About the Castle
Kilcoy is medieval castle largely rebuilt by the Victorians. It has an uninterrupted view to the West along the Beauly Firth and has a mild microclimate. Unusually, the walled garden is right next to the house and is divided into two areas. Once the concept was approved the owner said “I have a picture of what this garden is going to look like, but my imagination is different from your imagination – I trust your imagination!”. In the nicest possible way, I was given carte blanche to do as I wished.
A rhomboid garden
The garden is rhomboid and had been awkwardly divided into four sections. The resulting angles were unsatisfactory. To overcome this problem, we took the central point and worked outwards, starting with the Marian Garden – a star surrounded by a pleached hornbeam hedge, underplanted with holly, and softened with different grasses. There are virtually no straight lines in this garden and by using curves the garden seems bigger. You can’t see round corners, so there is always a sense of ‘what is next?’. During the design process, the owners gave me this poem, which begins:
When no one listens To the quiet trees When no one notices The sun in the pool. Where no one feels The first drop of rain
A sense of arrival
The planting here is broadly romantic with naturalistic leanings. The hedges are contoured to swell and taper, to draw you along and to give you a sense of arrival. The very centre of the garden, is block planted with yew which in due course will be cloud pruned. This is the physical, beating heart of the garden.
Check out the Star Plants of Kilcoy Castle