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Meet Susan Lindsay from Aberdour Castle and Gardens – HES

December 13th 2017

I’m Susan Lindsay and I started my gardening career at 18 years old. I was always interested in art and being outside, so becoming a gardener seemed natural. I was an apprentice with Glasgow City Council in amenity horticulture and then worked for a couple of years in a plant nursery specialising in bedding plants. It was there that I really became aware that horticulture and gardening was the right career choice for me.

The intricacies of watering plants correctly and propagation were vast mysteries to try and uncover, this is still a delicate balance of trial and error. Now in my early thirties, I’m one of the few young gardeners in the industry and I love nothing more than introducing youngsters to the joys of the natural world and being creative in the garden.

I have now worked with HES at Aberdour for just over a year. I love interacting with visitors from all over the world who come to admire the history and beautiful landscape. I feel lucky to have the honor of calling this my work place. From time to time the MCU boys come and help with various things such as fallen tree branches but mostly I work alone. It’s fun to have the odd interaction and banter with these kind hearted lads. I am also very lucky to work with a brilliant young monument manager, Rachel and together, we use our youth and vitality to bring as much inspiration and creativity to the castle and gardens as possible.

This brings me on nicely to the plans we have for the apple orchard. We have 17 varieties of apples and are currently getting illustrated labels to name and identify each tree. We are also developing an idea for a recipe book for concepts on how to use the apples. These books could be available for visitors to take, along with apples and a donation that goes back into HES. We are also looking at a small booklet on orchard management and tree pruning. The interest in the orchard and the apples is really amazing and I would love to make this more of a point of interest.

As a gardener, I love working with my hands and feeling the dirt between my fingers. I love it when I clear a bit of ground for planting and a little Robin comes along to help me, as well as to get a few up-turned worms to eat! I enjoy seeing things grow, being out in the fresh air and seeing the changing seasons.

In particular, here at Aberdour, I love talking to the local people who come through while walking their dogs or to pick up their children from school. It is always a pleasure to talk to visitors about a shared passion for gardening and it adds a real sense of worth to my work.