Saturday, 7 December 2013

Falkland Palace Garden

A wonderful garden, designed and planted by celebrated garden designer Percy Cane between 1947 and 1952. He had founded and edited the influential quarterly journal Garden Design. His commission came from Major and Mrs Michael Critchton-Stuart soon after they took over as Keepers of the Palace in 1946.

His design was influenced by John Slezer's 1693 engraving of Falkland which emphasised backdrop of  the nearby Lomond Hills. To acentuate these vistas Cane created a wide open lawn in the centre of the garden enclosed by six large island beds. Around the edge a grass walk meanders between the straight lines of the outer borders and the Arts and Crafts style curving lines of the inner islands.

Cane planted many trees in the garden , to complement the copper beech and oak circle planted by the 3rd Marques of Bute in 1887. The most extraordinary tree in this (or any) garden is the paper bark maple, Acer Griseum, with its brilliant red bark which was discovered in China in 1901.There is also a large orchard

 Falkland's tour de force has to be  the  180 metre long herbaceous border, below the ruined east range of the palace. Originally planted with lupins these were thankfully replaced with delphiniums in 1988, and fantastic they are too. Utterly spectacular.