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Plans revealed to update historic rose garden at Deeside castle

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An “outdated” historic garden could be transformed with a new design, selection of flowers and sculptures.

The Rose Garden is one of eight landscaped “compartments” forming the Walled Garden at Crathes Castle, near Banchory.

The garden has had several lay-out changes since being created around four centuries ago, with the current layout laid-out sometime around the mid-1970s.

Now the rose garden – praised by esteemed horticulturist Lady Sybil Burnett in 1904 for its a “brilliancy of the colour masses” – is to be redeveloped.

It is hoped the work will “enhance the cultural, historic and architectural significance of the site and wider estate for present and future generations to access and appreciate.”

The yew hedges which enclose the Rose Garden will be retained but all other planting within the central garden is to be removed.

The “central feature” of the new design is eight flower borders, laid out concentrically in plan to replicate a stylised Jacobite Rose.

Artist impressions

For “added dramatic effect”, there will be a large carved granite sphere with gently-trickling water, positioned over a shallow water-filled reflection pond as a focal point in the centre.

Plans submitted by the National Trust of Scotland to Aberdeenshire Council state: “With an outdated layout and planting scheme, the Rose Garden at Crathes Castle is to be redeveloped to create a new public offering which ties in the historic and contemporary use of the site.

“A limited palette of high quality materials will be used to create a distinctive circular garden, featuring concentric flower beds of specially-selected plants to provide year-round interest.

“The central area will incorporate a carved stone sculpture, seating benches and bespoke ironwork arbours as a point of focus to the new garden and as an attractive aspect when viewed from the historic castle.

Artist impressions

“It its entirety the redeveloped garden will enhance the cultural, historic and architectural significance of the site and wider estate for present and future generations to access and appreciate.”

Aberdeenshire Council will make a decision on the plans in the coming weeks.

A new gatehouse will also soon be installed at Crathes Castle’s walled garden.

The National Trust for Scotland last year applied for permission to install the structure to ensure visitors pay for entry to the gardens.

Until recently, an “off the shelf” timber hut was used for admissions but after it fell into disrepair it was demolished – meaning the team rely on customers to be honest and buy a ticket at the shop.

Now Aberdeenshire Council has granted permission for a new timber-clad pavilion, with a wildflower roof. It will have a with “swipe card” system to allow access to the garden.

In their approval notice, officers stated: “The proposed entrance pavilion is considered appropriate in terms of layout, siting and design, without causing a detrimental impact on the setting of the A-listed Crathes Castle. “

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