Near Old Aberdeen and Aberdeen University, there are some interesting gardens to visit for free and they are in very close proximity of one another. They are definitely worth taking the time to visit and explore.
On the map below you can see that they are actually connected to one another by a very extensive pathway system within Seaton Park and the University. While you’re enjoying the beautiful floral and botanical specimens you can also get your exercise! In addition, the River Don meanders along its border making it even more picturesque and enjoyable.
We will begin our explorations at Cruickshank Botanic Garden near the bottom of the map and work our way up to The Walled Garden on the other side of Seaton Park.
As you can see on the sitemap, this garden offers a nice variety of little mini-gardens all woven into one. There’s the Old pond, a Labyrinth, the Birch Lawn, the Sunken garden, Rose Garden, Herbaceous bed, and the Rock and Water Garden to name a few. We started out at the Main Entrance working our way around in a clockwise fashion starting with the Old Pond.
Although the crocus wasn’t in bloom when we visited in early June, I found this photo online to show you how pretty it looks when they are blooming during early spring.
Nearby we came upon this old gnarly tree whose branches dust the ground around it. Underneath its canopy next to the trunk was a handy bench we could sit on and gaze upwards at its twisting and turning branches above us.
There were all kinds of intriguing pathways to follow in, around and under the giant Rhododendron bushes.
Next, we arrived at the Rose Garden. It was still a bit early for most of the roses to be blooming except for the very earliest varieties but they should all be ablaze with color soon later in the month.
We continued strolling along the pathways admiring the blossoms of many varieties of flowers as well as the bees that keep themselves very busy pollinating them all!
The Sunken Gardens were particularly peaceful and very pretty!
We walked along the herbaceous beds and although the bulk of the plants were not quite blooming yet there were enough that were in bloom to keep my attention like the national flower, the Thistle.
I noticed in numerous places in each garden that there were ample benches set in some very prime locations for visitors to enjoy. That’s a nice touch! I also noticed that a lot of people take advantage of them to enjoy these serene surroundings while reading a favorite book.
As we worked our way back to the main entrance to leave we passed another area rich with some very colorful (and pungent!) Azaleas.
(At this point I have to admit something to you. You see, we didn’t have a copy of the sitemap as we toured the garden. I found the sitemap online while I edited this post and decided to include it for your benefit. As I was looking at the map to list the various sections the garden contains, I noticed the ‘Rock and Water Garden’ on the map.
“What?!?” I exclaimed, “I didn’t see a whole other section of the garden to explore beyond the wall when we were there!”
It appears that we totally missed about 1/3 of the garden during our visit! Guess I’ll just have to return next year to visit Lindsay again so we can go back to the Botanic Garden again and check out the Rock & Water Garden! Oh doo!)
Next, we worked our way over to the Walled Garden near the River Don at the north end of Seaton park, stopping off at the center to look at the “Avenue walk” or main promenade where there is usually quite pretty displays of Dahlias, Begonias and the like.
However, when we got there all the flower beds had just been dug up and stripped of their early spring bulbs. Huge piles of compost and manure were being tilled in. Nothing had been planted yet for the summer blooming varieties, so we continued on to the Walled Garden at the top of the hill on the north side of the park.
It’s not really a very big garden but it was massive with Rhododendron & Azalea blooms of every color!
There were also a lot of pretty flowering vines on the walls as well such as these Honeysuckle blossoms that smelled so sweet and the graceful Clematis below.
There were a couple of plants I don’t know the name of but have seen in various gardens on our travels which I would love to incorporate into my own yard at home like this vine that has leaves that turn a splotchy white and pink here and there on the tips. So pretty!
Like I said, it’s a small garden but it offers a lot for its size and it also serves as a nice quiet getaway place in the bustle of the city.
Hope you’ve enjoyed this stroll through a couple more of Aberdeen’s city parks. Next time we’ll be visiting one of my absolute favorite gardens in Scotland, Kildrummy! Stay tuned for that!
Attitude of Gratitude ~ I really appreciate (and am thankful for) the never-ending hard work of Gardeners everywhere. They are a quiet sort; working their magic amongst the colorful and abundant beds creating such beautiful havens for retreat, self-reflection, and contemplation.