Back on the first Saturday in March, we
took a trip to Cambo Gardens at Cambo
Estate in Fife. This is a favourite place for
us, particularly as the gardens and
grounds are dog-friendly, as is the visitor
centre, shop and café. We visit a few times
a year to experience the gardens in
different seasons - the historic walled
garden is particularly beautiful all the way
through summer into autumn - and after
exploring we’ll usually walk through the
woods and head to the beach at
Kingsbarns so that Harris and Bracken
can have a great off-lead walk. And we
always visit in spring, timing our trip to
see Cambo’s annual snowdrop festival.
On this visit, on this chilly, dreich,
wintry-feeling Saturday, the gardens
were still a few weeks away from
their new spring growth and colour,
so we decided to have a walk in the
historic walled garden, visit the
glasshouses, and then head to the
woods. But first, having had a long
drive to get here, we headed to the
café for lunch. First things first and
all that.
The café changed hands last year and now
serves vegetarian and vegan food linked to
Cambo Gardens’ edible garden programme -
which I was delighted to discover.
Cambo Estate
Tip: photograph your vegan chocolate
torte before cutting it up! We were
sharing, and Richard had sliced this
before I’d thought to take a photo.
Yes, it was delicious!
, ,
The glasshouses in the walled garden at
Cambo are relatively new additions made
by a specialist company called Alitex, and
replace four Victorian glasshouses that
were here when we first started visiting,
and which had become rundown over the
years - beautiful to photograph, but not to
use. These new glasshouses look original
and have created interesting spaces for
visitors to explore - and for the garden
designers to be creative with, as with the
‘sensory’ glasshouse photographed here.
The sensory glasshouse displays stained
glass artworks by the East Neuk based
glass artist Keny Drew. I’m particularly
drawn to the pieces with the soft pink
tones, and also the details of the insects
in a few of the panels. And I love how
these artworks have been integrated
with the plants - quite literally with the
hanging piece.
And then… well, then this visit became
even more exciting for me. The
neighbouring glasshouse was set up as a
studio for artist-in-residence Rachel
, who hails from New Zealand
and now lives in North Carolina. As soon
as I walked into this space, I was
intrigued, and the more I looked and
studied these paintings, the more I was
drawn to Rachel’s strength of form and
use of colour.
You can see more examples of Rachel’s work
on her website. A few of these paintings are
for sale, including this painting on the right.
A Forest Full of Little Misdemeanors
The Topiary Tree
Autumn and the Day the Sky seemed to Sigh
The Lae Braes at Dusk
We were looking forward to visiting Cambo in
late spring and I was hoping to meet Rachel, but
clearly our world took another direction. This
space, overlooking this incredible walled garden,
was the perfect place to view these paintings.
My Drive to the Studio
Looking ahead, Cambo Estate is one of the
places that we’re most looking forward to
visiting once the current travel restrictions
are eased. I’m looking forward to
wandering round the walled garden taking
photos, enjoying the quietness, and then
heading through the woods to the beach.
I’m looking forward to experiencing
Cambo Gardens with fresh eyes. Because as
we move out of lockdown, we may not be
travelling as far in the months ahead, but
there’s still so much to see and so many
places to support.
Saturday 7 March 2020
Cambo Gardens
Cambo Estate, Fife

nature | coast | exploring ♡ Harris + Bracken interiors journalist 📍Scotland

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