Sunday, 9 June 2013

Kirkton Manor and Hallmanor Gardens

 I spotted a leaflet in the window of our local Post Office some days ago advertising the opening of two private gardens in the Manor Valley to raise money for CHAS (Children's Hospice Association Scotland). We visited Kirkton Manor garden last year as part of the Wayfarer's Market but it was attractive enough to warrant a second visit and we'd never been to Hallmanor so we made our way to the valley (just off the Peebles road) this afternoon. The first thing I noticed was nothing to do with the gardens but with the surrounding fields. Somehow our long and hard winter followed by the coldest spring for 50 years has produced just the right conditions for the emergence of a wealth of buttercups and daisies all around. It's so delightful to see this everywhere and the view from Kirkton Manor garden shows a beautiful example.
 There was a wealth of colour in this garden such as the yellow azalea above
 and the orange poppies and purple alliums seen above..
 But it was the sight of the mauve and blue bluebells that proved the greatest delight in this garden.
Then we went our way (3 miles into the hills, and we took the car!) to Hallmanor garden which at first sight looked equally lovely and colourful. Just look at those gorgeous orange rhododendron flowers.
John then spotted a sign pointing towards the loch. A loch in a private garden! That wasn't to be missed. And indeed it was breathtaking to emerge from a woody walk into the first signs of an ancient (I guess Victorian) weir and many signs that this water supply and loch were formed by installing a dam into the Hallmanor Burn.
And then the entire loch spread out before us. What a delight it must be to have a loch as part of your land. I suffered a serious attack of envy until I remembered the little road winding it's way up the mountain that is the only way of access to Hallmanor. It is splendid in the summer but must be sheer hell during the winter months and I hate to think what their broadband speed must be like, this is, of course, if they can even get broadband. After that I just enjoyed the loch and was grateful for this unique opportunity to walk all the way around it.
This is the Victorian dam that was built to form the loch and I'm assuming also to supply the house and probably surrounding valley with water (another practical problem of living out in the sticks!). Needless to say I could not resist the opportunity to walk across this construction. It you can go up and/or over, I'm your woman!
And I was rewarded in the middle by this fabulous view over the loch with the most fantastic reflections. The wheel you see is to open the loch and let the water proceed downwards. I have no idea if this is still in working order
but I guess not as this little house in the woods was the original home of the pump and other paraphernalia to do with the water supply and as you can see it has now fallen into total disrepair. However the old equipment is still present although in bits. Isn't it amazing how much effort was spend in those far off days in housing even this mundane equpment in a lovely setting?
As for us, we still have one final pleasure to come. The tea! With cake, of course (lemon drizzle!) and on a table decorated with wildflowers. Even after all the many years I've been here (in my 34th year here in the UK) this to me is so quintessentially British and one of the many things I love about my adopted homeland. You can always count on a fabulously tasting cuppa at such events.

2 comments:

Jewels said...

Oh my Frieda - what a wonderful trip! Thanks so much for sharing your photos...it looks like it was quite the nice adventure - wish I could have been with you :)

Linda said...

Oh my Frieda-breathtaking photos!!! I can only imagine seeing these sights in person.. Thank you for taking us along :)

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