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21 Aug 2018

Armistice gardens bloom across Aberdeenshire to mark First World War centenary

Members of the Royal British Legion helped plant white borders at Trust gardens
White borders have been planted at Trust gardens in the North East to mark 100 years since the end of World War I

The Armistice installations have a dedicated area in gardens at seven of the conservation charity’s places in the region, including Crathes Castle and Drum Castle near Banchory and Pitmedden Garden near Ellon.

Each display was planted in June with the assistance of Royal British Legion members. They’ll be easily spotted during the coming months by their borders of white flowers such as alyssums, cosmos ‘purity’ and Lavatera, all chosen to represent the colour of the Armistice.

To commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the final days of World War I, gardeners at National Trust for Scotland properties across the north-east of Scotland have cultivated striking memorial displays of Armistice flowers to remember those who lost their lives.

Drum Castle
Drum Castle is one of the properties with a special white border to mark 100 years since the end of the First World War

The borders will also include a red poppy design, depicting war poems written at the time by Scottish poets Mary Symon and Violet Jacob. Violet lived in House of Dun, a National Trust for Scotland property in Angus. Each garden also features historical facts about the iconic war symbol, the red poppy.

The idea came from Laurie Daguin, head gardener at Drum Castle, to mark the centenary of the Great War, as well as the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Royal Air Force.

“We’re very proud to have been able to commemorate the centenary in our own way and we hope that visitors to the gardens can learn more about what life was like for people around the time of the Great War.”
Laurie Daguin, Head Gardener at Drum Castle

Laurie continues: ‘Many of our properties had very prosperous gardens at the verge of the First World War, but they fell into disrepair when most of their workforce was called to action. We’re aiming to unravel the myths from the time of the war, such as who maintained the gardens while the fighting was taking place, while remembering all who fell during the conflict.’

A number of National Trust for Scotland places have wartime connections: Pollok House in Glasgow became a hospital for soldiers convalescing from World War I; Haddo House was used as a maternity hospital during World War II; and Crathes Castle was used as a hospital after World War II.

| Update 20/11/23: Pollok House closed on 20 November 2023 for approximately two years to facilitate the second phase of a £4 million programme of investment led by Glasgow City Council. |

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