We are always looking for lovely new gardens to visit. Earlier this week, we spent a lovely day in Castle Kennedy Garden just outside Stranraer. The weather in Scotland hasn’t been of the highest quality of late but thankfully we arranged for some good weather to be delivered for our visit!
The garden is impressive although as is commonly the case we found ourselves there at the wrong time of the year. There are magnificent rhododendrons to behold but in September they are nothing but large green masses. To see this garden in late spring would be wonderful.
One of our favourite spots was the large circular pond, positively packed to the gunnels with water lilies. It was captivating. Every now and then the lilies would offer up a silent ripple of applause when a breeze passed and you find yourself staring for ages in the hope of seeing a frog hopping off a leaf back into the water or a dragonfly hovering. We loved it.
The walled garden was lovely, if a bit untidy. We’re perhaps being a tad unfair here as we’re to understand that all 75 acres of this estate is maintained by just two gardeners?! It shows unfortunately. There are signs all around of how things could be in better shape. The rhododendrons are both massive in size and in numbers and are in the process of swamping out everything else. The monkey puzzle trees are being crowded by their indigenous neighbours and some bold choices have to be made to return this garden to it’s former intended glory. Even the plant sale area is in need of some care and attention with plants for sale either passed their best or just leggy and unkempt. Really not appealing to potential plant purchasers.
You can’t help feeling that, with this garden, if all the small details were addressed then it would potentially attract increased visitors numbers which would generate more sales which in turn could be invested back into the gardens. They might be able to stretch to a third gardener too. All in all, if you are in the area we think Castle Kennedy is worth a visit. But if you only have limited time then definitely choose Logan Botanic Gardens or Glenwhan.
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