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14 Sep 2020

Virtual garden tour: Fyvie Castle walled garden (part 2)

A view of a walled garden with bright purple flowers growing in the foreground. A collection of stone buildings can be seen behind the wall in the background. Cane wigwams are dotted across the flower beds. At the centre of the garden are some carved upright stones with text upon them, introducing the garden to visitors.
The walled garden at Fyvie Castle
Join Fyvie Castle gardener Stuart Stockley as he takes you on another fascinating tour around the Walled Garden of Scottish Fruits, home to the largest collection of Scottish fruits and vegetables.
Fyvie Castle walled garden virtual tour


Hi everyone. I gave you a garden tour a couple of months ago now, and the gardens are a lot further on now. So I thought you might like a bit of an update. So I’m going to take you on another tour of the gardens so you can see how things have progressed. Also, I’ve done a couple of videos this year for techniques for growing things, and I thought you might like a little update on that as well, so I’ll talk a bit about them and show you how they’re going along.

So we’ll start with this pear bed here. As you can see, we’ve got these rather unusual looking flowers here. Believe it or not, these are leeks, and this is what will happen to your leeks if you leave them in for a year. These are actually last year’s leeks that we put in the ground, and we didn’t harvest them – we decided to leave them – and this year, as you can see, we’ve got these amazing flower spikes on them, which I just think look really quite unusual and almost alien-like. So that’s what these are – these are the leeks.

In between here, we’ve just got some courgettes growing between the apples – sorry, the pears, I beg your pardon. So that’s our ornamental pear bed. We have some cornflower at the side.

I’m at the end of the main border now in the garden. This will eventually become an extension of the herbaceous border that you can see further down there. But this year, until we get a bit more money to spend on the herbaceous border, we’ve just put in some wigwams with some French climbing beans on. And in the ground here we’ve got some pumpkin as well. So that’s that, if we walk down towards the herbaceous border. So this is just where the herbaceous border is starting now.

As you can see, some of the stuff’s past its flowering and other stuff’s just starting to flower now, like this Helianthus at the back here. This will be full of flowers before we know it.

The likes of the Centaurea macrocephala here has already flowered, and you can just see the remains of one of the flowers here, but that’s not got long left, unfortunately.

The Veronicastrum at the back there, looking amazing – really tall, really big flower heads on that this year.

And as we get to the bottom of the herbaceous border, we’ve just done the same as what we’ve done at the other end here. We’ve got wigwams with French climbing beans on, and then pumpkins just at the bottom there.

This is one of our ornamental apple beds here. You can see the Belgian fence there, and you see the apple trees on there. They all need a good prune – I’ll do a video on how to prune these as well shortly, which I’ll put up online for you to see.

In between the apples, we’ve got some chard down the right-hand side. And in between the frames, we’ve got some dahlias.

All the apple trees are very young – they only went in last year – so it’s a long way to go until they’re fully up on these frames and looking their best.

Now this is the potato bed – some of you may have seen the video I’d done about growing potatoes under straw this year. So, well, this is how they’re getting along. I don’t truly know, because I’ve not lifted up the straw to see what’s happening underneath. I would say the shaws are looking a bit spindly, and not their best, so I’m not sure as yet how successful we’re going to be growing the potatoes under straw this year, but I will give you an update when we harvest them to show you how well we’ve done, or didn’t do, maybe. We’ll wait and see.

And then we’ve got wigwams at the end with sweet peas on, which are just looking great at the moment and smelling fantastic. And on the other end of the bed, wigwams with runner beans on.

This is the herb parterre, which really wouldn’t have been up to much earlier on in the year, at all. So I think Gaea, in fact, maybe still had her winter coat on. So she’s got her jacket off now and enjoying the sunshine. And we’ve put all the bay trees out, and the flowers are coming up nicely. We’ve got Nepeta in there and Echinacea flowering here at the front, and that’s Helianthus again growing up around Gaea. And when that starts to flower, which it is just about – I can see one or two flowers just opening up on it – that’ll just be covered in bright yellow flowers. So that’s the herb parterre.

The box needs a good clip – I’ll get onto that this week, I think.

Here’s our Brassica bed. Again, wigwams at the end of the bed with chive in the front, and then behind the wigwams are all the Brassica – under the net to keep the cabbage white butterfly off. So they’ve all come along quite nicely. Got a good bit of growing to do yet though.

And this is the onion and carrot bed – oh, and parsnips, we’ve got parsnips at the end there as well. So, some of you may have seen my video when I was getting this bed prepared. I had put down some Mypex matting, which you can see there, and I basically just planted through the matting. As you can see, the onions seem to be doing pretty good – getting nice and swollen. The carrots seem to be doing good too. And my reason for putting the Mypex down was really just to keep the weeds at bay this year. So, yeah, pretty pleased with how that’s turned out.

And this is the runner bean and Bishop dahlia bed. Now, I think the last video there was, it was just a bed full of sticks the last time you would have seen it. Well, as you can see, all the Bishops are just starting to come up now, which are looking fantastic. And in the middle there, we’ve got this A-frame with runner beans climbing up. So, it’s basically like a tunnel – you can go right through to harvest the runner beans. The idea being that the weight of the vegetables sort of hang in the centre, so it’s nice and easy for you to harvest – you just walk through and harvest that, and the foliage will be on the outside just soaking up the sun.

And again, these Bishop dahlias, I mean they’ve just started flowering, but this should be a real good splash of colour within the next week or two as well.

I’ll just take you into the greenhouse now as well, and show you how things are getting along in here. As you can see, our tomatoes are doing just fine, and they’re absolutely delicious, I can confirm – I have them most days for my lunch (laughs). There’s some cucumbers here as well, which we’re still getting – still doing great.

Got a fig tree here as well – doesn’t produce many figs, but when it does, they’re absolutely delicious. There aren’t as many ripe ones left. All these little ones will be next year’s figs. There might be one or two ripe ones hiding at the back, but they might be done for this year, unfortunately. I think they are.

And also got some chillies here as well. As you can see, lots and lots of chillies here. Just waiting for them to turn red. I think we’ve got one down here that’s just done the turn.

Well that’s it guys. I hope you’ve enjoyed your little tour, but I highly recommend you come down and see the gardens for yourself.

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