Garden of the Season – Fyvie CastleSeptember 22nd 2022
Why should we visit?
In a corner of Scotland renowned for impressive castles, the pink-harled walls and fairytale turrets of Fyvie are amongst the finest in the county. History here stretches back a very long time and William the Lion, Robert the Bruce and Charles I have all been guests under its roof. Today’s visitors come to admire the art collection, which includes portraits by Raeburn and Gainsborough, and to walk in the extensive grounds, which are home to gardens, a lake and magnificent trees.
Story of the garden
The gardens that exist today were set out by General William Gordon in the late 18th century and they include all the classical features of a great house at that time. In the subsequent years the estate was planted up with new trees arriving from the colonies and since the castle came into the care of the National Trust for Scotland, many features have been restored.
The walled garden is home to the Garden of Scottish Fruits - a decorative orchard and vegetable plot, laid out to resemble the ceiling in the castle’s dining room. It was developed in the 1990s and was one of the first gardens in the country to plant heritage varieties of Scottish apples and pears, many of them trained up the walls as well as free-standing in the orchard lawn.
The beds around them are full of pumpkins, rhubarb, onions, carrots and all the other essentials of a well-stocked vegetable plot, while the herbaceous border, which runs the full length of the garden, is filled with delphiniums and lupins.
The bright dahlias that are grown amongst the edibles help to turn the entire garden into a decorative potager.
The lake that runs alongside the driveway is a magnet for wildlife and the estate is home to red squirrels that in autumn can be seen collecting stores for the winter ahead.
Anything else to look out for?
The Forbes-Leiths, who were amongst the powerful Aberdeenshire families to have owned Fyvie Castle over the centuries, made their fortune from America’s abundant natural resources, and so they planted an American Garden, full of trees and shrubs from the continent that provided them with their wealth.
Best time to visit?
In autumn the orchard is at its best and the herbaceous border is still flowering.
Earlier in the year there is an abundance of blossom and the grounds can be enjoyed all year round.
Any recommendations in the area?
Crovie is the smallest of the 18th century fishing villages that are nestled into the cliffs on the north coast of Banff and Buchan. The houses were built gable-end to the sea to help them withstand the waves and the only road in and out is a steep drop down hairpin bends.
Fyvie Castle is just off the A947 between Old Meldrum and Turriff.
Family ticket: £33
Castle open Thursday - Sunday,10.30am - 4.30pm until 30 October
Grounds and gardens open daily, 9am - dusk, all year round.
Tel: 01651 891266
Email: [email protected]
Courtesy of The Herald