Yesterday, Sunday 29th May 2022, as part of Scotland’s Gardens Scheme, our garden was open for the charity ARTLINK Scotland:
Peter and Sian came to Bridge of Allan more than two decades ago leaving behind Aberdeenshire where they had met as junior doctors. Their first garden was Tillybin, not far from Castle Fraser.
Peter’s mother’s family were fruit growers and their orchards were in and around the village: Cornton and Drumdruills. Peter’s mother Margaret Scott was born in Bridge of Allan and his grandfather, Rab Scott, was the last orchardman. He was always spotted dotting about in his Series II Land Rover.
Sian continues to work as a GP in Falkirk. Peter retired several years ago, after 25 years NHS service. Peter is a gardener first, artist second.
After graduating in Medicine in Aberdeen, Peter studied Landscape Architecture with the University of Edinburgh. Peter was awarded the Scottish Chapter prize for being the best MLA graduate in Scotland.
So many people enter our lives and many of those now ‘live on’ in Peter and Sian’s garden. Peter has been particularly influenced by Ian Hamilton Finlay who he met at Little Sparta in 1991. The Town Planner and gardener, Patrick Geddes, long dead has been a further guide for Peter.
As a visual artist, Peter makes short ‘film-poems’ including these of Mossgrove garden: a garden that Peter and Sian have made out of Love.
The Ageing Stone – has the exact proportions of Mavisbank House, Loanhead [an Adam house that is now a ruin] Peter was formerly a Trustee of this beautiful house and designed landscape. This sculpture considers ageing and beauty and questions just how separate the “2 cultures” may be?
The Latin poem was first carved on the front of Mavisbank, it translates:
May you grow old either never or late,
and that you experience earthly changes late.
May what the numerous ages erode be restored intact,
may it be granted that the older you are,
the more beautiful you may shine.
Poor. OId. Tired. Horse. – The magazine of Wild Hawthorn Press [Little Sparta]
Vivendo Discimus – ‘it is by living that we learn’ [the motto of Patrick Geddes]
Time passes. Listen. Time passes. Come closer now – from Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas
The faltering, unfaltering steps – [the Morgan steps] from In the Snack-bar by Edwin Morgan
“Second to the right, and straight on till morning” – Peter Pan gives Wendy the directions to NEVERLAND.
Finding Cimbrone – Cimbrone is a beautiful cliff-top garden above the Amalfi coastline of Italy. There you will find the finest Agapanthus ever. Sian is Peter’s Cimbrone.
Agapanthus: natural, beautiful, reaching
sharing light, colour and presence.
A globe, a world, projecting tall into the clearest of skies.
I have no sky.
4.04 – the moment of time that Andrew Robert Gordon was born
Wonderful Moment – 6.26, Rachel Fiona Gordon was born
Glenbardy – a very remote place in Deeside beside a mountain nobody knows why it was so named.
Black Star – David Bowie
Nuillius in Verba – ‘take nobody’s word for it’ [The motto of The Royal Society]
‘The world’s scattered edge’ – an expression of how pollutants, including prescribed drugs, have been absorbed by ocean life, as wide and far as the world’s furthest oceans.
A Sunshine Act for Scotland – for over 10 years Peter campaigned for legislation that would make transparency of competing financial interests mandatory in healthcare and science.
Pitmiddle and Buttergask – forgotten and lost villages in Perthshire
Graffiti bench – a bit of wantonly creative vandalism. Readers are unearthers.
Repeats its Love – the call of the song Thrush [Peter gave this title to his book on Mavisbank]
Peter and Sian hope that after visiting their garden you may leave: