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Cateran Ecomuseum

Dirnanean Garden

A Highland garden managed to encourage wildlife and wild flowers.

The garden around the house is a traditional arrangement of lawn, shrubbery and walled garden. The garden is undergoing long term restoration and rediscovery.

The tour of the garden starts at the Museum which is in the end of the old laundry building. The Museum is a collection of old garden implements and local memorabilia. Outside the museum is the Potager with a decorative greenhouse. Beside the front lawn is a Wellingtonia probably planted about 1870 and underneath which is an Edwardian revolving summerhouse.

Mown paths lead through the shrubbery to the walled garden through a box arch where there is a herbaceous border. In the corner of the walled garden is a rockery built about 1970 and typical of its time.

Set in the wall by the rockery is a stone dated 1667 and the initials EK (possibly a lintel stone or part of one); it was found close-by but it is a mystery where it is originally from.

Beyond the Walled garden are the vegetable garden and the orchard. The fruit trees in the orchard grow surprisingly well considering the garden is a 1,000 feet above sea level.

Beside the garden is the magical Burn Walk. The Path follows the burn which flows down waterfalls and through amazing rock formations. Over the red bridge and following the path down there is a summer house overlooking the largest of the waterfalls. Work is ongoing to remove the invasive Rhododendron ponticum to encourage the return of native trees and wild flowers.

A hydro-electric scheme was built on the burn in 2014 and runs from the intake weir to the turbine house – a timber clad building designed in sympathy with the surroundings.

The garden is open every day from the beginning of June to the end of August for a small charge which contributes to its upkeep.

The garden is part of a designed landscape some of which can be seen from the Cateran Trail.

Source: John Manning
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