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Scottish Garden of the Season: Drum Castle

September 20th 2015

The Garden of Historic Roses at Drum Castle

Drum Castle, Garden & Estate, one of the most stunning Scottish Gardens, is surrounded by a fabulous landscape and its renowned Garden of Historic Roses can be enjoyed at its best throughout June and July. Divided into four quadrants, each contains an authentic design from one of the last four centuries together with roses from that period. There are 400 different varieties of roses at Drum, representing most of the main groups.

To complement the roses there is a good collection of hardy herbaceous plants. The Pond garden is an unexpected delight, particularly for children and those who just want to sit a while and watch the world – and the ducks – go by! Ornamental grasses such as Carex comans ‘bronze’ and waterside plants such as gunnera and rodgersia are a delight to any plant enthusiast making their way through to the walled garden.

Now in the care of the National Trust for Scotland, the garden is maintained by a team of staff and volunteers led by Head Gardener Diana Robertson who shares here her seasonal highlights: “The garden at its peak is a glorious awakening of all the senses with curtains of roses cascading down the walls, the heady aroma of damasks and musks perfuming the air, and complementing the roses is a wonderful collection of herbaceous plants that last well into late autumn.”

The rose garden is only one of the highlights of a trip through the gardens at Drum: the Old Forest of Drum, a surviving corner of the Royal Forest that covered much of Deeside, is a treat for explorers old and young whilst the arboretum, lawns and parkland provide a peaceful place to contemplate the Castle’s various historical faces.

Author: With thanks to Jo Woolf

Where: Drum Castle, Garden & Estate, Drumoak, by Banchory, Aberdeenshire, AB31 5EY. 10 miles west of Aberdeen.

Opening Times: Garden of Historic Roses open 29 Mar to 31 Oct, daily 11-4.45; Castle, Tearoom and Shop open 1 July to 31 Aug, daily 11-4; 1 Sep to 29 Sep, Thu-Mon 11-4,45

Cost: Adults £12.50, Concessions £9. Free to National Trust for Scotland members.

Contact: 01330 700334 or visit