gardens and grounds (Cont..)
Back then Dunrobin’s head gardener used to manage two walled gardens, including fruit, vegetables and flower borders; back up nursery gardens and greenhouses; and beyond, extensive parkland with walks and coastal views. Although much of this has reverted to woodland, the surviving east walled garden with its three parterres each surrounding a pool and fountain provides the perfect layout to view from the Castle. The gardens also make a fitting foreground to the panoramic view across the Moray Firth to the distant Cairngorm mountains.
Make your way down the steps and you will find a jewel of a garden, full of colour, interest and unexpected features, nestling amongst sheltering trees on a raised shingle beach; from here the Castle towering above provides a splendid backdrop.
Dunrobin is not a garden that only looks back. A small, dedicated team provides a continuity of generations-old gardening skills with careful use of up-to-date horticultural techniques to maintain, develop and take forward what remains.
The design is much as Barry left it but there have been recent exciting refurbishments to the planting and ornamentation. This includes avenues of Tuscan laurel and Whitebeam and the construction of wooden pyramid features. The old method of tree culture, pleaching, has also been re-introduced.
A fine line of clipped topiary whitebeams and a maturing line of red hawthorns in wooden tubs are recent developments, which echo the garden’s Italianate origins. Nearby a new garden in the style of a 19th century French potager and featuring 20 giant wooden pyramid plant supports is the boldest project to date and frames a new vista across the garden.