22 May 2010

Perth/Scone Palace, Part the Last (Probably): Baby, I'm A-Mazed

The gardens at Scone Palace are so remarkable that you can actually pay a separate admission just to go to the grounds. I'm not sure why you would, though, since nobody seems to be paying any attention to the back gate. (But you didn't hear it from me).

There is, as shown in a previous post, a lovely set of cherry trees:


For the deceased visitor, I recommend the graveyard and the family chapel. Most of the stones I remember seeing in the graveyard were nineteenth century, but that may be selection bias: the most recent stones are the easiest to read, and therefore the ones I saw and remembered. That doesn't mean that there weren't older ones there.



The chapel sits on Boot Hill, supposedly the ancient Scottish coronation site (where the Stone of Scone used to sit. It is perhaps apocryphally composed of soil brought from around Scotland in the boots of the local lords, because convention dictated that they swear loyalty standing on their own land. The lords would then empty out their boots on the site. I'm skeptical. Back when I was a tour guide, this is exactly the sort of thing we used to make up. It's too good to be true.

There is a Pinetum.


What is a Pinetum, you ask? According to the web site:
Stroll at your leisure through the magnificent Pinetum where, amongst others, giant redwoods and Noble Firs tower over you then onto the New Pinetum of less hardy and decorative conifers. One of the finest trees here at Scone is a giant Douglas Fir which was raised from the first seed sent home from North America by David Douglas in 1826.
Which doesn't really clear the matter up much, but here's a picture of the Douglas Fir.


This fir may be the long-lost cousin of the similarly-appendaged Tembusu Tree from the Singapore Botanical Gardens.

There is a maze shaped like a star.


Justin says: Left or right?


Nana says: Gaaaah!

Ultimately, victory was ours:

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