Coronavirus: We are now (October 2021) beginning to return to normality. The gardens are open from Thursday to Monday 10am – 4.00pm. The volunteers are back working and I am able to visit and talk to the gardeners. Toilets are available, during the same times, in the courtyard. The cafe serves takeaways on these days, but some days may be closed due to staff shortages.

My name is Susan Bennett. Officially, I’m a Crathes volunteer garden guide with the National Trust for Scotland. I keep returning to Crathes because of the plants and their stories; also for a bit of crack with the gardeners and volunteers. During the season (before Covid) I’m often at Crathes on a Wednesday – giving a garden tour at 2pm. My research on the garden has led to a book: The Gardens and Landscape of Crathes Castle: a four hundred year story. Essentially, these notes are a continuation of the book; the stories keep on coming.

Berberis amurensis South Border, 16 May 2018

Here is an introduction to the gardeners who keep the whole show on the road: James Hannaford (Head Gardener), Andrew Morrison (First Gardener), Joanna Shaw (Propagator), David Wood (Groundsman/Estate Worker), Michael Flett, Stephen Holtom, Emily Strachan (apprentice), Cecilia Rogers (part-time), Kevin Thomson (part-time, mostly in the grounds). Volunteers come in to help throughout the year.

from the left: Steve, Davy, James, Andy, Mike, Joanna, Cecilia

Crathes is world famous for its great diversity of plants and the quality of its design. It is situated on Royal Deeside in North-East Scotland.

 Owned by the Burnett family until the twentieth century, Crathes was given to the National Trust for Scotland in 1951.


With thanks to Niamh O’Driscoll and Steve Ingle for help with setting up the website.

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