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11 of the best royal gardens

The gardens at Castle of Mey

Photo: Robin Drayton

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The gardens at the Castle of Mey

Castle Mey in Caithness, the most northerly inhabited castle on the British mainland, was acquired by Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother in 1952 after the death of her husband, King George VI. She renovated and restored it and created the gardens that delight visitors today. The gardens remain much as they were in the Queen Mother’s time, although the property now belongs to Prince Charles. The variety of plants has been greatly expanded. Visitors will see marigolds, pansies, dahlias, primulas and nasturtiums and old-fashioned shrub roses and climbers in the Shell Garden where the Queen Mother used to sit with her corgis in the afternoons. The gardens are open until Sept. 30, although some closure dates are likely.