Kinnoull Gardens ( 6,300 words, about 25 minutes)

This tale germinated during a caravan holiday at Scone, Perth a compact city which straddles the mighty River Tay, famous for its huge salmon.

Perth was was once the capital of Scotland.

Our visit was in May 2021, just as Covid travel restrictions were being eased.

On holiday, we enjoy visiting gardens and gardening centres, always hoping to find something special to take home and try in our own small garden.

On this trip we visited Branklyn Gardens, now owned by the National Trust for Scotland. This compact two-acre garden terraced garden was developed by John and Dorothy Renton in the early 1920s when it benefited from plants brought back to Scotland by plant hunters like George Forest and others.

Branklyn specialises in rhododendrons and azaleas, for which it is world-famous. And Branklyn Gardens Tearoom have the best fruit scones in Scotland!

The garden is collocated with Balnacraig School, originally set up in 1843 as a model industrial school for the disadvantaged young women of Perth.

Both properties lie on the slope of Kinnoull Hill which towers over the Perth.

On another day we visited Scone Palace, in times long ago dubbed “The Crowning Place of Scottish Kings”. Scone Palace Garden is famed for its hundreds of specimen trees, many of which are giants! It too has a collection of rhododendrons and azaleas laid out in a flatter, parkland setting.

Our next stop was Glendoik Gardens located behind the Glendoik Garden Centre. This also has an an amazing collection of rhododendrons and azaleas planted in a much more natural setting of a spectacular, steep-sided glen with a river tumbling through it, most definitely well worth a visit.

From these visits, a story was planted and grew over the time of our short break holiday.

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