July 9th was a busy castle garden day. After we left Drum Castle we drove a short distance west to Crathes Castle. The lands at Crathes were granted to Alexander Burnard, forester at Drum by Robert the Bruce in 1323. That is what one calls a bit of history. The castle is not open to the public but the gardens are. And they were gorgeous. I have never seen shrubbery so large and so beautifully shaped as they had here.
I am sure they got asked so often about how they clipped these huge shrubs that they posted a photo to show how it is done.One of the things I really liked about Crathes was the colour-themed gardens. There was the blue garden: And the pink garden: And the pink garden: And the yellow garden, which I loved because yellow is my favourite colour: The lavender was in full bloom.
What a beautiful place to sit and rest and enjoy. There was a vine that had gotten into the shrubbery and was gradually covering it in pretty red. I cannot begin to imagine the amount of time it took to arrange and plant and care for all of these lovely gardens. They are an absolute joy to walk around in but you could not pay me enough to get me toiling among the greenery.Our final stop of a very full day was the Peel Ring of Lumphanan, a giant earthworks from the 13th-century. It was the site of a fortified residence, perhaps a hunting lodge of the mighty Durward family. Nothing is left but the massive earthwork foundation. We arrived at the Glen Lui Hotel in Ballater at 6:30 and were very happy to put our feet up.