Mertoun Gardens

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This is a 26 acre garden overlooking the banks of the River Tweed, just off B6402, two miles south east of St Boswell’s. There is a long drive through woodland to the parking area by the stable block. The gardens are only open Friday-Monday and there is an honesty box with a leaflet giving some information and a map of the gardens.

Arrows point the way through a gate and along a path past a pen with golden pheasants which brings you out in front of the main house. This was built 1703-5 and is a rather plain rectangular building which is not open to the public. In front of the house are lawns with an ornamental pond with white water lilies and yellow iris. There re informal flower borders with catnip, hebe, Sedum spectabile, geum and Astilbe.

Much of the garden is parkland and woodland with many very old specimen trees and Azaleas which by the end of June were getting past their best. Well made gravel paths drop down to the stream with the circular dove cote dating from 1567 and thought to be the oldest in the country. The walled garden is here. We were a bit dismissive of this at first as it is built on a very steep slope with mown grass and a few fruit trees. In one corner is the old Mertoun House dating from 1677 , a well proportioned and attractive building and now the head gardener’s house.

The working garden is at the top of the slope . There are vegetable gardens and herbaceous borders colourful with geraniums, peonies, ornamental poppies, allium, thyme, rock roses, catnip, foxgloves, lupins, aquilegia, hosta. There were figs and apricots growing in one greenhouse and tomatoes in another.

This is a pleasant garden to wander in and chances are you will have it to yourself. The small parish church in the grounds is only open for services. Admission is £3 or £2 for seniors.

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