GARDENERS LOG SEPTEMBER 2012
Falkland Palace and Gardens
The Royal Burgh of Falkland,on the edge of the Howe of Fife, has changed little in the fifty plus years I have visited. It is a bonny wee burgh with human scale houses and a real old world feel about it. Characterful pubs and places to enjoy a bite to eat. With this and the grand garden of the Palace what more could you ask for?
In recent years Falkland has been successful in the Britain in Bloom awards. This is perhaps the biggest improvement which I have seen. The wonderful displays of flowers at every corner and against the homes of the residents is spectacular and worth visiting every year. Well done Falkland!
Slip into the gardens of Falkland Palace and you are in another world altogether. Peace and calm reigns supreme. Just over the big wall traffic is passing all the time. In the garden you can't hear it. You can wander at will through the lovely herbaceous borders drinking in the late summer colour and watch the butterflies flutter by and come to rest. The medium sized Maples and other trees in various colours add to the feeling of peace. The great sweeps of grass add to the tranquillity of the garden.
The dominant feature outside the garden is Falkland Hill or the East Lomond to give its Sunday name. It rises dramatically behind the Palace giving the whole place an old world feeling. The crow step gables and red pan tiles of many of the buildings create a real east of Scotland feel to the town. It is lovely to explore the wynds, closes and wee roads around the old part of the burgh. Also the tea rooms and inns are equally interesting. The Stag Inn (and Stagger Oot)
is just one example of the many hostelries waiting to refresh the weary traveller.
Willow sculpture in the orchard next to the Palace.
Next to the gardens is the orchard which has not done so well this year. Apparently the blossom of most trees came into flower early during a hot week in spring. This spell of good weather was followed by a very cold snap. Many of the flowers were not pollinated and only a few trees are bearing fruit. It has been the same story in the Clyde Valley. No plums or Damsons this year. This certainly underlines the importance of bees and insects in pollination.
Falkland Hill in the background. One of the three fruit trees we saw bearing fruit.
The staff at Falkland Palace looked after our party well. It was also good to speak to a volunteer who is enjoying every minute of her work in the garden. The rain kept away until about three pm. However strong winds were quite scary at times. We proceeded to Kinross House to confirm that it was closed for major refurbishment. We may be able to visit this garden once all the work is done. Another very interesting day.
Inverary Castle and Crarae Garden. Wet and wetter.
Our visit to Inverary Castle and Crarae garden was affected by very heavy rain. This made us realise how lucky we have been in the past. We usually enjoy dry sunny weather for our garden walks. We still enjoyed a good day out regardless of the weather.
As always my happy girls keep smiling through the rain in the Himalayan gorge at Crarae.