A brief history of Geilston...
Geilston Gardens are set around Geilston House, a manor house, originally a farm, which has its origins in the 14thCentury. The farmhouse fell into the hands of James Donald, a successful tobacco merchant in the 18thcentury.. In 1805 to the Geils of Glasgow took it over.. (hence the name) After the last inhabitant, and enthusiastic gardener, Margaret Bell, finally gave up the property the National Trust for Scotland took over the site.
The house is a great higgelty piggelty building comprising of many extensions which have been made over the years. The exterior was recently re-roofed but the interior of the house having now been empty for a number of years, is still awaiting refurbishment. The grounds however are in preside condition.
There are four distinct areas: the walled garden, the kitchen garden, the woodland garden and the orchard. We decided to explore the walled garden first...
The Walled Garden at Geilston
It was time to move from the Walled Garden to the Woodland Garden...
The Woodland Garden at Geilston
From the Walled Garden an arch framed gate leads into the woodland garden...
By the Weir in the Woodland Garden
We'd been exploring the Woodland Garden for a while when we rounded a corner and came across a bridge over the burn and the weir which we'd seen from the potting shed window. This was a magical place as the sunlight danced on the water...
The Woodland Garden trail had taken us right around the back of the Walled Garden and we now emerged at the entrance to the Kitchen Garden and the Orchard.
Geilston Vegetable Garden and Orchard
At the entrance to the Kitchen Garden is a bug house which accommodated a host of different insects. Then onto the garden itself. The first thing one is struck by is the enormous neatness, uniformity and rigour taken in maintaining this garden in immaculate condition. Row upon row of many varieties of each type of vegetable and fruit bush, beautifully tended. We were told that in addition to the two full time gardeners there are a number of part time workers as well as a large group of volunteers. Whatever they are doing is certainly working! When fruit and vegetables are ready for picking they are sold to visitors at the front gate of the gardens.
We had a great day at Geilston Gardens. Much to see - and also lots of stuff for kids to do and explore. We'll be back at the end of the summer to see how the produce got on and perhaps buy some. We may also take a picnic to have on one of the many well sited picnic benches throughout the gardens.