There are several independent gardens within the estate, all providing varied walks and seating areas in which to enjoy the great outdoors:
- Keyhole and Rainbow Gardens
- Oriental Garden
- Sensory Garden
- Walled Garden
- Woodland Garden
Keyhole and Rainbow Gardens
The Keyhole Garden is situated above the Woodland Garden and is so named because the hedge of Prunus Ceraslfera which borders the garden is in the shape of a keyhole. It provides shelter for colourful herbaceous borders.
Within the Keyhole Garden is the Rainbow Garden which was planted in 2010 by Billy Carruthers of Binny Plants in Broxburn, a noted plantsman and founder of one of Scotland’s leading nurseries. He selected plants to replicate the colours of a rainbow which gives pleasure to Residents, Home Owners and their visitors all year round.
The Oriental Garden was designed in 1984 by Peter Rogers, a Gold Medalist at the Royal Horticulturist Show in Chelsea. It is situated in the centre of the courtyard within the houses and flats of Queen Victoria Park. It features a “Kare Sansui” or a dry river stream in which the overlapping slate stones give the impression of moving water.
The Sensory Garden is our newest garden, developed in 2012, and is located at the west side of Inchmarlo House which is visible from the Dining Room, Bar and Green Drawing Room.
It was designed by pupils from Keig Primary School, Alford, who won a competition to design a garden to commemorate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. They chose to design a sensory garden, featuring a number of plants that would stimulate the residents’ and Home Owners’ five senses. Around 70 species of plants have been planted in the garden, including buddleias, rhododendrons, junipers, dianthuses, hebes, potentillas and some herbs.
Over the years, families of previous Home Owners and Residents have chosen to plant a tree in the grounds of Inchmarlo in memory of their relative who spent many happy years/in recognition of their latter years at Inchmarlo.
The Walled Garden
Around the Keyhole Garden is the Walled Garden featuring many herbaceous plants. On either side of the Keyhole Garden is the putting green, regularly used by Home Owners.
The 6-acre Woodland Garden features 100-200 year old Scots Pines, Douglas Firs, Yews and Beeches.
These and other trees form a dramatic background for a spring and early summer riot of mature Azaleas and Rhododendrons which produce an array of colours and scents. In autumn, the changing colours of the trees and shrubs are simply spectacular.
There are excellent specimens of Rhododendron wightii, R sutchuenense, R hunnewellianum, R “moonstone”, R Loderi, R “Elizabeth Lockhart”, Azalea lutea and many other spectacular Rhododendron and Azalea species and varieties. Numerous Late Victoriana Harry and Clara Mangles hybrids form spectacular, mature bushes and there are vast banks of the ubiquitous R ponticum.
Inchmarlo boasts many other mature and spectacular plants and trees such as Acer griseum with its cinnamon coloured bark. In the spring there are carpets of Snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis) and snowflakes (Leucojum vernum), or early and late varieties of daffodils and wild wind flowers (Anemone nemorosa).
Later in the year Primulas, Himalayan and giant poppies provide splashes of colour among the trees and shrubs.