Travellers’ Tales

Two hundred years ago the walk of seven or eight miles from Crathes Castle to the Castle of Midmar by way of the Hill of Fare was nothing out of the ordinary for Robert Burnett 7th Baronet of Leys, and there are many today who can appreciate the pleasure of such a walk. Robert (1755-1837)Continue reading “Travellers’ Tales”

The Wood Wide Web

Pottering about in the Crathes woods one November day in 2013 I came upon an old larch tree. Always happy to make the acquaintance of an interesting tree I took a photograph and noticed the fungus growing at the base of the tree and nearby. Although the fungus on the ground looked like a cowContinue reading “The Wood Wide Web”

A winter’s walk

It happens that one of my favourite walks takes me through the Craigmyle estate – an estate that has had connections with Crathes since at least the seventeenth century. Since it is a circular walk of three to four miles from my door it is ideal for Lockdown exercise. Craigmyle lies to the east ofContinue reading “A winter’s walk”

Tis the season for quizzes

Happy New Year! Whilst the short term view of the year is alarming, the long view does look more hopeful. Meantime Lockdown has returned and Crathes is off limits for volunteers. The gardening staff are still working, but other Crathes staff are on furlough. The walled garden is shut until further notice. Last year hasContinue reading “Tis the season for quizzes”

Pushing the limits

With the mild days gone we can see how much damage the frost does generally, and how tender plants can sometimes survive in sheltered parts of the garden against expectations. Most of the fuchsias are finished for the year, but will come back in the spring. Fuchsia reflexa in the Upper Pool Garden may beContinue reading “Pushing the limits”

Mild November days

This November has been incredibly mild, until a short sharp diversion of the Jet Stream this last Thursday brought arctic winds from the north. Although it only lasted 24 hours I wonder what will have happened to the flowers that gave me so much pleasure earlier in the month – fuchsias, salvias, gazanias, penstemons, theContinue reading “Mild November days”

…purple and orange and blue

With the frosts holding off, the garden offers plenty of colour combinations to cheer our spirits. The oranges, yellows and reds of the turning leaves remain dominant, but a few blue flowers can still be found. The nepeta beside the trellis that was cut back on 21 July has been re-flowering for a few weeksContinue reading “…purple and orange and blue”

Red and yellow and pink and green…

As the seasons change, so does the palette. Leaves become more important in our colour schemes as green chlorophyll is reabsorbed exposing yellow carotinoids and red anthocyanins. Berries and fruits, too, are more commonly yellow, orange or red. It’s a big show before winter sets in. Some years ago on an October visit to BenmoreContinue reading “Red and yellow and pink and green…”