Malleny gardens is one of those small National Trust for Scotland Gardens, tucked away and a secret delight that's never too busy but always interesting. Just outside Balerno at the foot of the Pentlands the gardens and the house date back to the 17th century. We made this visit in July 2021 on a lovely sunny summer day.
|Entering through the ivy glad wrought iron gates|
|Ivy growing up the entrance gate|
It was once part of a much larger estate but now extends to 3.64 hertares of garden and woodland. Earliest records date from the early 1300's, it is mentioned in 1478 and the current house with its two stories and round stair tower dates from 1637 and contains many of the traditional architectural features of that time. In 1656 it was bought by the Scotts family. They were responsible for planting the yew trees you can still see today in the garden called the Four Evangelists, apparently planted to commemorate the Union of the Crowns. The property was rented out in the late 19th and early 20th centuries when the tenants developed the gardens extensively; Carmichael introduced wrought-iron features and Gourlay specialised in shrub roses. The final owners of Malleny, the Gore-Browne Hendersons continued the development of the gardens, introducing shrub roses and re-planting other parts.
|The yew trees|
|A secret garden awaits to be explored|
Anyway I have somewhat digressed in my walk down memory lane. Herbaceous geraniums flop over the paths, backed by upright Campanulas, Cirsium, roses and shrubs, all mingling and filling the space. Squares of lawn have been seeded with wildflowers and form a checkerboard of pretty wildflowers in between the purple of low, clipped Berberis hedging.
|Short hedges and grass paths dividing up |
the easterly part of the garden
|Purple Berberis hedges contrasts nicely|
with the yellow of Alchemilla mollis
|Inside the greenhouse|
|Through the hedges to the next area of garden|
|Anthemis and Achillea|
|Rose 'Prince Charles'|
|Rose 'Tuscany Superb'|
|Roses and feverfew|
|Summer days out|
|Gates in the garden walls|
|A wander through a summer garden|
From this part of the garden you skirt the edge of the house and come back though to the lawned area and the yew trees, through more herbaceous borders and lovely views of the house. From the gate you can walk across to the doocot partially hidden in the trees opposite the house. This doocot is unusual in that it has a saddle back roof rather than the usual conically shaped doocots we see dotted around the scottish countryside. From here you can walk past the fountain encircled with hosta and up through the woods. Mainly mixed deciduous trees with some yews at the western end. The woodland walk takes you gently up hill and out at the carpark.
Malleny has parking just up from the entrance gate and is dog friendly which is great.
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