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16 Jun 2020

Virtual garden tour: Brodie Castle shrubbery


Hi everyone, today I’m going to show you the shrubbery garden from here at Brodie Castle.

The shrubbery garden is set out on the east side of the castle. In the middle of the shrubbery lawn we have an ancient yew tree. Don’t know the exact age, but as you can see, very large – taller than the single-storey part of the castle, the east wing.

Over there, we have our castle border, recently extended.

As you can see, in the far we have, this year, made natural stakes out of some birch that needed to be thinned out. So, again, if we cut something done, we try and reuse it or recycle throughout the estate. And there’ll be sweet peas climbing up there and the dahlias are set out behind. You can also see pictures of that on our Brodie Facebook page.

So I’ve spun back around, you can see the castle. The bottom big bay window there, that’s the library.
But, yeah, that’s the castle. And down, just to the left of the castle is the long west avenue leading to the pond. So that’s it, we’re coming out to the east.

Again, in the lawn we have a few birch trees, a couple of pine trees, a few different yew trees, and the big yellow azaleas.

Lovely specimen here is a rowan. White flowers just coming in, lovely red berries in the autumn – great for the birds.

So as I just walk through, we’ll walk down to the sundial, and I’ll let you enjoy some of the rare specimens that we have. As you can see now, the bluebells have gone over in the meadow grass. We’ll let the grass come up with various things flowering and then we’ll cut it down around mid-to-end-August – that’s the best time to cut your meadows down.

So as you can see, there’s lots of trees in the shrubbery. There’s a lot of, not too dense, lots of birch, lots of beech, aspen. On the other side we have our acers, our rhododendrons, a few roses, shorter trees, tall trees, we’ve got beech at the back.

Here’s our sundial. Again, part of the listed part of the castle.

So off the sundial, we have four main avenues. One there with the acer, that’s looking north, looking to the east, to the south, and then to the west, which leads back to the castle.

Obviously you can’t smell just now, but the shrubbery is in full flow just now with the rhododendrons out. And the smell is just amazing, especially on a hot sunny day like today.

I was cutting the grass out on the shrubbery lawn earlier, and all you could smell, just the scent was amazing.

So at this point for now, obviously we’re still closed at the moment.

This is our Davidia tree. That’s just finished its flowering. That’s the white handkerchief tree, for anyone that doesn’t know Latin, that’s the handkerchief tree.

As we’re closed just now, that’s the reason for this video. But it is great, you know, it’s great for the gardens to rest. But at the same time, we are really looking forward to everyone coming back.

But it’s also the wildlife. When I go quiet, you’ll probably hear the amount of birds chirping away. I know we’ve got lots of young fledglings around just now, but it’s absolutely beautiful.

The nicest part of the shrubbery, as you walk round the grass paths, every path there’s a new spot that opens up that you can’t see from where you’ve just been, and you find something else in flower or another tree, another maple. So there’s always something new. You could walk through here once a week, if not more often, and you’ll find something more – more and more to find. There’s almost picture spots at every corner you turn.

As I was saying, this area is a bit brighter. There’s a lot of beech trees here, and very dark, so we removed three – well, two were rotten at the base and another one was a very poor shape. So we’ve retained it, but it just opens it up. It gives our Liquidambar here – that one just there – just lets it give it a bit more shape. Because, as you can see, it’s got a lot of branches on the front, but if I come back around, there’s no branches on the back.

So they’ll start growing back out to the east, and we’ll get a better shape from then.

Lots of hollies, many old hollies in the garden. I’m currently under one of the variegated hollies. We had a little bit of a problem with this one last year, again. It was trying to revert, so we just cut out the reverting part of the holly. As I come back around I’ll show you.

It’s almost like a sunsplash. Again, I don’t know the exact variety. I’d have to look in the data book. But you can see the light flash of the yellow tips, mainly green on the leaves.

Stunning acer just there, the dark.

So there’s the formal yew trees, as I said earlier, the pine and the yellow azaleas.

Behind that is Cathedral Walk. Again, these lime trees were replaced due to honey fungus. But it’s part of the designed landscape, so we had to put the lime trees back in. And they go all the way down to the bothy. The bothy is currently under repair, but we hope to repair it soon.

I’ll finish off with one of my favourite trees. Not the nicest to work with – really sharp leaves, or petals. But this is the monkey puzzle tree – absolutely huge specimen. Yeah, really nice frame. And when you’re actually in the castle, you look out onto the monkey puzzle tree. That’s where you’re drawn to – out the main drawing room.

But that’s the shrubbery garden, and I hope you enjoyed it.

Join Brodie Castle Head Gardener, Ed Walling as he takes you on a relaxing tour round the beautiful shrubbery.

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