Tuesday, August 20th, started out a bit overcast, creating a relaxed sort of day. Sometimes, particularly when the sun is shining brightly outside, we’re raring to go, but today we felt more like going for a relaxing stroll somewhere. We wanted to see some more sights, and we also wanted to stay relatively close to home as well. We came up with a perfect solution! Visit a few gardens about town to see what they had to offer near the end of the season.
Aberdeen has several lovely parks I wanted to share with them in particular. We started out at Johnston Gardens nestled in a hollow in a nearby neighborhood. It’s a small park, yet filled to the brim with a lovely variety of plants, mostly shade-loving. It also has circuitous paths meandering around a large pond, picture-perfect bridges to cross, and even some friendly and inquisitive waterfowl.
Just a few blocks away, we headed over to visit Hazelhead Park next. It’s a lot bigger than Johnston Gardens and has various ‘areas’ or ‘sections’ designed for particular purposes.
For instance, there is the large children’s playground area with all the usual slides, swings and things to climb up, a vast rose garden with fountains and memorials, a fantastic maze made out of hedges, and it also has quite a cute little petting zoo as well. That’s where we headed first as soon as Grace realized she had an opportunity to see cute and adorable animals she could get up close and personal with!
They had typical barnyard type animals outside that are not shy and that you can pet…
They also have a lot more critters inside a building nearby; tropical fish, reptiles, snakes, and some adorable meerkats…
Armed with an ice cream cone from the cafe area, we wandered over to the other end of the park to the massive formal rose garden. The season was coming to an end, so it wasn’t nearly as colorful as it probably had been just a month early, but a few beautiful specimens were remaining to admire and sniff.
We then wandered about more of the park, following the Path of Remembrance through the towering trees and past the Re-Thinker sculpture, which is based on Rodin’s ‘The Thinker’ but made out of recycled items. The park has several interesting artistic sculptures scattered throughout.
There is also a charming water fountain from Victorian times. Yet, I have never seen it actually flowing with water, which I bet would look attractive and feel absolutely refreshing on a hot summer day.
After visiting Hazelhead, we decided to go across town to the Cruickshank Botanical Garden at the University. Last year was the first time I had ever visited this garden, and unknowingly had missed seeing a whole section of it, the part with the ponds. This time I went there mainly to view that section that I had somehow overlooked the time before.
The gardeners were in the middle of refurbishing the pond’s beds, but it was still quite pretty despite the landscape barren construction zone.
In my opinion, the best time to visit this garden is in June. They have a beautiful and extensive selection of Azaleas and Rhododendrons in every hue of the rainbow that will knock your socks off!
Because it is a botanical garden, it also has a lot of varieties you won’t find in a lot of other more standard type gardens. You never know what you might find, perhaps a pretty little gem you’ve never seen before.
We continued walking around the rest of the garden, under the giant rhododendron bushes, past the beehives, and back to the entrance in the old town.
At the end of the street, near St Machar’s church, is the entrance to our final park to visit, Seton, nestled down below the foot of the cathedral and bordered by the river Don.
The path starts at the cathedral dipping down into the green, tree-laden, glen below.
I love the way the gardeners used thin slivers of shale rock set close together on their edges to simulate flowing water in a stream throughout the landscaped flower beds, as shown below. I want that in my garden!
We strolled along the promenade and back again along the opposite side, enjoying the various colorful flower plantings the entire route.
The neighborhood around the cathedral and the University of Aberdeen is ancient with cobbled streets and some magnificent and old architectural structures to admire. It has a very warm and charming appeal to it, and I always enjoy its grace and welcoming embrace.
The day was getting long, and we had seen some interesting, entertaining, and peaceful scenes wandering through various parks. As we made our way back through the city to Lindsay’s house, we took the scenic route along the shoreline near the harbor so the girls could walk on the beach and be able to say they’ve dipped their tootsies in the North Sea. The perfect ending to yet another perfectly wonderful afternoon spent in Scotland.