The U3A garden group took themselves off to Edinburgh last week, to see a relatively new garden not so far from the centre of the city. Can’t say we’ve been too lucky with the weather for the last few garden visits, and this was no exception. Thunder was rumbling all the time we were there, but thankfully no lightning! I hate lightning – if I‘m outside! It rained of course, but not so much that we abandoned the visit. Rocheid was apparently an old house with a somewhat overgrown devastation of an area round about it, until about ten years ago when it was bought by the current owners. Both the house and garden have been rescued and restored, added to and recreated, to form a beautiful looking home and a garden full of interest, odd little areas on different levels, and “a surprise around each corner”.
In front of the house is a very formal two-level water garden. Water slides down a series of shelves from the upper pond to the central channel, bordered by paving slabs and tall thin evergreen trees that are generally found in Mediterranean climes. In between the trees are lamps, Japanese style, would you say? I rather like them! I liked the lilies in the flowerbed at the top of the garden too.
The garden – flowerbed and a lawn - extends round to this side of the house then opens up into the back garden,
There’s a path that goes along the back of the house, but on the corner opposite that stone wall is this beautifully laid out Mediterranean style bed with its enormous terracotta pot. Behind the palm trees on the right you get a glimpse of the pond that runs the length of the back of the house.
Following the path between the house and the pond you turn right at the end of the pond and enter a “tunnel” of arches with plants growing up and around them. At this stage of the year you could look through the sides of the “tunnel”, over a raised flowerbed, back to the pond.
Once out of the tunnel you are in the other half of the garden which you wouldn’t be able to see from the house. It was on a slope down-wards and had zigzag paths meandering down into the valley, through flowerbeds that are continually planted and replanted with shrubs and bulbs, wild flowers and perennials The thunder continued to rumble and the rain to fall, but we enjoyed the walk around this part of the garden, before we reached the stone steps beneath the curly wall that take you back up to the lawn.
One thing I forgot to show you is the sculpture I’m sure not everybody noticed, of the hare, seemingly prancing along the top of the wall on the far side of the pond in the top garden, while in the lower garden the “Compost shed” was interesting! It was built with metal rope and formed a very sculptural decoration to the garden.
So, having spent a good couple of hours looking at this and that, the rain finally got the better of us, and having said our goodbyes and thank-yous to the owner, we headed off back to the bus stop and Peebles!
Talk again soon.