Orchard and wildflower meadow

Whether you are looking to have fun and explore, or are seeking a place for quiet relaxation and inspiration, the orchard and wildflower meadow are well worth a visit. There is also an open lawn with picnic benches, and space to run around and play outdoor games.

To visit the orchard, cross the Maspie Burn as it flows down from the hill and pass through decorative gates, created by local artist and blacksmith Jim Shears to a design by our Head Gardener.

The orchard is bounded by willow beds, harvested each year for use in the garden and community, as well as an extensive mixed native hedge which provides another great habitat for local wildlife. By following the grass paths that lead you through the orchard you will help us protect the wildflowers and young heritage fruit trees. Old apple, pear and cherry trees are underplanted with lots of spring bulbs and a rich carpet of wildflowers that come alive in the summer with insect life. The area is also home to many birds and small mammals.

Standing dramatically at the centre of the orchard, with the palace and East Lomond Hill creating a stunning backdrop, is our Willow Queen. Created by artist Trevor Leat, she represents Mary, Queen of Scots who enjoyed hunting at the palace with her hawk.

Here you will also find our living willow labyrinth. Based on the design of the labyrinth in Chartres Cathedral, it’s the perfect space to wander and is a firm favourite with younger visitors!