landscaping around the garden. With the central part of the garden now complete and the beds prepared, the gardeners are busy planting thousands of seedlings, which have been propagated over winter.

The abundance of plants and herbs, which are distilled extract essential oils fragrancing the Gordon Castle Scotland range of luxury bath and beauty products, will be a priority for the gardener, so first into the ground will be over 3000 blue and white lavender plants, which will adorn the ribbons around the dipping pond.

To keep up with demand for edible crops from the castle cafe, the gardeners have brought a further four beds into production. They were planted with green manure crops last year. Two beds will be part of the four-bed crop rotation of vegetables and two will form part of the themed cut flower beds.

The children's play area has also been completed within the walled garden, while the step-over apples planted last year are thriving. Forty espaliered apple trees down the central path have given the garden height and structure and will add to the supply of fruit that goes into Gordon Castle Scotland cider.

Angus and Zara Gordon Lennox said: "This is a special restoration, and unique for a garden of this size. We hope it will become an important horticultural destination for knowledgeable gardeners as well as visitors from home or further-a-field looking for a fabulous day out. 

"We are also excited to have Ed join the team and can't wait to see how the garden progresses with his skills and experience in what will be one of the top garden visitor destinations in Scotland."

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