Thanks to the generosity of our supporters across the United States, The Foundation was able to grant $50,000 to the restoration of the Percy Cane-designed garden at Falkland Palace in 2016. Today, the garden is the only remaining example of Cane’s work in Scotland and one of very few examples of his work in the UK.
The National Trust for Scotland has made significant progress at the garden over the last two seasons, beginning with the necessary research report and planting plans based on what is known of Cane’s original design. The gardens team, led by Interim Head Gardener Susan Thores, have been working to prepare ground, replant, and establish six total island beds. Often at the mercy of unpredictable Scottish weather, the team expertly navigates late spring snowfalls, exceptional dry weather, and prolonged periods of very cold, wet conditions.
The work has been well supported by the local Falkland community with volunteer aid from students at the Scottish Rural University College and Falkland School. Regular plant sales continue to make surplus plants available to visitors with proceeds going to help fund the project. Recently, Thores gave a talk to the Falkland Society where she gave a brief history of the garden and Percy Cane, as well as practical insight into the day-to-day challenges of managing a historic garden restoration of this scale. The talk was attended by members of the Crichton Stuart family, who first commissioned Percy Cane to design the garden in the mid-20th century.
Visitors to the garden “in-progress” would come across Cherry trees (of which a spectacular display of cherry blossom arrived this past May), the team replanting locally sourced perennials like Hostas, Artemesia, and Erigeron, an assortment of roses, and restoration work on the herbaceous border.
NTS stays hard at work to maintain the over 25 gardens in its care. Currently, at Brodick Castle on the Isle of Arran, garden designer Jeremy Needham has been appointed to develop a plan that will take advantage of Brodick Castle’s unique climate and restore its Walled Garden, showcasing the exotic and unusual plants that can be grown there.