Posts Tagged ‘gardens’


Almost hidden in a steep sided valley named on the outskirts of Grewelthorpe in North Yorkshire there is a horticultural delight where magnificent magnolias, azaleas and rhododendrons bloom  against a backdrop of woodland, trees and by lakes. A veritable feast on the eye and, if this was not enough, at every twist and turn of the meandering paths works of art, statues, sculptures and buildings serve to enhance the experience.


The Hutts, from the norse for ‘head of the valley’, is home to a collection of nearly 20,000 plants and 80 contemporary works of art. With some 1,400 varieties of rhododendron, 250 species of azalea and 150 different magnolias it is hardly surprising that it is considered  to be the largest collection of these plants in the north of England. The park covers an area of 45 acres and is definitely a labour of love and a work in progress project for the owners who have been there since 1996.

The Himalayan Gardens and Sculpture Park is only open at certain times of the year so check before visiting: https://www.himalayangarden.com/

Here are some photographs from a recent visit:-









Words and photographs Copyright © 2019 by Antony J Waller












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Within the grounds of Blair Castle, the ancient seat of the Dukes and Earls of Atholl, stands a 9 acre walled garden – Hercules Garden, the largest cultivated walled garden in Scotland. It was planned by John Murray, the 2nd Duke and Marquess of Tullibardine, and work began under the supervision of head gardener John Wilson in the early 1740s and took till 1756 to complete, although there was a temporary interruption when the castle was besieged by the Duke’s younger brother during the Jacobite uprising of 1745. Built into a shallow valley the centre piece of the gardens is an elongated lake or series of ponds, narrowing in the middle and crossed by a Chinese bridge. Several ‘gardener’s cottages’ and outhouses are built into the external walls, including McGregor’s Folly, a gazebo added in 1888. Sadly, as was the case with the gardens of many large estates during WWI and afterwards, it was left untended and by the late 1940s after WWII it had become overgrown, unkempt and derelict. Subsequent plans to use the garden as a ‘market garden’ were unsuccessful too and the garden’s demise continued until the 1980s.

Then the 10th Duke began a programme of restorative work, which continues today, to return the garden to its former Georgian design and glories. Long herbaceous borders, fruit trees and vegetable beds once again vie for your attention along with statues, stone urns and garden ornaments, swan and duck houses, and all under the stern gaze of a statue of Hercules himself, a fixture there since 1743.

If touring Scotland and Perthshire I hope you find an opportunity to visit. In the meantime here are a few pictures.

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