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Autumn bears fruit for historic Gordon Castle walled garden

The historic Gordon Castle Walled Garden in Moray, one of the largest of its kind in the country, is enjoying a bountiful harvest, yielding an abundance of fruit, vegetables and herbs harvested from the garden's fertile ground by its team of talented gardeners.

Published: October 12, 2015
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For the first time since the restoration began in 2012, the Walled Garden has produced a significant proportion of fresh ingredients served in the Castle's popular Walled Garden Café including potatoes, beans, cabbages, cauliflowers, tomatoes and chillies. Plus, every salad leaf served over the summer was grown on site.

Delivering on its ‘Plant|Pick|Plate' ethos, Gordon Castle's innovative range of food and drink products, including its multi award-winning Gin, herbal teas, jams and chutneys, are brimming with the highest-quality ingredients plucked from the Walled Garden.

Picture: OPR

Picture: OPR

The last of the fruit from the apple, pear and plum trees are now being harvested and will be used in the Gordon Castle Cider, along with a new range of limited edition gin liqueurs, which will be launched in time for Christmas.

The 2015 crop of lavender, rosemary, thyme flowers and leaves have also been collected and will be distilled into essential oils that fragrance Gordon Castle's luxury bath & beauty range.

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As it gradually makes its way into Autumn, the 8.5 acre Walled Garden is now half way through an ambitious restoration project, led by leading garden designer, Arne Maynard.

Adding a spectacular splash of colour, the four new cut flower beds that form the central feature of the garden - themed as Glowing Heather, Golden Peat, Scotch Thistle and Icy Glen - have provided plenty of inspiration for the 50,000 visitors that have flocked to the Cafe and Gardens so far this year.

Picture: OPR

Picture: OPR

The restoration of the castle's magnificent MacKenzie & Moncur Glasshouse has recently been completed and provides a real insight into the Victorian era of the garden's intriguing past.

Looking forward, the gardeners are planning to introduce large pear tunnels that will bring more height and structure around the garden's central square.

Autumn 2015 will also, for the first time, see an abundance of pumpkins, courgettes and squashes as a result of double digging and extensive manuring earlier in the year.

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Finally, at the request of the Walled Garden's growing fan base, a maze will soon be planted. At first, a wild flower mix will be used, bringing the maze into bloom in time for next summer. In the meantime, the gardening team will wait and see if their creative idea of a tea bush maze can survive a Scottish winter!

Picture: OPR

Picture: OPR

Angus and Zara Gordon Lennox of Gordon Castle said: "It wasn't that long ago the Walled Garden at Gordon Castle was one of the most productive kitchen gardens in the UK, if not Europe. However, when we took it over in 2011 all that remained were the fruit trees - the rest was just a grass field."

"Every part of the Gordon Castle Scotland business we have created since then, from the bath & beauty and gin to the food and gifts, has been centred on this historic garden. It is incredibly important to us. We may not be at the end of the restoration yet, but seeing what can be produced after two years is astounding. We can't wait to see what the fruits of four year's labour looks like."

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