The whole team travel deep into Lewis Grassic Gibbon’s Sunset Song country, to the Howe of the Mearns village of Arbuthnott. For anyone who drives the A90, the red clay soils of one of the most fertile and productive areas in the country will be familiar and are the dominant feature of the area.
Jim, Carole, George and Chris explore the area horticulturally and also solve some gardening problems for the gardeners of Arbuthnott gathered in the Lewis Grassic Gibbon’s Centre for a Q&A.
Jim and George visit one of the oldest gardens in Scotland at Arbuthnott House, while Carole visits the contemporary gardeners of Milltown Community.
In Beechgrove Garden episode 19 2017:
1. Arbuthnott House Garden
This 17thC historic 5acre garden at Arbuthnott House is reputed to be one of the oldest in Scotland. The whole creation of the walled garden owes its origin and design to XV11th century pattern and practice. The garden is on an incredibly steep slope and so was divided up by three main walks running horizontally across the contour of this slope and which were themselves connected by a series of diagonal connecting paths.
This pattern of paths was formed across and up and down the slope for the purely practical purpose of getting about the garden more easily. There is a lawnimmediately below the house and an orchard of fruit or hazel-nut trees further away from it. The greatest area of flat land within the garden consists of some two acres at the top of the slope which is where vegetables and fruit are grown, and surrounded by herbaceous borders, rose-beds and long beds for cut flowers.
2. Milltown Community Arbuthnott
Milltown community trust in Arbuthnott, a Camphill Community initiative. This community is a small dynamic community set in the Arbuthnott countryside, south Aberdeenshire, providing a home, a rich cultural and social life and a workplace for adults with a range of disabilities and support needs.