Scottish gin trail destination announces walled garden plans

Gordon Castle near Fochabers, one of the recently announced Scottish Gin Trail destinations, has released details of the next phase of its walled garden restoration.

Geordie (left) and Angus Gordon Lennox at the planting of the pear tunnel. Image: Supplied
Geordie (left) and Angus Gordon Lennox at the planting of the pear tunnel. Image: Supplied

The 3.4ha Speyside Walled Garden is one of the oldest and largest in the country and is the source of the botanicals used in Gordon Castle Scotland Gin. The restoration plans have been designed by garden designer Arne Maynard.

The construction of eight pear tunnels has begun, and is set to be completed in a few weeks. The next stage will see the continuation of the laying of 48,000 bricks.

There are also ambitious plans to plant an area with quince trees, underplanted with saffron crocus. These will sit alongside 6,000 other newly planted crocuses as well as the blue and white lavender ribbons, which wind through the garden providing a contrast with the garden's towering walls.

The low light arriving with winter still shows the recently restored Mackenzie & Moncur Victorian glasshouse in all its glory, as it glints in the sunshine next to the growing paper whites and hyacinths. These beautiful, scented flowers will soon be used to fragrance the café and shop as well as for Mother's Day, when they will be available to buy.

The fruits of an abundant autumn are being put to good use in the Walled Garden café and the Gordon Castle Scotland range of food and drink.

The gardening team, including head gardener John Hawley and assistant head gardener Ed Bollom, are working with executive chef John Morrison to create a planting plan for the vegetable beds, making sure seasonal produce is available for the café menus throughout the year.

Angus Gordon Lennox of Gordon Castle said: "Every time we go out into the garden something has changed. The beauty of being involved in this project from the beginning is that we notice every subtle change and identify the small but important developments in each section of the garden. It's very rewarding. We really did start from nothing, just grass."

Zara Gordon Lennox said: "This garden is historical, one of the oldest and largest in the country, and has been in the Gordon family for generations. We like to keep the traditions going where we can and, although we didn't have a traditional 'wassailing' event, we did recently offer up some cider to one of the oldest fruit trees in the garden, which is around 130 years old, to scare bad spirits away and hope for a good harvest."

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