Is it flaming June already?

June 29, 2022By Jennifer Kelly: AdminUncategorized No Comments

At last the weather has warmed and most cold winds have eased… we hope!

The Walled Garden shelters vegetable beds are bursting with growth. Twelve varieties of lettuce like little gem and salad bowl, interspersed with different leaves like freckles whose mottled leaves look the part! To add interest, a French heirloom variety ‘Marvel of Four Season (Merville de quatre saison) whose attractive pink tinged leaves are described as having crisp texture and a fine flavour. The prolific salad leaves are harvested fresh daily to supply the busy Garden Café.

The thriving brassica beds already provide kale and calibrese with any extra offered for sale at the Potting Shed Shop.

What a variety of vegetables are growing in the Garden this year! broad beans, french beans, sugar snap, mangetout, carrots, courgettes, cauliflower, leeks, onions, beetroot, spinach, swiss chard, – whew- and more!! Many potatoes are already in flower. Well known varieties like charlotte, rocket and pink fir apple are interspersed with new tatties to try such as swift, foremost and purple flowering caledonian rose.

In the small greenhouse chillies, melon and cucumber are growing well. Tomatoes in the large greenhouse already show promising trusses of fruit.

In the soft fruit garden the first strawberries are ready to pick. I could not resist tasting one as a ‘quality control check’ and I can verify the fruit is as sweet and flavoursome as any Scottish strawberry. You cannot beat strawberries grown outside in the full sun, perfection! Gooseberries, black and red currants hang in profusion as they ripen, forming fruits of raspberries and brambles promise an abundant crop later in the summer.

Lavender is on the cusp of full flower, that unique time when tips of purple and white emerge swaying gently in the breeze, a rippling sea of tiny flowers. All is buzzing with bees and the Garden’s six hives tended by beekeeper Jim will soon yield the first honey of the year.

Planted up, rapidly greening and budding, the cut flower beds offer a hint of the riot of colour soon to illuminate the Garden. The first sweet peas, gold and blue flag irises are joined by sedate delphiniums and fox gloves watching over the scene in quiet grandeur. The first trial bed cosmos flowers have come into bloom.

The central borders look lush and green and surprises of colourful blooms are silently emerging through the foliage.

The wild flower meadows will soon be filled with every different shape, size and colour of flower you could imagine but in the grass maze there is a special discovery to find, a beautiful wild orchid. Walk through the maze, listen to the plaintive cry of the oysters catchers trying to divert your attention from their young, keep looking and you will find this purple treasure.

The wild flowers are just about to bloom in the sweet pea meadow and the crab apple orchard, not long now!

The Potting Shed Shop is selling a huge variety of plants so you can take some of the beauty of Gordon Castle Gardens home to enjoy. Verbena, pelargoniums, argyranthemums, herbs, salad plants and hand tied early summer flower bouquets. Along with fresh vegetables as they are harvested.

Enjoy peace and tranquillity in the garden greeted by the open arms of summer glory!

Perhaps visit the Walled Garden Café serving freshly cooked meals using garden produce wherever they can. Open 11am till 4pm Wednesday till Sunday.

‘ Haste ye back’ there is always a warm welcome.

Kindly written by Liz Ashworth for Gordon Castle Walled Garden.

Volunteer Week

April 11, 2018By Jennifer Kelly: AdminBlog, Uncategorized No Comments

This week we are celebrating all the help we get from our wonderful volunteers in our beautiful Walled Garden!

Throughout the years we’ve had many people volunteer time helping develop the garden to its full potential and we are ever so grateful of all who come to lend a hand. We are proud to support the WWOOF program where volunteers can experience a wide range of opportunities all across the world on organic farms. We have welcomed a number or volunteers throughout the years through this program and have seen a real positive effect to the garden because of them. Check out our short video below where we interviewed two volunteers from Brazil last winter.

As well as working with the WWOOF program, many of our volunteers come from the local area, keen to help us complete this historic project. One of our regulars, Margaret has been with us for over four years now.We managed to steal a second of Margaret’s precious time to ask about her volunteering experience.

“I started volunteering at the beginning of the restoration of the Walled Garden and just love seeing the progress that has been made. I’ve learnt so much about gardening from planting to growing apricots and step over apples. It’s a real team effort and we all work hard – it’s kept me fit during my retirement that’s for sure! My favourite part of the garden would have to be the amphitheatre. It’s such a unique addition, especially for this area, and it’s so lovely to see the families gather in summer when we have outdoor theatre performances. This year will see lots of progression in the garden and I can’t wait to be a part of that.”

We too are a fan of our outdoor performances and with over five lines up including Pride and Prejudice, Dr Dolittle and The Midnight Gang it will be a jammed packed schedule. Find out more details here.

Volunteers at Gordon Castle Walled Garden

We love to get our volunteers involved with as wide a range of jobs in the garden as possible. You can expect to do everything from weeding, seed sowing and planting out to harvesting, cutting, arranging and drying flowers and decorating the café and shop. We’re always happy to teach volunteers about what we are doing so no previous gardening experience is necessary. We take volunteers Monday to Friday from 10am-4pm and are very flexible as to when and how long you would want to work. We also offer a free friends of the Walled Garden membership, a bowl of soup for lunch and free garden produce depending on what is available to all our volunteers.

We truly appreciate all the help we get as it is invaluable to the garden and to our business. As a big thank you we are hosting our 4th birthday garden party on the 7th July to celebrate all our volunteers, staff and their families. There will be live music, a bbq and lots of craft cider to enjoy. You are all invited!

If you would like to volunteer in the garden, we would love to hear from you! Please send your CV and details to info@gordoncastlescotland.com.