Culzean Castle

Those of you who havn’t visited Culzean before are going to be impressed with the Castle’s clifftop view over the Forth of Clyde towards the Isle of Arran. But for me its the tropical feel to the Fountain Garden, the miles of easy paths in the woods to the Swan Pond and beyond, but especially the trees and garden plants in Happy Valley and the Walled Garden that are of interest. Its open 9.30 to sunset each day (well, except the walled garden on New Year’s Day!)

There are Parrotias, Sciadipitys and Myrtles with their beautiful bark to delight in Happy Valley, and a beautiful arch of old Scottish Apples at the back of the walled garden. If you want to see a good selection of Scottish fruit, visit in early autumn.

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You will find Oslin, Stirling Castle, Bloody Ploughman and East Lothian Pippin here which I planted in about 1992. They have been kept beautifully as cordons, some making strong growth and thick stems, though all were on dwarfing rootstocks.

There are also many fruit trees within the walled garden, including a unique Scottish variety, Culzean Seedling. Also of great interest to fruittreemen (& women) in the walled garden is the enormous Fig tree in the south east facing corner of the wall, which has layered itself along the ground to a large extent. It produces lots of fruit and has to be rigorously controlled each year, such is the advantage of a good wall to plant against. Do visit this gem in West Scotland and enjoy!