22. The Borders

Friday 9 July 2021

Carolside, Earlston
Mr and Mrs Anthony Foyle

The elegant 18th century house at Carolside stands in its park on the banks of the meandering Leader Water. Wooded hills rise on either side, giving a sheltered feeling not usually associated with The Borders. Behind the house, Rose Foyle has created a hugely romantic garden both outside and within the oval-shaped walled garden. Through a gate in the surrounding wall, a central path leads between borders overflowing with Delphiniums, lupins, Veronicastrum, Salvias and Nepeta to south-facing glass houses, home to a spectacular fig. But the glories of the garden are the roses, which, as behoves the National Collection of pre-1900 Gallica Roses, are breath-taking when in flower. Outside the walled garden, a walk leads to the Secret Garden and on to the Winter Garden, a Potager and Herb garden before returning to the lawns by the house. The garden was shortlisted for the HHA award 2020.

Whitburgh House, Pathhead
Mr and Mrs Alastair Salvesen

The dignified Neo-classical Whitburgh House stands at the top of a south-facing slope with long views over its magnificent dovecot to the Lammermuir Hills beyond. But behind the house lies its chief glory, the walled garden, originally created by Elizabeth Salvesen and her gardener Vincent Dudley in 1998, but redesigned in 2005 following extensive touring of gardens in the UK and abroad under the guidance of Noel Kingsbury. The result is an inspirational garden, that rises to a crescendo in the second half of the summer, with the structure of pleached beech hedges, yew pyramids rising out of a carpet of Sesleria autumnalis and Prunus cerasifera ‘Pissardii’ hedges, complemented by perennial planting which has to be robust and low-maintenance and anything but dull. The planting is intriguing even before entering the garden, with galvanised troughs of Darmera peltata at the entrance. Inside the plant combinations are very striking; swathes of brilliant green parsley underplant Crocosmia, Miscanthus curves sinuously in a beech enclosure, Argyranthemum ‘Jamaica Primrose’ is planted in bins framing the greenhouse door, red-flowered Schizostylis edges paths and Stipa tenuissima winds through red-leaved kale.

Corbet Tower, Morebattle
Mr and Mrs Simon Fraser

Sheltered by the surrounding Cheviot Hills, almost a stone’s throw from the English border, Corbet Tower is a garden of great charm and variety. Over the past sixteen years Simon and Bridget Fraser have continued to develop the garden they inherited, adhering to the happy mixture of wild, formal and productive themes. A substantial herbaceous border introduces the abundant walled vegetable and cutting garden, whose beds are filled with 12 different varieties of Rhubarb, Sweet peas, Delphiniums and Dahlias, with paths lined with Nepeta, Lavender and espaliered apples. From here the ground descends to a formal rose garden filled with old shrub roses including Ispahan, Tuscany Superb and Madame Hardy, before falling away into a woodland dell with the original medieval Corbet Tower and adjacent pond. The Victorian Scottish baronial house stands proudly on a terrace overlooking the garden, the surrounding parkland and the gently rolling hills.