Poetry Corner:A Scottish Garden of Eden or a Taj Mahal to Love

Star Maze Scone Palace Gardens

By Shadowgate (Flickr: Star Maze in the Scone Palace Grounds 01)

On this day  8th April 1783 John Loudon, the Scottish architect, landscape gardener and journalist was born.

Loudon had a profound influence on the aspiring middle classes through his books on architecture and gardening.

Co-author with his wife, Jane Webb, of ‘The Suburban Gardener and Villa Companion’, and author of ‘An Encylopaedia of Gardening’, ‘British Trees and Shrubs’, ‘Encyclopaedia of Cottage, Farm, and Villa Architecture’, he also founded ‘Gardener’s Magazine’. His designs can be seen at Scone Palace and Castle Kennedy, near Stranraer. ScotClans

A Scottish Garden of Eden or a Taj Mahal to Love

By Christie Grahame

In nineteen fifty four  the scene

Was diff’rent from today;

A place where builders’ men had been

And newly gone away.

Where covering of earth lay dead

On sawdust and on brick,

With cement mix quite widely spread

About six inches thick.


A trench was dug full five feet deep

That moved from front to back,

A labour schedule hard to keep

When spine was like to crack.

With builder’s rubble now the base

And dark soil ev’rywhere;

The site was quite the perfect place

To plan an Eden there.


In fifty five the deluge drench

Settled all foundation,

While baling out each rain-filled trench

Brought new revelation.

For round each side, both left and right,

A wall of clay exists,

That holed would drain the garden site

When heavy rain persists.


From such foundation deeply dug

It came as no surprise;

Colourful as a Persian rug

A garden feast for eyes.

Surrounded where Peace roses grew

By lawns of greenest grass,

Wallflowers pierced by tulips through

To scent all those who pass.


Bright floribunda graced the bank

On slope from gable end,

Where hardy annuals rank by rank

Their scented colours lend,

To where forsythia’s golden bloom,

In gorgeous yellow spate,

Combined with those of hybrid broom

Led back to garden gate.


Which garden needs no virgin maid

With outstretched apple red,

Picked from a tree whose ample shade

Conceals enticing bed.

For down that path by garden edge

Raspberries red as sin

March side by side with privet hedge

To lure one further in.


Where, past the cherry and the shed,

Gooseberries can be seen

Amongst the currants black and red;

Their thorns both long and keen,

Across the foot to other side

Are veg’tables instead

Where loganberries trellis hide

The champagne rhubarb bed.


There, in their drills and row by row,

Stand brussel  sprouts and beans;

Between whose lines Scots syboes grow

With onion in-betweens.

The garden peas entwine on strings

That shade the cabbage patch,

While blackbird on the compost sings

Awaiting grubs to hatch.


Each budding branch of apple tree,

Honeysuckle twining,

Provides a nest for bumble bee

Resting after dining

On nectar in the crocus heads

Or drooping snowdrops  white

To contrast with the garden shed

As darkness does with light.


Taj Mahals to love are grown

Where growth is there to see;

And one who’s sadly left alone

Shall never lonely be,

Where seeds of love are fam’ly sown

And loving children bred.

For Taj Mahals of love have shown

Such love is never dead.

garden at Clermiston

Christie Grahame’s Taj Mahal to Love 










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