Two years ago I was travelling around Scotland with my friend Maria and by chance we happened upon Castle May. We were doing the Scotland North Coast 500 miles route, taking each day as it came with five days to complete it. That meant we drove long distances each day, but in a leisurely pace and completely free to do as we pleased. One late afternoon we happened to be passing Castle May, and on a whim just because we could we stopped to look at the gardens. "You only have an hour!" the attendant shouted after us as we dove into the walled garden "And the house is not open!"
We didn't mind. It really was the gardens we wanted to see, and although they are lovely they are not so extensive that they could not be thoroughly explored within the space of an hour. The main attraction is the walled garden, and in the beginning of June it was absolutely at its best. The vegetable garden did perhaps not give the most exuberant impression, with tiny little vegetables in very tidy rows measured up with military precision. But the rest of it was a joy of mixed perennials! Looking at the pictures I feel inspired by the harmonious colour palette, and once again think about where I could do better in my own gardens.
As the castle lies right by the sea, having a walled garden is perhaps a necessity with the strong cold winds battering the land from all sides. Even on a warm June evening with bright sunshine, it was rather chilly to step into the open space beyond the walled gardens. (I dread to think how miserable it could be in winter, with storms raging on the open seas!) Behind the walled garden and the castle itself lie about 30 acres of parkland, with a beautiful little wooded area of windswept maples. A magical place for children no doubt!