Monday 11 July 2011

Two East Neuk Gardens

Recently we have been lucky enough to visit a couple of lovely private gardens in the East Neuk of Fife.  The first one was in Boarhills a little village about three miles out of St. Andrews on the Crail road.  The house used to be the former schoolhouse and is now owned by some acquaintances of ours.  Part of it is now a studio as Liz is an accomplished artist.  The studio was open to the public on a glorious, sunny Sunday last month as part of an open studios weekend to promote the work of artists throughout the East Neuk.  As well as the paintings on display, we also had the good fortune to wander about the lovely garden.  It is a substantial plot of land which has been broken up into a number of little mini-gardens, all slightly different.  Here for example is a rose encrusted bower, with bench for sitting.
 This one shows a corner of the garden which has a very old hammock and a table full of bits and pieces.  Not sure I would like to try the hammock though.
 The garden is in fact full of fascinating objects such as this piece of iron work below.  The garden is a constant delight to the eye as there is so much to see, and much of it unexpected. 
Though the many unusual objects make the garden more interesting than most, it is full of wonderful flowers, which make a colourful display as can be seen in the next two photos.

I end with this gorgeous display of climbing roses which adorn the entrance to the kitchen.  The roses gave off a lovely scent to add to the enchantment.

The other garden that we visited was Wormiston, which is an old estate just outside Crail off the main road to St. Andrews.  The gardens were open to the public last Sunday as part of Scotland's Garden Scheme.  The house itself is a very fine building which dates back to the 18th century.  Here is a view of the main façade.
 As this was an open day part of the attraction was the chance to indulge in some lovely cream cakes and tea, and buy some plants, or take home some delicious home made marmalades, jams or chutneys.  These were provided by Cecilia, the Jam Lady and here is her wonderful display of goodies.
 I, of course couldn't resist the temptation and bought a jar of gooseberry and elderflower jam and an apple and sage jelly.  This latter one I've already tried with chicken and delicious it was.  The main garden is a walled enclosure which is divided into five distinct sections.  Nearest to the house is this delightful mini maze.
Next to the maze is a wonderful old fashioned border, which as you can see was full of summer colour.
 Behind this border is a small formal garden with lawn, roses and more flowers.  This in turn leads on to a small orchard which has been left pretty much to its own and is now full of wild meadow flowers.  Such a lovely and unexpected contrast to the formal area.
The other side of the traditional border is the vegetable and herb garden.  This included these gorgeous sculptural alliums.
Throughout the garden you come across some genuine sculptures like these two creatures.  Below are some more examples of old artefacts which adorn the garden.

Apart from one little shower, we were blessed with lovely, warm sunny weather for out visit to Wormiston, which is well worth visiting if you ever get the chance.  I end with this photo of a blue dragon fly which I just managed to snap as it was hovering about one of the small ponds in the walled garden.

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