About the garden
The Blair Charitable Trust
The first impression of the landscape around Blair Castle is one of the sweeping lawns and magnificent trees. Next a geometric layout reveals itself, but visitors have to explore further to discover the nine-acre walled Hercules Garden. Created between 1747 and 1760 by the second Duke of Atholl and his gardener John Wilson, then abandoned in the 1960s, it was finally restored in the last decade of the 20th-century. Hercules overlooks the garden and from there, visitors get a fine view of the lines of fruit trees that sweep down to the ponds running through the centre of the garden, which was restored 25 years ago to its original Georgian design.
The terrace along the north wall is divided by yew buttresses and flanked with herbaceous and rose borders. The formal layout is enhanced by statuary, ornamental buildings and an arched Chinese bridge. Plants are chosen to suit the northern climate including herbaceous plants such as Phlox, Echinops, Hosta, Astilbe and Aster, which team together with annuals and bulbs. Fruit trees that bud late and fruit early, shrub and climbing roses and a variety of ornamental trees and shrubs, many having a scent and fine autumn colour, make up the mix.
From the walled garden, a walk leads to the ruins of St Bride's Kirk, dating back to the 12th-century, and Diana's Grove mainly planted in the late 19th-century with many exotic conifers; today they are some of the tallest and finest specimen trees in the country. From here, the path from the statue of Diana leads visitors back to the castle.