You may remember that Coleridge wrote;
'And here were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incence-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.'
In Highland Perthshire, while we cannot match the poet's Vision of a Dream, we continue to do our very best with the three acres of garden which surround the Green Park Hotel, and lead down to the banks of Loch Faskally. The gardens consistently give rise to favourable comment from guests, as conscientious effort is made to keep these colourful and well maintained. The gardens are not intended as show pieces but rather compliment the other features of the property and its situation. The old trees and their shape are particularly attractive and soothing.
Large lawns sweep down to the banks of Loch Faskally; beds of flowers and dwarf conifers are set out with discretion so as not to distract attention from the hotel's remarkable setting looking over the quiet waters of the loch and up to the majestic hills. Seats are set out at different vantage points so that visitors can enjoy their own favourite view.
If you are looking for a particularily quiet spot, then the summer house could be the answer. Tucked away to the side of the garden, it offers heating, lighting, chairs ( indoor and outdoor ), and hopefully a visit from the odd squirrel or two.
On the subject of squirrels, they have a bespoke feeding box in the grounds supplied by 'B and B for Beasties' of Pitlochry. Colourful bird boxes designed to take song birds, and plain bat boxes to provide summer roosting are also dotted around the grounds, and you are encouraged to note the activities of the local wildlife.
Those of an active disposition can play a game of putting on our small 9 hole course - proof of an up to date handicap from the Royal and Ancient Golf Club is not necessary.
Various ironwork sculptures are dotted around the gardens, some from Heather Cumming of the Keltneyburn Smithy. If you ever find yourself on the road to Glen Lyon near Aberfeldy, then her family's smithy in the hamlet that bears the name is well worth the visit.
That said, Heather is at a loss to explain the story behind the enigmatic 'Lady of the Loch'. She stares out over the loch, from her position next to the dwarf conifers on the main lawn - who does she pine for ?
A special welcome is extended to those many visitors who are enthusiatic and unrestrained gardeners. If they bring their own tools and can recognise the difference between a weed and a flower, they will be warmly invited to satisfy their urge by dead heading, weeding and sorting out the rockery. A discount on the dinner bed and breakfast tariff will not automatically follow, but you may find that your complimentray sherry before dinner is a particularily generous one.