Fall in Love with The Gardens at Elsick

It’s easy to fall in love with the gardens at Elsick House. Bright blooming flowers and meticulously maintained lawns have provided the most stunning backdrop for outdoor weddings and celebrations throughout many years. But explore a little deeper and you’ll be rewarded with some imaginative surprises. Nestled among the plants are delicate wire fairies, butterflies and most recently added, a stunning sculpture of a bridal gown – a nod to the brides who should have been married here in 2020.

So, who is behind these artworks and the amazing gardens? Meet our creative gardener, Mandy.

Mandy and her partner Alec have lived on the Elsick Estate for 6 years. They take care of the gardens and grounds at Elsick House, as well as carrying out ground maintenance and helping with events such as the Farmers’ Market at nearby town, Chapelton.

Mandy: “I first started by helping Alec in the gardens. I never once imagined I would actually enjoy it but then I realised gardening can be creative, like living art. In my spare time I like to draw, paint and sculpt so I feel very lucky that I can combine my artistic side with my job. A typical day at work for me involves weeding, grass cutting, raking leaves, pruning, planting, deadheading and feeding the plants. I’ve recently been redesigning an area of the gardens which I’ve really enjoyed.

Working in the gardens at Elsick House is so serene. I like all the seasons. Spring sees everything come alive again; Summer is amazing with the sun, nicer weather and the garden in bloom; Autumn brings the colour changes and in Winter, the gardens are chilly but very peaceful.

I think my art is inspired by the views around me. Sometimes I stop and stare at the Monkey Puzzle trees. They are so different and make me think, wow look at that!

Weddings and events have been postponed this summer because of the coronavirus outbreak so it’s disappointing that so many people won’t get to see the gardens in bloom this year. We always do our best to make them look perfect for every wedding, it is an amazing feeling knowing they are the backdrop of someone’s special day. Our current plans are to keep the gardens looking as pristine as we can for all future events but I also felt I wanted to honour this year’s weddings that couldn’t take place because of the virus.

The bridal gown is made from wire and pearl beads and has jasmine and Japanese honeysuckle plants growing around it. I’ve made fairies on carved wooden toadstools and wire butterflies for the garden in the past but I feel this piece has a deeper meaning so I hope the couples will enjoy it when they come for their weddings here.

On a positive note, Alec and I have spent more time in our own garden this year and have revamped an area. I love working outdoors with the sun, wind and even the rain on my face. Gardening keeps me fit and healthy; it boosts the immune system too. We’ve been going for long walks with our dogs as living on the Elsick estate there’s so much countryside to explore. It will be great to see holiday makers coming back to the house once we reopen in July. It really is such a beautiful location and I can’t wait to see families back enjoying the gardens again.”


Elsick’s mature and beautiful garden offers a multitude of possibilities.

So close to Aberdeen and with all the space in the world to create your own fantasy, Elsick House is the one place where real privacy can be found and you can remain hidden from the outside to escape the hustle and bustle.  A good imagination is not a gift that all of us share so we thought it might be helpful to guide you through some of the ideas we have for a corporate gathering or a family and friends’ celebration. Some are tried and tested ideas and some we know would suit the grounds very well.

Within the walled garden

Join forces with a few friends, raise a plastic glass of prosecco and enjoy the borders and shrubs from a hot tub. These can be hired and fit brilliantly on the top terrace.  You can even enjoy this under the garden lighting for a bit of night-time adventure.

The setting is so well suited to croquet and other traditional games. There is a house croquet set, and if you order it in advance, a second set could be brought in for racing croquet.  Two teams can compete simultaneously, and it is hilarious and easy to adjudicate.

The marquee is up during the summer months and has a fully transparent side set slightly above the main wall so no matter what the weather you can enjoy the setting out of any breeze.  How about teaching employees a new craft on a team building day?

The Yew Garden

In the centre of this area of the garden sits a revolving summer house to make the most of the south facing lawn.  This charming wooden house makes an ideal Pimm’s bar for summer drinks or serving area for a BBQ and there are plenty of outdoor tables and chairs for a real party.  Or you could pop in a central table and let your executive team do a bit of blue sky thinking.

On a more active note, you could set up a Segway tour around the entire 1500 acres of the estate on a set route or a mystery tour and maybe even venture further afield

The garden pond

The Chinese style bridge across the pond makes an ideal photographic backdrop.  Indeed, the whole pond area is an ideal amphitheatre and anyone wanting to do presentations

The Lake and beyond

A long straight area on the estate is the ideal spot for full length archery although there are several places for a more modest competition.  Otherwise a treasure hunt for all ages can be organised through the woods and garden focusing on the amazing wildlife on display here.

The Lochter Activity centre  has great equipment that they can bring to the estate and can work with all sorts of client requirements so take a look.

For the adventurous

A little off-road karting or driving will set the heart racing and the competitive juices flowing and these can be done within team events.   If you prefer your feet firmly on the ground there is a 5km circular trail that you can pick up just on the edge of the garden.

Let your imagination run wild and remember our experienced team can help to guide you as to what will work. Contact Alison to get more details.