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North gardens to bloom as stars on new BBC Alba show

Gordon Castle Walled Garden, Fochabers
Gordon Castle Walled Garden, Fochabers

Two of the most famous gardens in the north are to be stars of a new BBC Alba series.

The Gardens of Scotland show will feature the Gordon Castle Walled Gardens in Fochabers and the Inverewe Gardens in Wester Ross.

Murdo Macdonald, 63, from Edinburgh, makes his debut as a presenter of the new series which celebrates some of Scotland’s most important gardens due to their design, plant-life, setting and history.

Murdo said: “Scotland is famed for its landscapes, for natural habitats of variety and great beauty. We also have an incredible history and culture of cultivation, of gardening and plant collecting.

Murdo Macdonald

“I’ve had a pretty varied career, from army officer to estate factor.  I’ve worked across the UK and further afield but it’s only now that I’ve taken a step back from working full-time that I can indulge my hobbies – art and gardening.

“My own garden is my haven, there’s something very therapeutic about the solitary nature of gardening, the rhythm of it and the sights and sounds of nature.”

A keen gardener himself, Murdo visits one of the oldest and largest walled gardens in the country, Gordon Castle Walled Gardens in Fochabers in the first episode.

Originally built at the turn of the 19th century, the garden was re-developed in 2013 by owners Angus and Zara Gordon Lennox.

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Murdo talks to Zara about the renovation project and sees some of the 200 varieties of vegetable, 60 varieties of apple and over 50 varieties of flowers.

Over 200 products are made from what’s grown in the garden and they sell their produce and flowers.

Episode four takes Murdo to Inverewe gardens which are on the side of a loch near Poolewe in Wester Ross.

Inverewe Garden, Wester Ross

Gardens of Scotland is on BBC ALBA at 8.30pm every Monday from February 15 until March 8.

The series will be repeated in late summer/autumn this year with four new episodes following on.

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