Erica Crompton discovers peace & calm at Kailzie gardens
“People that visit us here in Kailzie gardens all say it’s such a special place,” says Steve, our accessibility guide for the afternoon tour of the gardens. There’s a dedicated off-road wheelchair here that Paul uses, and Steve pushes today as we cast our eyes over walled gardens that punctuate the River Tweed, just a stone’s through North of the gardens.
Perhaps Kailzie is one for me though – the half of Paul and I with a mental illness. ‘Forest bathing’ has come over to the UK from Japan and is now quite the trend. If you’re not familiar with this, it’s simply spending time in tranquil nature and ‘bathing’ among trees and flowers, taking in the birdsong. An hour here left me feeling refreshed, and calm – it felt like a pleasant and far cry from my career days in London when the ten lattes a day kept me awake but frazzled.
The River Tweed and the burn that flows through the garden provide an excellent habitat for birds such as the Kingfisher, Heron, Oyster Catcher, Duck and Wagtails and Dippers. We spotted a Heron here today, diligently and patiently waiting for his lunch on the river.
A highlight for me was the green arched bridge where Primula Pulverulenta had been planted, and two Cercidiphyllums (the Katsura Tree) on the bank provided wonderful colour which is said to be best in the autumn.
The off-road wheelchair enabled us to take the gardens in, in their entiretly with some teep slopes to content with (I was glad Steve was pushing the chair!)
The tour ended at the site where an old and magnificent manor house once stood. Here gives the most splendid view of the River Tweed and beyond and according to Steve it’s the site most requested for ashes to be scattered. It’s easy to see why, who wouldn’t want to rest in these garden’s so peaceful. And as Steve’s feedback from guests is – it’s a special place.