Thursday, May 04, 2023

Whistlestop tour of Scotland, or bits of it

My very nice cousin (well, our parents were cousins) and her equally nice husband, who live in Georgia in the US, visited us for a week and we went around to see some sights. My cousin loves gardens so of course we visited Edinburgh's Botanics on their first day. Then we went to the Georgian House (a house in the New Town furnished as it would have been in the late 1700s) and wandered through Princes Street Gardens. 

Cousins, Wojtek the Bear and the Castle. 

Another day we visited Dawyck Botanics in the Borders, hoping that their rhododendrons and azaleas would be flowering. But annoyingly, though Dawyck is well south of Edinburgh, there wasn't a flower - I suppose because it's much higher. Still, my cousin likes trees and there are lots of those. 

While we were in the vicinity, we went to Traquair House, the oldest inhabited house in Scotland and lived in by the Stuart family since 1491. The main gates have been closed since 1745, when Bonnie Prince Charlie was defeated in his attempt to reclaim the British throne for the Stuart dynasty, and they won't be opened till a Stuart is back on the throne. This means that since 1745, visitors have had to arrive by the "temporary entrance". 

One day we drove up to meet Son and family in Dundee, first visiting Branklyn Gardens in Perth, which though much further north than Dawyck had a splendid show of colour. 

While we were there, we visited Dundee Botanics as well, where some things were in bloom. 

On Sunday we went out to lunch in Gifford with Daughter 2 and family, and while waiting for the food, played that game in which someone draws a head and covers it up, someone else draws a body and covers it again - and so on. My cousin's artist husband drew the excellent feet.

Our cousins wanted to visit a coastal town so we took them to North Berwick. In the rain. The weather had been beautiful the week before their visit but during their week, the sun remained obstinately hidden. This was the worst day, though in fact it didn't rain hard; it was mainly low cloud. Not that this was good! 


It was, as my cousin politely said, atmospheric,

This is the Bass Rock. At one point it was completely invisible but then it appeared out of the mist, like Venus from the waves. 

Is that the sun up there? Just about? Still, I imagine that they get sun in Atlanta. Sea mist, not so much. 

And now they're back home, and the blue poppies are out in the garden. The sun is also making an appearance from time to time. Too late!


  1. I'm sure they had a lovely time with you, despite the weather.

  2. Scotland is beautiful no matter the weather. April and May (even June) are iffy here for sunshine. We had 75 degree sunshine yesterday and today a drop of nearly 20 degrees with rain. It sounds like you did a lot and saw many interesting places! Love the blue poppies.

  3. Years ago that blue poppy ( meconopsis? )was what drew my attention to your blog. Weather in NZ is the same as you had - damp and dull.

  4. So many beautiful gardens to visit! We could do with more of those in New York.