Exposed Scottish garden on the coast at Ladies Lake
This rugged garden has expert planting situated between a modern house and the sea
Colin McBeath's garden at Ladies Lake is an innovatively planted coastal garden at St Andrews, Fife. Measuring 2,100 square metres, it has sandy loam which is in places very shallow. The climate is mild for the latitude, but lashed by brutal salt winds with a hardiness zone of USDA 8a. The house takes its name from the old tidal bathing pools that lie below the cliffs and it sits comfortably alongside the ruins of St Andrews Castle thanks to the careful planting. Words: Rory Dusoir
Stone walls, built by WL Watson & Sons, help to create transitional layers and blend beautifully with the existing boundary wall. On the uppermost layer Perovskia atriplicifolia and Anemanthele lessoniana bear the full force of the savage easterly winds with perfect grace.
The passage through the garden gate feels like a portal to a different dimension
The house was designed to minimise its visual impact to the south, while taking full advantage of views over the Firth of Tay. Here low-lying stone walls and gravel paths divide a tapestry of planting with the bushy shrub Olearia x haastii and Phlomis russeliana in the foreground.
Planting in the Secret Garden offers a pleasing variety of form, texture and colour with the bronze foliage of Anemanthele lessoniana and transparent Stipa gigantea alongside blue flowers of Perovskia atriplicifolia.
A raised rill offers a sense of calm to the Front Mosaic Garden, its smooth lines creating a contrast to the ruggedness of the coastal pools along the Firth of Tay. Surrounding it, the structural silhouettes of Phlomis russeliana draw your eye around the planting, Achillea filipendulina ‘Gold Plate’ contrasts in colour and form with upright Perovskia atriplicifolia and Salvia nemorosa ‘Caradonna’, with the evergreen grass Stipa tenuissima mingling throughout.
13 issues for £30 when you subscribe
Subscribe to Gardens Illustrated magazine and receive your first 13 issues for £30!
Transform your Garden- Special Edition
Transform Your Garden
This special edition features advice on designing your garden from the world’s top garden designers, including top tips for redesigning your plot or creating a new garden from scratch.
Discover eight inspirational gardens in town and country, and beautiful planting ideas for year-round colour. Learn how to make the most of a small space, how to cope with a slope, and the ten most common mistakes people make, according to professional garden designers, and how to avoid them.
Enjoy insights on everything from paths and parking spaces to wildflowers and water features, so that you can be confident in starting to create the garden of your dreams.
Just £9.99 inc UK p&p
Gardens of the Globe
From botanical wonders in Australia to tranquil havens closer to home in Ireland, let this guide help you to discover some of the most glorious gardens around the world