Scotland was once a country of 3000 castles; today, 1100 remain. North and a “wee bit” west of Edinburgh is Drummond Castle. John Stewart, the first Lord Drummond, built a fortified tower, the castle’s beginnings, in the late 15th century. There has been gardening at Drummond since 1508 when homegrown cherries were sent to King James IV. Can you imagine your family making an over 500-year commitment to a garden? Yet that is the story of Drummond Castle Gardens, interrupted by political and religious wars, it remains a family estate.
Linderhof Palace is nestled in the Bavarian Alps in southern Germany. King Ludwig II’s love of Versailles inspired the formal Baroque-style gardens surrounding the small palace. Versailles exerted enormous influence over European garden design, and Ludwig was determined to create his own majestic garden.
Versailles: Most recognized for the grand palace, the grounds play more than a supporting role; with 2100 acres of gardens, sculptures, and fountains.
Visiting Versailles is overwhelming; many people focus on exploring the palace and briefly visit the gardens. I did just the opposite, beginning my 15-hour day in the gardens. Even then, I walked only 12 miles of the garden’s 30 miles of pathways. I know I missed seeing so much of it.