The immaculate gardens of Dun Dubh

On a glorious autumn morning a small party of members turned up at Dun Dubh, Aberfoyle, Stirlingshire, to view the gardens. Callum Pirnie, Head Gardener, moved from Crathes Castle to Dun Dubh six years ago to carry out the restoration of this late Victorian garden. What he has achieved in that time is amazing. The gardens were immaculate set on different levels and taking advantage of the stunning views down Loch Ard.

Most impressive was the rock garden and crag laid out below the house which was built using huge rocks brought in from the other side of Scotland. And planted up with a selection of alpine plants. There is a terraced vegetable garden, Victorian styled greenhouse, small orchard, herbaceous beds and some fine specimen trees survivors of the original garden.

Duntreath Castle Gardens

Duntreath Castle gardens are quite a contrast to Dun Dubh – these gardens have been here a very long time. In the middle are two prominent buildings the original medieval keep and an elegant Victorian baronial style house. The gardens are formal gardens with box hedges, wide gravel paths and tidy lawns. Roses and sweet peas fill the box surrounded beds and pools with fountains are the centre pieces.

Beyond this there are great open vistas and parkland with large specimen trees. There is an ornamental landscaped lake with islands connected by wooden bridges and a bog garden where Gunnera manicata flourishes. A white swan floated on the still waters, the emblem of the Edmonstones who have lived here since the original castle was built.

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