Autumn colours and tasty treats

A couple of days ago, delightful assistant no.1 and I found ourselves in Perth needing a leg stretch before luncheon.

It was a lovely day and we popped into Branklyn Garden, which is down a little lane off this street in Perth:


Autumn colours in Fairmount Terrace, Perth.

The garden closes to visitors at the end of October, but at this time of year the shop is already closed and there’s no-one to take your money or check your membership card (if you’re a member of the National Trust for Scotland you can get in for free).

A sign on the closed shop asked visitors to put the admission fee into a box, but since we had membership cards we just looked at these, waved them about a bit and carried on into the garden.


The entrance to Branklyn Garden, Perth.

There weren’t many flowers out but there were some beautifully coloured leaves:


One of the many Japanese maples in Branklyn Garden.


View from the top of the garden over the canopy.

The Japanese maples were the most immediately striking plants in the garden, and some of them looked as if they were aflame:


Tree on fire: a Japanese maple glowing in the sunshine.


This one reminded me of Cousin Itt from The Adams Family. Just stick a hat and a pair of glasses on it and – bingo!

I crawled inside one of the maples and was very taken with the twisted trunk and branches:


A maze of contorted branches.

There were a few flowers in the rock garden and an impressive array of greens:


A splendid selection of plantlife in Branklyn Garden’s rockery.

When we’d had our fill of foliage we tootled off to the Macmillan Coffee Shop at Quarrymill (last day of business for the year tomorrow) for lunch.

The trees outside the coffee shop were looking lovely in their autumn leaves:


Lovely colours at Quarrymill.

We both chose cheese and tomato toasties on brown bread, and tea to drink:


Once the savouries had been satisfactorily devoured we turned our attention to the sweet menu.

This is a blackboard I will miss for the next six months, until the coffee shop reopens for business in April:


Whoever designed this blackboard was a person after my own heart – half of it given over to Scones.

As is often the case when I’m at this particular establishment, I was unable to pass up the opportunity of a date and cinnamon scone:


Six months till I get another one of these, I wonder how I’ll manage till April.

Nice, isn’t it? Would you like to see it closer up?


Flecks of cinnamon tempting me to break into this bakery delight.

Inside it was soft and fluffy:


Soft, fluffy, datey, cinnamony…mmm

Although delicious on its own I was eager to slap on some of the coffee shop’s excellent jam:


Jammy delight.

My delightful assistant, although inordinately fond of a scone herself, is drawn like a magnet to large sponge cakes, particularly when they come with a bit of strawberry and cream:


Strawberry sponge – a temptation too great for my delightful assistant to resist.

On our way home we took a detour past Cargill Cemetery, a place I’d been wanting to wander round for some time. I might do a post about it on another occasion but in the meantime here’s a bit of autumn beauty from the graveyard:



43 thoughts on “Autumn colours and tasty treats

  1. The autumn colours are wonderful aren’t they. I would have loved the cinnamon and date scone. And you know how much I love old graveyards. This one looks very inviting (perhaps that’s not quite the right word, but you know what I mean)

    • This time of year is indeed very lovely and I’ve seen some glorious pictures of Canadian forests of gold, absolutely beautiful. The graveyard was in a bit of a bad way, I’m sorry to say; lots of damaged stones and an air of neglect about it. It sits in a beautiful riverside position in a very quiet place, so it could look much better if it was well cared for.

    • The maples are amazing, aren’t they, the whole shabang with the twisted trunk and branches and the glorious leaf colours. When the sun strikes these lovely autumn colours it’s cracking.

  2. How lovely! I was especially interested to see this because I’ve just written about Branklyn Garden for the NTS. The colours really are spectacular! I love the Japanese maple, and the view from inside it is amazing! The Macmillan coffee shop looks lovely too, and the scones look first class. I am very taken with the old graveyard, with the beautiful trees draping over the wall – I’ll look forward to hearing about that sometime soon.

    • How interesting, is what you wrote available to read anywhere? I think the garden is a little gem, and despite being right next to a very busy road it offers balm for the soul. That graveyard was a bit sad really because it wasn’t well looked after and many of the stones were broken. However, it’s in a most attractive spot and the autumn sunshine was glorious.

      • It does look lovely! We must really visit Branklyn sometime, but our chances now are dwindling until next year (we were in Perth to see Leonie at the Paddle Show today but the weather wasn’t all that good for taking pics).
        I’ve been writing stuff to go in the Press & Journal, which covers the north-east of Scotland – they have a fortnightly ‘Gardens’ feature in the weekend/lifestyle section. The feature on Branklyn would have been published on 3rd October. Next to do is a bit about the woods at Hermitage and Killicrankie, so I’m quite looking forward to that!

  3. Love that tree with the contorted branches. I’d like to try to draw it. As for the scones, you had my mouth watering at the first picture, so you can imagine my condition by the time I saw one with the jam on it! Sounds yummy! I’d try to get the recipe!

    • Ha ha, I can well imagine your reaction to the scone, it’s the same as mine! I do in fact have the coffee shop’s recipe book but there’s something different about the date and cinnamon scones they sell that isn’t in the book, I think possibly they add a bit of treacle. I can understand your desire to draw the maple tree, it’s a very appealing looking structure.

  4. Wonderful pictures Lorna. I confess to my shame that I once tried to get to Branklyn Garden but couldn’t find it! I blame the NTS map for this navigational fail. Looks well worth a visit.
    The scone selection at the Macmillan shop looks pretty decent too. Make mine a cheese one please.

    • Thanks David, I sympathise with your trouble in reaching Branklyn because I’ve had that same problem myself. It’s not at all obvious how you get to the car park and the signs on the road aren’t as helpful as they could be. The scone selection at the coffee shop is always top notch, and I can vouch for the cheese ones being pretty decent.

  5. Lorna, you do take the most beautiful photographs! That scone looked smashing, and you know I am partial to a good scone but there were so many sponges to choose from, and being a sucker for a good sponge, I would have had to side with your mum. Hope your writing is going well. Much love from Down Under, Nicole xx

    • Thanks Nicole, it is always a dilemma what to choose and I have sometimes plunged into a sponge because they look so enticing. The writing is going along rather slowly and in fits and starts, how’s yours?

    • Why didn’t I think of that? It didn’t even cross my mind but it’s a marvellous idea. It’s funny you say that about the colours, my mum was just telling me the other day about her childhood in the south-west of England and she said exactly the same thing, that the leaves went brown rather than red, orange and yellow. I suppose it must be due to the climate.

  6. How very beautiful, thank you for showing us, Lorna. I have long wanted to go to Branklyn Gardens but never have. The irony is that for four years our son was at a residential school very near the entrance, but I never managed to fit the garden into my trips to Perth. It’s in my mind that the gardens are renown for a particular kind of spring plant, but I can’t remember what! Maybe I should have read Jo’s piece!

    • I think I know the school you mean, if it’s that splendid building behind the garden. I don’t know which spring plant the garden’s famous for but I do know they have some impressive meconopsis. I’d like to have read Jo’s piece, too.

  7. The Japanese maples and the tree with the contorted trunk are my favourites. What a stunning garden that is. I should also say that the strawberry sponge would be my favourite too!

    • It is a stunning garden, and one of the amazing things about it is that it was all planned and planted by the husband and wife who owned it. They had a real flair for gardening, and put in a lot of time and money to make it what it is today. That strawberry sponge did look extremely tempting.

  8. just give me an afternoon in the rock garden with some tea and a toastie and maybe some sponge afterwards and i would be a happy camper. Autumn is so beautiful!

  9. Hi Lorna, the beautiful scenery in Scotland never ceases to amaze me, now I know where the best Japanese maples are outside of Japan. It;s so lovely to see the shift of autumn colours as the mood in your pictures changes, I’ve no doubt you’re well braced for a chilled & snowy winter ahead, though not just yet!

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