On 9th May, I attended the Cruickshank Botanic Gardens spring plant sale. After queuing for half an hour, and then buying as much as I could fit in my two bags, I treated myself to a tour of the gardens.
These gardens in Old Aberdeen, were founded in 1898 with a bequest from a Miss Anne Cruickshank, given in memory of her brother Dr Alexander Cruickshank. The original Deed of Trust specified that the Garden was to be ‘for the furtherance of University interests and the public good’.
The gardens are so hidden away that it took me almost twenty years before I found them! They are a true gem, nestling in the old part of Aberdeen in the University grounds and close to St Machar cathedral. If you ever find yourself up this way, the whole area is wonderful to walk around and explore. (Check the opening times for the garden though to avoid disappointment).
The gardens, situated in a very sheltered location, contain many wonderful trees and shrubs which provide a special environment for the 2500 labelled plants.
Entering the gardens from The Chanonry gate I was met by the wonderful smell of wild garlic.
Shortly after, I was greeted by a magnificent old cherry tree just bursting with blossom.
One of my favourite parts of the garden is ‘The Sunken Garden’ with its secret passageways,
and its wonderful wild meadow nestling at the bottom.
There were plenty of other surprises too as I wandered around the garden.
Ponds and streams are found throughout the garden.
creating an environment for aquatic plants,
and a lovely place to sit.
One thing I like about the garden is the informality of the planting under the trees, with many wild flowers flourishing among garden flowers.
The plants are wonderful, but the trees too are very special.
There is a whole arboretum to explore, but that will need to be another post.
Meanwhile why not take a seat and enjoy the view.
On the way out I went past the burgeoning herbaceous borders, all staked up with a variety of materials – a real promise of things to come. . . .
I must return later in the year to see the summer flowers.