Snowdrops at Crathes

A few treasures at Crathes….

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.

Spring snowflakes at Crathes

Spring snowflakes at Crathes

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.

rhododendron

rhododendron

Not quite so spectacular, but very endearing were a little group of marsh marigolds nestling in a rather boggy hollow.

Marsh Marigolds

Marsh Marigolds

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.

Looks very inviting, but wouldn't recommend it.

Looks very inviting, but wouldn’t recommend it on a damp afternoon.

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.

Interesting yew trunks

Interesting yew trunks

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.

Dry seed heads catching low sun

Dry seed heads catching low sun

One more thing caught my eye – a rather interesting tree sprouting new growth.  Any ideas what it is?

tree with new growth

Tree with new growth

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………..

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12 thoughts on “A few treasures at Crathes….

  1. Hi Annette, Crathes looks delightful! Like you, I’m particularly drawn to those tall seed heads inside the box border. I am often in a quandary as to whether or not to leave seed heads over the winter. Quite often it just looks a mess. But that is a real feature in its own right.. how wonderful it would look after rain or frost!

    • Yes the seed heads were lovely. I am very tempted to go back with a tripod, but I don’t expect we will get the same lighting conditions again. I have some oregano in the garden that I don’t always cut back. The seed heads look lovely, but I usually regret leaving them when I have to pull up the seedlings all over the rockery! I suppose I should do something useful and pot them up to sell.

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