Scottish garden of the season: Portmore

July 31st 2016

266                                                       portmore garden  2007 083

August finds Portmore’s garden at its peak.

The walled garden is divided into rooms formed by yew hedges and a pleached lime allee.   These consist of carefully conceived colour schemes: some vivid others more muted.   Certain plants are duplicated throughout the garden in order to unify it.

Leading up to the handsome Edwardian glasshouses one finds a double herbaceous border planted in hues of mauve, purple, blue and claret with the occasional highlight of lime green.    Key plantings include repeated clumps of  Iris pseudacorus variegata, Salvia verticillata ‘Purple Rain’, Actaea simplex ‘James Compton’, Astrantia ‘Hadspen Blood’, Knautia macedonica and Nepeta sibirica ‘Souvenir d’Andre Chaudron’ creating a dazzling and unusual display. Agapanthus, Dahlias and Phlox are beginning to take over as the month progresses.

Either side of the entrance, long borders with Crataegeus laevigata are underplanted with balls of Ilex Golden King, Hostas, Anemone Honorine Joubert,  Astrantia Shaggy, Hemerocallis Lemon Bells and Kirengeshoma palmata.

These lead onto smaller bays themed in different colours.   The East side dominated by hotter tones while the West uses a cooler palette with four large Ogee metal fruit cages and a Knot garden.

Other features include a Potinger, a rose garden and dramatic south facing borders filled with bright late flowering perennials.  The glasshouses with their Italianate Grotto are crammed with a dazzling display of Pelargoniums, standard Fuchsias and Streptocarpus to name but a few. They also house a variety of tender fruit trees and an old vine.

Behind all this lies the working area of the gardens with cold frames, a small propagating greenhouse and a vegetable garden surrounded by espaliered fruit trees.

The outer areas have a water garden where one can wander along paths surrounding a pond fed by a small burn.  Here mature specimen trees and a variety of shrubs including roses sit in a more naturalistic setting.

A woodland path leads one on to vistas of the magnificent Peeblesshire countryside and finally down to a formal area with a rectangular pond, statues and box parterre below the impressive Victorian mansion house designed by David Bryce.

Portmore is set against the beautiful backdrop of the Scottish Borders: a landscape which is hard to better.

Where: Portmore House, Peebles, EH45 8QU


Opening times: 1-5pm on 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th and 31st August; 7th September or by arrangement.

Admission:  £6.00.    Children free.  All proceeds to charity.

Self service refreshments.   Plants for sale.