Lying to the south of the castle is the Flower Garden, laid out c.1710 by Sir Archibald Campbell, the Thane’s brother. At that time Sir Archibald managed the family Estates in Scotland. Having crossed the channel to attend Poitiers, Blois and Paris the young Thane studied law and fencing. Perhaps the reason for the French influence in the formal design of the garden.
By 1725, Sir Archibald had completed his work including leveling a considerable piece of ground; in turn producing a beautiful garden where all sorts of fruit could grow. Hundreds of years later we are still fortunate to have a few of the original fruit trees and the clipped yew hedges. Throughout the summer months these hedges are adorned with a pretty little climber named the ‘Scottish Flame Flower’. Native to Chile, there’s nothing very Scottish about these beautiful scarlet trumpets.
The Lady Cawdor of the day designed the oval lavender borders enclosing rose beds in 1850. Her plan shows long rows of gooseberries, which the family enjoyed regularly. In the the 19th century, the family generally stayed at Cawdor only during the shooting season from August to October. To ensure colour and bloom remained in the garden, long herbaceous borders were developed, which to this day still exist. Although best enjoyed from July to September with the introduction of bulbs, flowering trees and shrubs; we continue to have good autumn tints and attractive fruits.
The Dowager Countess Cawdor has over the years incorporated many contemporary sculptures into the gardens.
Reusing old slates from the Castle roof, Scottish artist James Parker created the Cawdor Sphere in the calming Slate Garden. Representing the sun, the large sphere in its central location represents the Sun in our solar system. Highlighting the importance as the foundation of all life. Water cascades of the edges of the sphere and into a large lead bowl, again created from the Castle roof. Continuing the planetary theme with the addition of a second commission, the striking moon seat. Discover this perfectly positioned at the edge of the Flower Garden, simply sit and contemplate.
Near the entrance to the Flower garden, a beautiful bronze sculpture, which doubles as a bird feeder, is a source of wonder. The Orchid Tree designed by Danish born sculptor Illona Morrice stands discretely. Under the protection of the enormous lime trees, watch an array of birds feeding, if you are fortunate you may also see the enchanting red squirrel.