Sunday, May 29, 2011

Torryburn 29th May 2011

Mary and Joe proposed this walk as they happened upon it last year. Once at Torryburn there is a nice flat walk along the shore towards Crombie Point, suitable for wheelchair users. Today it was blawin' a gale but we so enjoyed being buffeted and getting the cobwebs blown away. Then came our visit to the Southern Hemisphere Gardens which proved to be fascinating to all of us. First of all we accessed the gardens through wonderful wrought iron gates which were replicated throughout the area. These were worth discussion even before we reached the plants. The lady who has developed these beautiful gardens, Ursula McHardy, is a botanist whose passion for exotic species and longing to create her own botanic garden was realised only seven years ago. With the help and vision of her daughter and dedicated gardeners she has transformed a neglected overgrown space and woodland. It is a private garden and free to walk around and enjoy but donations are welcome to help with upkeep. There were plants, trees and vegetation from the Antipodes , South America and South Africa as well as some we actually recognised. There were little waterfalls and a pond where the lilies looked as if they were just about to burst. Mrs McHardy had planted each area with the same type of plant eg insect eating ones, rock plants and bog-loving plants. We could have listened to this lady for a long time. She believes in the evolution of plants and spoke scathingly about some new varieties. If her flowers and plants do not turn out 'the same or better than Mama then they are best to be thrown on the compost heap.' A lesson learned. We had to move on though after looking in on her vegetable plot and her chickens, but we all felt we would pay a return visit.
A cirular walk in the countryside brought us back to the cars and then the second delight of the day - fabby scones at Culross Palace! And what a variety! Have you ever fancied a corned beef and beetroot scone? Well, go sample one at Bessie 's Tearoom. Spirits raised, we headed for home.