Hercules Garden, Blair Castle - planned by the 2nd Duke of Atholl in the C18th.
Hercules Garden is a walled garden, named after the life-sized statue of Hercules which overlooks the garden. It is approximately 9 acres (3.65 hectares) developed by the 2nd Duke of Atholl in the mid 18th century. It is landscaped with ponds and plantings of productive fruit trees, vegetable beds and herbaceous borders. Other features include statues, urns, a Chinese bridge and a folly.
Hercules Garden was planned so that when you walked from Blair Castle up the tree lined Hercules Walk to the statue, you would then see the magnificent walled garden set out in all its glory, below you.
The recent story of Hercules Garden.
After the two 20th Century World Wars, the garden wasleft untended and overgrown, it was decided to drain the lake and run Hercules Garden as a market garden in the 1950s, which was unsuccessful. So Christmas Trees were planted to harvest as a cash crop.
In the 1980s, the 10th Duke of Atholl began to restore the garden to its original 18th century style and layout.
Hercules Garden today, is a tranquil garden with fruit trees, herbaceous borders, yew hedges, a lake with water birds, a Chinese Bridge takes you from one side of the garden to the other. There is an Apple House with displays of images and information showing the garden in the past. There is also McGregor's Folly, with 6 statues outside.
Hercules Garden contains two beautifully thatched swan and duck houses; there are Swans, moorhens, coots and ducks most of the year round, all adding to the special charm of the garden.
Hercules Garden is open from Easter to the end of October each year. Access is via Blair Castle and is open 7 days a week, from 9.30am to 5.30pm (last admission 4.30pm).
Hercules Garden admission fee - The garden access is included with your admission charge to Blair Castle, or you can access the garden and grounds only. The 2013 fees
- Blair Castle and Hercules Gardens - Adults £9.80; Seniors £8.30; Students (with I.D.) £8.30; Children (5-16 Years) £5.80; Family (2 adults & 3 child) £26.00
- Hercules Gardens Only - All Adults £5.40; Children (5-16 Years) £2.50; Family (2 adults & 3 child) £13.50