Of water to beyond

Lauriston Castle Japanese garden

Castle Garden of Water to Beyond

A castle has stood on this site at Cramond since medieval times, but after its almost total destruction it was rebuilt in 1590 and later extended.

Lauriston Castle by the Firth of Forth

Lauriston Castle, Cramond, Edinburgh

The last private owner of Lauriston Castle was William Reid who purchased it at the beginning of the 20th century. Reid owned a highly regarded cabinet making business in Edinburgh and he and his wife installed modern amenities and filled the building with fine furniture and artworks.

The castle is now in the care of the City of Edinburgh and, as it remains as it was on Mrs Reid’s death in 1926, gives a fascinating glimpse into upper class Edwardian life in a country house in Scotland.

Gardens and water at Cramond, Edinburgh

Lauriston Castle grounds looking out over the Firth of Forth

The extensive grounds, which contain a bluebell wood and three croquet lawns, look out over the Firth of Forth. In more recent times (2002) the garden saw a new addition – a Japanese garden built by Takashi Sawano. The Edinburgh-Kyoto Friendship Garden is called the Castle Garden of Water to Beyond.

Water and shrubs in a Scottish Japanese garden

Water and shrubs at the Edinburgh-Kyoto Friendship Garden

Bridge, water, shrubs

Japanese Bridge at Lauriston Castle’s Japanese Garden

Stone lantern amidst greenery

Stone Lantern in Lauriston Castle’s Japanese Garden

Many Japanese trees and shrubs fare well in Scottish gardens, as do those from the Himalayas, so the little taster of Japan with its water, raked gravel, standing stones and stone lanterns, wooden bridge and benches, cherry blossom and careful planting of shrubs and greenery sits well in its setting by the old castle and the Forth.

Apricot Japanese azalea

A blast of apricot to catch the eye

Peonies at Lauriston Castle

Peonies adding a splash of colour and exoticism.

Water with cherry blossom

Cherry blossom floating in water as if mirroring the trees in the pond.

Rhododendrons and gravel garden

Looking over the gravel garden.


About jingsandthings

I am me. What do I like? Colour Shapes Textures Paintings, photographs, sculptures, woven tapestries, wonderful materials. The love of materials probably comes from my father who was a textile buyer, and I grew up hearing the names of mills and manufacturers which sounded magical and enticing. Glass in all its soft and vibrant colours and flowing shapes, even sixties glass which makes its own proud statement. A book I can immerse myself in. Meals with family or friends with lots of chat and laughter (and probably a bottle or two of wine). The occasional trip abroad to experience the sights, sounds, food, conversation, quality of light and warmth of other countries. To revel in differences and be amazed by similarities. I like to create and to experience, to try and to achieve. And then there are words – read, heard, written at my keyboard, or scrawled on sticky notes, or along the edges of dog-eared supermarket receipts excavated from the unexplored nooks of my handbag. What do I dislike? Cold Snow Bad design Fast food Condescension
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15 Responses to Of water to beyond

  1. mybrightlife says:

    How lovely! An out of the ordinary find or rather expectation in an ancient Scottish castle grounds. Must surprise the odd tourist. Such a lovely name too. Thanks for sharing!

    • I suspect many people who live in and around Edinburgh don’t know of it either. But it’s a lovely tranquil place, not far from the city hustle and bustle, to enjoy a stroll, and you can pop down to the beach for a wander afterwards.

  2. thaygoulart says:

    Simply beautiful! Great flowers too, I’d love to visit. Weather must be as I like it too 😀

    • Visitors don’t come to Scotland for the weather, not unless they like unsettled weather, not particularly hot, and inclined to rain or be dull. Sometimes though it can surprise and send us all scurrying for garden sunshades and sun cream. But the climate shapes our landscape – and that is something to be proud of.

      • thaygoulart says:

        It’s a variety from sunny and insanely hot for 10 months, I’ll go for it 🙂

      • This is the best time of year to come as evenings are long. It is light to nearly eleven and the further north you travel the longer it is light. Then after a brief period of darkness it’s back to bright daylight. Of course in winter it’s the opposite.

      • thaygoulart says:

        Sounds beautiful, have you photographed it before?

      • Yes. We first visited in early autumn when we came across it. We hadn’t known about it before. I didn’t take many photos as it was late in the day so the colours were muted, apart from the scarlet of many leaves, with lots of long shadows across the raked garden. Quite dramatic.

      • thaygoulart says:

        Quite enchanting. If you ever post it here, I’m sure I’ll end up seeing it.

  3. How exciting! I love castles.

    • Fun to wander around and fantasise in but pretty cold and draughty and inconvenient to stay in. They don’t tend to modernise very well, and in Scotland you’re still left with all those turnpike stairs between floors. The more modern ones might be an option. Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s Hill House near Helensburgh, for instance, would be a fabulous place to stay, even if you didn’t have any of the original furnishings.

  4. Now I know where to go when I am travelling up north. Thank you 🙂
    Have a happy day
    Klausbernd from sunny Norfolk

  5. carolee1945 says:

    Your wonderful photos entice me to visit Edinburgh. When I see and read your blog, I just yearn to visit Scotland. A Japanese garden on castle grounds, how wonderful.

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