Our gardens extend for 6 acres behind the courtyard. We have a range of very mature beech trees, interspersed with Scots Pine and some unusual large Elm trees, but also there is a formal side to the gardens with a grassy lawn, edged with borders, rhododendrons and azaleas. There are many unusual and impressive species. Our 60 year old fig tree in the courtyard is particularly unusual, and does produce ripe figs most years in September. The fruits for the year thereafter are then already on the tree and overwinter, while it looses its leaves.
The garden also has a lochan, that is said to be a reservoir for the old iron furnace. However, we cannot see a connection, but there are two other lochans in the farmer’s grounds next to us that have a clear old connection to the furnace.
We keep our gardens child friendly and allow them to play by making shelters, seating areas, and enjoying outdoor life.
Of course our gardens are a haven for wildlife. Our family of red squirrels are particularly popular, and we feed them whole hazelnuts on the front wall, so that they come round regularly. You can see them playing acrobatics in the trees, being more prominent in winter when the trees loose their leaves. At times we do have to have words with them as they are not very traffic wise, and jump out in front of the cars along our drive.
Most nights you can hear our tawny owls hooting, and even during the day at times. But they are good at hiding and aren’t easy to spot. Most years we have barn owls as well, and at time young. they are particularly comical when they are thrown out for their first flying lessons, and they can often be seen sitting recovering low down in the gardens.