The Garden Guide

Book: Gardening tours by J.C. Loudon 1831-1842
Chapter: Northern England and Southern Scotland in 1841

Blair Drummond Garden

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Blair-Drummond; -Drummond, Esq. This place has long been celebrated, as having been laid out by Lord Kames, and also for His Lordship's improvements in the Flanders Moss. We thought it a most delightful place when we first saw it, in 1800, and so we do still; but it is rather overgrown with wood, and cannot be a healthy place to live at. There is, or appeared to us to be, a far greater extent of pleasure-ground and garden scenery kept up than can be done justice to. There are a great many fine trees, and especially oaks, beeches, and Scotch pines, the dimensions of which, with their ages, the soil in which they grow, and other particulars, are given by the very intelligent gardener, Mr. James Drummond, in our Volume for 1841, p. 505. Great attention has been paid to preserve these trees from injury, and to allow them to take their natural shapes. Hence no animal has ever been allowed to graze in the park, except sheep; and hence all the trees may be said to be feathered to the ground with branches. There are some very remarkable spruce firs, Nos. 33. to 37. in the table in p. 507., the branches of which rest on the ground, and cover a space between 40 ft. and 50 ft. in diameter. Many of the lower branches have struck root at their extremities, and are sending up a circle of regular trees round their parent; a circumstance not uncommon with the black spruce, and only seen in the common spruce when it is in rich moist soil and of considerable age. One spruce fir at Blair-Drummond has six young trees round it, four of which are about as high as the parent in the centre. Some of the larches are above 100 ft. high, and there is a white poplar 106 ft. high. One larch, which was cut down, contained above 100 cubic feet of sound timber; another, which girted 9 ft. 2 in., had thirty-six circles of solid red wood; it grew on a red clay loam, on red sandstone. The highest larches now standing are between 103 ft. and 105 ft. From previous measurements, the larches at Blair-Drummond do not seem to have gained above 4 or 5 inches in circumference in the ten years preceding 1836, while some of the beeches and oaks have added above 1 ft. to their circumference in the same period. By comparing the measurement of the trees made in 1836, as given in our preceding Volume, pp. 506. and 507., with the measurement of the same trees made in August, 1841, as given in p. 508., the progress they have made since 1836 may be ascertained with accuracy.