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Kailzie (Kay-lee) Garden near Peebles.


On Tuesday evening I visited this fairly new garden in the Scottish Borders. It is in the Tweed Valley. The original Georgian house was demolished in 1962. Soon after that the present owner Angela, Lady Buchan- Hepburn decided to revive the gardens which had been looked after by 42 gardeners at one time but had fallen in to a wild condition. She herself conducted our tour and it was wonderful to see that she still has as much passion and energy as she had when she first decided to embark on what has become a huge project. Not only has she planted a formal garden within the walled garden but there is a chicken village, which one of her daughters has stocked with rare breeds. The hen houses are depicted as a church, a pub etc hence the name chicken village. Hedges were planted to give privacy and show off extensive twin herbaceous borders. On the high stone walls are black stains from the stove chimneys of the green houses which once ran right round this wonderful space. They had fallen in to disrepair and had been removed but there are still some original houses left which are heated by wood burning stoves. The Garden is famous for its geraniums and fuschias which are propagated each year from cuttings. Two full time gardeners and a team of volunteers do all of the work. There is also a kitchen garden full of vegetables, herbs, cutting sweet peas and other flowers and cabbages 3’ across. The long leeks are 3’ tall and still growing. Mushroom compost is used a lot. The estate has a fishery and Ospreys nest here. The views are to die for. Let me show you some of my photographs. I apologise for the poor quality of them.
As you drive in to the estate the view takes your breath away.

Looking over the fishing ponds in the near view, the River Tweed can be seen meandering through the valley on the north side of the estate. In the distance sheep graze on the lower slopes of the hills which rise high above where we are standing which is some 700 feet above sea level.

Here an indulgent parent had a pond scooped out to provide a little girl with a skating rink. It was used for the purpose until quite recently when health and safety issues decreed that it was no longer fit for purpose. Not to disappoint todays skaters Lady Buchan-Hepburn has decided and the Petanque club have agreed that their rink can be lined with plastic and flooded with water to give the skaters what they need.

There is a great Childrens Play area for the under 10 year olds.

Thereis a wood carvers studio onthe estate and someone has made what looks like a hypertufa fungi sculpture.

The air is very pure and the lack of pollution is shown by the number of trees which have lichen growing on them.

The oldest Larch in Scotland is here. The Kailzie Larch was brought by a Swedish visitor in 1725.

There are small burns with tumbling waterfalls

The wide variety of textures and colours are delightful to the eye

Wood anemones and forget me nots abound and all through the wildlife garden there are interesing grasses and wild flowers carefully chosen to attract the birds and the bees and other insects of the valley.

Here is a very interesting looking fern?

And here a lovely verbascum

The place has plenty of seating areas where you can sit and enjoy the views, or the plants, or just soak up the peace which pervades the gardens.

I went on an arranged visit with my gardening club but I will return with family and friends to enjoy the wonderful atmosphere.

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What a wonderful place :o) It's good it's being preserved.

22 Jul, 2011


Its only half an hour (25 miles) south of Edinburgh Hywel so should get plenty of visitors. They also have a cottage for rent and bunk lodges which take 25 in fully equipped self catering accomodation.

22 Jul, 2011

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