Friday, 31 August 2012

Craigieburn Gardens

I was in Peebles yesterday to visit the Tweeddale Quilters exhibition in the St. Andrews Leckie Memorial Church (next to the post office in the High Street) which is well worth a visit and is open today and tomorrow still. I also popped into the library and picked up a leaflet there about Craigieburn Gardens near Moffat. This is a bit further than we usually go for a garden visit but it sounded great and my birthday celebrations were extended to take them in this afternoon. The weather wasn't smiling down upon us, rather it was crying but we didn't let that damp our spirits. And when John started to exclaim that this was the best garden he had seen for ages I knew we had done the right thing. The garden is about 5 to 6 acres and is located on the A708, which is the road from Moffat to Selkirk (very scenic in itself), about 2 miles out of Moffat, turn left after the traffic lights. 
Once you've done that you could imagine you had arrived in a completely different country. The garden is a collaboration between a British woman and a Tibetan, and everywhere there were signs of a beautiful merging of both cultures. Above you can see the little Sherpa house which you can enter and which transports you forthwith to the Himalayans.
 And yet it could just as well be a crofter's cottage in the Scottish Highlands. 
Dawa Sherpa, who we had a lovely chat with, has single-handedly turned this gorge into a garden with an attached nursery where the extra plants raised in the garden are sold (yes, before you ask, we did buy! how could we not, and I know we'll be back for more next spring and summer).
Japanese anemone
John was the first to spot the statue of the greyhound below; a monument to a much loved dog and of course it brought our own little darling immediately to mind. Hopefully it will be quite some time yet before we need to start thinking about erecting such a thing for her, but oh, how lovely.
Some of the garden is wonderfully wild and like an ancient woodland and other parts such as that seen below are more cultivated and has the conventional British flower borders, but with Tibetan flags.
 Some of the statuary is very western european but even then it merges beautifully into the surroundings.
And the combination of this giant lily set in among a variegated tree is a master stroke. It is so aesthetically pleasing that I wanted to go home and replicate it immedaitely. They work marvellously well together..
 The lily is a beauty in itself but against those leaves, simply delicious!

Everywhere in the garden there were Tibetan flags. I have a small collection of them in our own garden but John was never that keen. Seeing them on this scale however persuaded him otherwise and I'll be off soon to buy some more on a grand scale. 
In the background of the picture above you can see the waterfall thundering its way down the gorge and it was wild, due to all that rain we've been having lately. But what a wonderful sound to have in a garden.
Before leaving (and having a cup of tea and delicious cream strawberry cake in the attached coffee shop) I spotted the largest gunnera I've ever seen. Above an overview and down below the leaves you can just see a bit of pink which is part of the flower, although I'm only guessing here. You can see a detailed picture at the top of this post  After much deliberations and consulting John as well I finally settled on that picture as my blip for today!
 And here is another detail of the gunnera.
The gunnera is huge but there was a much smaller delight near to the car park seen above. Not 100% sure of the name at the moment but it shows quite clearly just how wet it was. However we barely noticed it. First of all the trees provided good coverage and anyway we were much too excited. I can hardly wait till next spring and summer to go and have a look when all the giant lilies are blooming and there apparently is a splendid display of blue poppies. If you're anywhere near, my advice is: GO. It will take your breath away.


Linda said...

Oh how I'd LOVE to go-you know that already tho don't you? I am amazed at the first photo-what a dreamy, delicate and unusual plant. Love seeing the Tibetan flags gently blowing in the breeze. Stunning photos!

Jewels said...

Fantastic Frieda - what a wonderful place to visit - I especially loved the moss covered dog - what a lovely tribute...funny the tie in to our Prayer Flags with Lenna :)

Lenna Young Andrews said...

well, unfortunately I am nowhere near, but that garden looks spectacular! So glad you got to make the trek there with John and extend your birthday celebrations!!

Terri said...

Gorgeous Frieda! Every time I come and see you I get to see such beauty of all types! What a wonderful place to visit!

Linda said...

Love the photos!


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