The Four Garden Areas
Park and wider setting
Guests will notice that an Estate railing clearly separates the Castle setting from the wider park. Wildflowers have been sown into the parkland and in a few years we shall see the benefit of a landscape of wild meadow. There are further plans afoot to add some Highland cattle into this setting, but for now the parkland is steadily rejuvenating with new trees.
The new trees have breathed some life into the park, which is the first part of the Estate that guests will experience as they enter the main drive. Enticing views of different parts of the Estate are revealed encouraging guests to explore, as well as stunning views across the wider landscape of Loch Ness.
The main Castle Garden creates a formal setting for Aldourie whilst hinting at playful associations with the property. The turret-inspired topiary trees and historic references like the fortress-inspired bastions (soon to be installed) are good examples of this. The already impressive space combines order with fun to heighten the exclusive use experience. The idea is for the garden to be used and enjoyed by private guests, despite its formal layout.
This has been a major renovation. The gardening team unearthed a fine tree collection dating back to the 19th Century. The Castle is now committed to nurturing them all. All design elements have been carefully planned, for example, the winding paths and interweaving plant patches at the foot of trees. These will, in effect, guide Castle guests from one garden to another allowing no aspect of the arboretum to go undiscovered. The burial ground is also a significant historical feature. Tidying this area has helped to preserve its ornamentation and archaeological relevance.
This garden has a rugged feel in comparison to the Castle garden and has been restored to a very high standard. It features attractive dry walls made with a local stone. As guests walk into it they definitely feel as though it belongs in the Highlands of Scotland. Its central area is primarily for vegetable and fruit production (including high value crops and soft fruit). This impressive space is made up of a host of symmetrical vegetable patches and two large fruit tunnels. The fresh produce is already used to supply the castle kitchen as well as the other Wildland properties. Cutting flowers are also grown here for display in the castle and other properties. The striking 18th century glasshouses were restored back in 2016. They now grow fruit and veg for the chef and private guests to pick from, enabling Aldourie to offer a unique ‘farm to table’ experience.