Growing on a grand scale |

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Growing on a grand scale

Gardening writer Gaby Bartai travels to the north of Scotland to visit an inspirational walled garden which is being recreated for the 21st century.
Photo: Gordon Castle

In 1803, Alexander, 4th Duke of Gordon picked the optimum site for his new walled garden. Gordon Castle, midway between Inverness and Aberdeen, had recently been rebuilt as a magnificent baronial mansion, and its original walled garden, closer to the castle, was now too small. His chosen site had the vestiges of a village on it, but that was a mere inconvenience; ducal needs came first, and his tenants were already being moved to a new village half a mile to the south.The new garden took two years and a million bricks to build. At over eight acres, it was one of the biggest in the country, and once restored will be the largest fully productive walled garden in Scotland.

The garden flourished through the Victorian and Edwardian eras, but the fortunes of the Dukes of Gordon declined until, in 1938, the castle had to be sold. By this stage it was falling into disrepair, and much of it has since had to be demolished.The castle and part of the estate were bought back by another branch of the family after the war, but were managed thereafter on a much smaller scale.The walled garden was turned over to commercial raspberry production, until in the 1980s that too became uneconomic. It was grassed over and for the next 20 years, apart from one remarkable surviving feature, was merely a walled field.

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About Kitchen Garden Magazine

In this month's issue of Kitchen Garden ... - Grow succulent strawberries - Save ££s on plants with our great offers - £2338 worth of garden goodies to be won! - Spring into action - 4 page sowing guide - Salads all year round - Try crunchy kohl rabi - How do you like it? Is your plot pristie or patchy? - Broad beans for beginners - 7 pages of delicious recipes - Bye bye to blight - Gloves tested - Boost your mood with gardeing