While Scotland is full of natural beauty, the formal gardens are stunning as well. Even in late August and September as fall colors begin to appear, the gardens are filled with flowers I’m used to seeing in the spring. Visiting the gardens is not just season shifting, but era shifting. You can step back to 1604 when a magnificent Renaissance walled garden was designed at Edzell castle. The checkered recesses in the walls would have been painted blue and white to mirror the Lindsay family’s heraldry. The walls have carved plaques of mythological and natural symbols.
The entire Edzell castle buildings and gardens likely could all fit inside the Victorian walled garden at Scone Palace.
Scone has a star-shaped maze of green and copper beech trees inspired by the Murray family crest.
Several gardens had tree arbors where the branches intertwined into arches, but none were more impressive than the ones at Scone. I also learned a new term—Pinetum. This collection of pines and conifers includes a Douglas Fir grown from a seed David Douglas sent from America in 1826 for the tree named after him. Douglas had been a gardener on the palace grounds. The pinetum has a wonderful trail of wood sculptures of scenes from Macbeth.
Another location Shakespeare used in his Scottish Play was Cawdor Castle. Like Scone, it is still lived in and has a wonderful garden.
The capital city of Edinburgh has glorious gardens throughout the city and the Royal Botanic Garden just a mile from the city center.