I hadn’t meant to write a blog, in fact I only took my camera along as an afterthought, but in the end there were such treasures to be found at Crathes Castle today that I decided to share a few….
The weather forecast had promised sun – I think we did get some but only towards the end of the afternoon. However at least it didn’t rain as my friend and I took a drive to Crathes Castle just outside Banchory. We headed straight for the walled garden hoping to see some spring flowers emerging. We weren’t disappointed – the garden was full of snowdrops and spring snowflakes (leucojum vernum). The woods at the back of the garden were even more beautiful, totally carpeted in white.
We spotted something bright in the woods and found our way out of the garden at the back – it was the first rhododendron I have seen in flower this year. It surely has to be really early? But then we haven’t really had any cold weather yet and maybe it was in a sunny spot.
Not quite so spectacular, but very endearing were a little group of marsh marigolds nestling in a rather boggy hollow.
We then made our way back into the garden and spent a very entertaining afternoon trying to work out what the plants were that were poking through the ground. Even if we knew the plants we often couldn’t remember their names – note to self: remember to take ‘The Flower Expert’ next time.
At the top of the garden is some very old yew topiary. Some of the lower branches had been cut away, whether by design or necessity I am not sure, but revealing some very interesting structures.
Nearby is another garden area containing circular beds full of dried seed heads. It looked spectacular in the low afternoon sun. We were not sure what this was – it smelled very aromatic rather like oregano or marjoram.
One more thing caught my eye – a rather interesting tree sprouting new growth. Any ideas what it is?
All in all a great visit and spring hasn’t really got going yet. I seem to remember some wonderful poppies later in the year………..