At the end of September, John had an unexpected day off work. Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t great but we believed the forecast which said it would be better further east. It lied! We arrived at the Japanese Garden at Cowden in Clackmannanshire in pouring rain so, as it was around midday, we decided to have lunch first in the hope that the weather would clear. The small café is housed in a temporary Portakabin, but once inside you wouldn’t know because it is well maintained and attractive – better still, the food is good and the staff are friendly.
Cowden is somewhere I’ve wanted to visit for a while. Created in 1908 by intrepid traveller Ella Christie (1861-1949), with the help of Taki Handa originally from the Royal School of Garden Design at Nagoya, it fell into disrepair in later years and was badly vandalised in the 1960s. In 2013 Professor Masao Fukuhara from Osaka University of Arts, Japan, was appointed to restore the garden and, although still a work in progress, it is now open to the public again. The full history, detailed on the garden’s website, is fascinating and well worth a read.
Our strategy of waiting for the rain to go off over lunch hadn’t worked, but it didn’t detract from the beauty of the garden and gives us an excuse to come back to visit in sunshine some day. Click on the gallery below to take a stroll round the central pond with us.Castle Campbell. We left the car in town and headed up the burn to Dollar Glen, where we chose the west path which climbs through woodland, eventually following the Burn of Sorrow, and leading to great views of the castle.
After the castle, we took the east path back down the glen along the Burn of Care until it merged with the Burn of Sorrow to form the Dollar Burn and led us back into town. Such sad names!we found this interesting drinking fountain and a bench dedicated to Ella Christie whose garden we had visited earlier. e had two lovely walks which I’m linking to Jo and her wonderful group of Monday walkers. She has blue Portuguese skies to counter my grey ones.