20. East and West Lothian

Wednesday 7 July 2021

Hopetoun House
The Earl and Countess of Hopetoun

Hopetoun House is the work of two of Scotland’s greatest architects; Sir William Bruce, Surveyor-General of the King’s Works in Scotland, who designed the original house between 1698 and 1710, and William Adam who greatly extended the house from 1720 until his death in 1748. Adam also designed the surrounding parkland in the 1720s. To the south of the house lies a substantial 18th century walled garden. This was, for many years, the kitchen garden for the house, until abandoned in the 20th century, it became a garden centre. From this dire state, the garden has been rescued by Skye Hopetoun who started work in 2008 and has, in a remarkably short space of time, created a wonderful garden in a very naturalistic style. Within the apple-clad walls, the garden is laid out semi-formally with walks of pleached limes and Irish yews leading to hedged enclosures each bursting with low-maintenance perennials exploding in exuberant drifts of pink, purples and blues among grasses which extend the season of the garden well into the autumn.

Broadwoodside, Gifford
Anna and Robert Dalrymple

Broadwoodside Tour 20

Broadwoodside Tour 20

Broadwoodside is a garden of great style, wit and considerable charm, laid out around a farm steading which was derelict when the Dalrymples bought it in 1997. The results of the restoration are two enclosed courtyards. In the lower, grass panels surround a large copper planted with lilies and pelargoniums. The perimeter planting is a froth of Alchemilla, Alliums, Euphorbia and a ‘Thug Bed’ of Eupatorium, Japanese anemones and Macleaya. The upper courtyard is more structured with eight Norway maples each differently under-planted in a chequer-board of grass and cobbled squares, around a central iroko aviary which contains the ninth maple. Around the edges of the courtyard there are drifts of Valerian, Astrantia and Solomon’s Seal. The garden escapes from these enclosures to surround the steading, with a walled vegetable and cutting garden with a canal-shaped pond, a topiary walk and orchard. This is a garden, with planting that is far more interesting than the Dalrymples will admit, with a wonderful structure of hedges and sculpture light-heartedly reminiscent of Little Sparta, the whole quite beautifully and enviably maintained.

Bowerhouse, Dunbar
Mr and Mrs Mark Tyndall

Bowerhouse was built by David Bryce in 1835 (he was also the architect of Portmore), who was the pre-eminent Scottish architect of his day and the inventor of the Scottish Baronial Style. The house is only about one and a half miles from the sea so the mild conditions allow an enviable range of half-hardy plants to be grown. Two enclosed gardens lie directly behind the house, the greenhouse garden has box-hedged beds planted with tulips in the spring, followed by perennials and roses in the summer.

A large Euphorbia x pasteurii ‘Phrampton Phatty’ enjoys the shelter of the south -facing wall of the house as, further on, does a spectacular Magnolia grandiflora, which reaches almost to the eaves. A number of ancient yews have been cleared in recent years to allow light into the Thorn Garden, newly planted, largely, with roses. Formal perennial borders, with roses trained on wooden obelisks, frame the entrance to the new formal pond garden. A pair of Clerodendron trichotomum flank the steps down to the pond beyond which an avenue of Sorbus aria ‘Magnifica’ lead the eye to gates set in the surrounding yew hedges.