This is Dawyck House, a magnificent private mansion, which nestles within the lovely Dawyck Botanic Garden near Stobo in the Scottish Borders.
The garden, which is open to the public for all but the winter months, was given to the nation in 1978 by the Balfour family and now comprises part of the Royal Botanic Gardens of Edinburgh. The surrounding estate, Dawyck House, and the chapel within in the garden all remain private property. The story of the garden began over three centuries earlier, however, with the Veitch family who owned the estate from 1491 to 1691.
When they first moved here from Jedburgh, the Veitch's home was described as a "lonely mansion in the bosom of a gloomy mountain". They planted trees as windbreaks to make their home and estate more habitable and welcoming, and in 1650 they introduced Scotland's first exotic tree, a horse chestnut native to eastern Europe.
But it was after the Naesmyth family took over the estate in 1691 that things really started to take off in earnest. Sir James Naesmyth, 2nd Baronet of Dawyck and Posso (1704-1779), trained as a botanist under Carl Linnaeus and did much to turn the garden into an arboretum. His grandson, Sir John Murray Naesmyth (1803-1876) went even further, planting a total of 2000 acres of mixed woodland. It was Sir John who recognised that a beech growing at Dawyck was actually a distinct species, since known as the Dawyck beech. Sir John was also responsible for commissioning the architect William Burn to build the present Dawyck House after its predecessor was destroyed by fire in 1830.
The estate was purchased by Mrs Alexander Balfour in 1897. Her son, Fred Balfour, travelled widely and sponsored many plant collectors to send back trees from, in particular, North America and Asia. He also planted hundreds of rhododendrons and millions of daffodils beneath the trees. He left the estate to his son, Colonel A.N. Balfour, in 1945, who in turn gave it to the nation in 1978.
Critiques | Translate
holmertz (54337) 2013-11-23 8:04
What a nice shot of the woman in the red dress;-). You spotted her in very beautiful surroundings. The "house" looks rather like a fairytale castle and it is very nicely surrounded by the forests. Seeing the castle and its garden like this from behind the trees I feel like I am spying on the family living down there, but of course this was just the best spot available for capturing all of it in one photo.
rbassin (23209) 2013-11-23 8:59
une très belle mise en valeur de ce chateau;
la lumière sur les toits et la forêt est agréable.
emka (100039) 2013-11-23 9:15
Hello John, I overheard your secret! How could you cheat like this :))). Great idea to give this red akcent and enliven the scene. The garden is fabulous, specially the part in the foreground has marvelous colours. The house with these turrets is also very beautiful. And what is there in the meadow? Sheep?
Warm regrads Malgo
annjackman (21899) 2013-11-23 11:02
I like the processing on this very much. Beautiful lit areas with nice colours even in the shadows. The person in red absolutely makes this image for me. Faultless work and a treat to view.
Kind Regards, Ann
chrislo (4097) 2013-11-23 13:00
Great viewpoint showing this superb mansion in a beautiful romantic setting. Somehow it has a little Flemish castle look with its step gables. The picture is perfectly detailed, both in the sunlit and the shaded areas. The presence of that Little Red Riding Hood walking by gives the place some kind of fairyland. Excellent work !
carlo62 (50127) 2013-11-23 13:34
ottimo pov per mostrarci questa grande ed elegante dimora, il suo giardino è molto bello e con i colori autunnali è ancor più bella.
Un bel colpo, soprattutto con la presenza della persona in rosso.
jester5 (2024) 2013-11-23 14:10
Beautiful composition and light with great depth of field. All that lovely detail and balance of colours is lovely. Fantastic Shot!
daddo (26900) 2013-11-23 14:20
Hi John. Quite a saga of single mindedness and dedication in the pursuit of the beautiful. Lovely shot which demonstrates some of the fruits of continuous labour. Great use of soft light which enhances the special nature of this place. Regards. Klaudio.
lousat (92936) 2013-11-23 15:19
Hi John,another magnificent pic in your great gallery! How is nice this house,and how is great your choice of point of view,there is a magic light inside so well exposed.And then the autumnal colors of the trees,the dew on the grass,and a spectacular architechture too.Very very well done! Have a nice Sunday and thanks,Luciano
jjcordier (79297) 2013-11-23 23:42
Jolie présentation automnale de cette belle demeure et de ses superbes jardins.
SnapRJW (31629) 2013-11-23 23:57
Hello John - Your secret lady in red adds very good colour punctuation in this shot and balances out the red leaves in the FG shrubbery. Cleverly done! The house and garden is a lovely subject and has been photographed with flair; your light management, sharpness and colour work is top class. What a wonderful place to live. Warm regards Rosemary
Royaldevon (39766) 2013-11-24 1:22
Ha! Ha! John, I have a shot of this beautiful house but mine has a completely different mood; it is hidden and secretive, whilst yours is open, proud, majestic.
You seem to have had excellent light; Len and I were skipping between trees, hiding from the short showers!
I like very much how you have used the vegetation. In the f/g, it introduces us to the scene and creates a sense of the depth, in the m/g it acts as a torch, leading the way and in the b/g it cocoons the house and acts as a backstop, keeping attention on the building.
The dof is just great and the little detail of the frost adds a physical understanding.
To be honest, it was only at the last moment that I noticed the lady so, for me, she wasn't ultra important. However, now I can't take my eyes off her!!
Have a great Sunday,
Romano46 (18472) 2013-11-24 1:49
sembra il castello delle favole. Un soggetto che avrebbe fatto da ottimo fondale per un film di Walt Disney tanto esso appare inserito in maniera eccellente in un paesaggio nel quale non manca la vegetazione con le sue tinte autunnali.
Una eccellente cattura ravvivata da un bel sole che illumina splendidamente la scena, peraltro assai ben composta e fotografata.
Ciao e buona domenica
Nicou (144332) 2013-11-24 2:02
Et bien il habitent une sacrée résidence quelle architecture quelle vue tout en largeur et ces tours, et la belle nature le parc autour c'est splendide.
Bravo et beau dimanche
delpeoples (58616) 2013-11-24 2:29
Ciao caro Giovanni
Wow, what a palce and what a note, with a happy ending too! How kind of the Balfour Family to give it back to Scotland, there for all of us to enjoy. When I saw this in thumbnail, I thought the lawn was in fact an emerald sea. On enlarging it and finding out it's a huge rolling lawn, is all the better. And the beautiful (North American) Autumnal trees are just a delight, naturally framing the photo and giving us the impression that we are spying through the trees.
Thanks for sharing, have a lovely day
timecapturer (49288) 2013-11-24 3:52
exquisite shot of this wonderful old house. Strong autumn light that you have managed perfectly and the detailing here is so sharp and beautiful. Love the long shadows and the sprinkling of frost adds atmosphere and a crispness to the image. A flawless execution and eye-catching presentation. Superb!
Enjoy your Sunday - B.
Silvio1953 (145703) 2013-11-24 5:28
Ciao John, fascinating composition with fantastic castle, great POV, wonderful autumnals colors and splendid light, very well done, my friend, ciao Silvio
marabu61 (11061) 2013-11-24 13:46
That is some family home indeed. It reminds me somehow of Kylmore Abbey in Conemara in Ireland that I have seen in the spring this year.
The garden looks really well maintained and the big tree with its golden leaves is gorgeous.
Honestly, I would never have guessed the figure in red to be inserted from an other photograph, so job well done there.
have a great week
saxo042 (37900) 2013-11-25 8:10
This is a very colourful picture and a very interesting note. This must have been another Downton Abbey with more servants than masters in those good old days. I notice that you also managed to include someone in red too.
macjake (69195) 2013-11-25 10:51
another winner from your gallery John.
Oh it must be such a joy to live in Europe where the history is so vast, and estates like this are abound!
You know...the Son could have given the estate to ME instead of the Nation! lol
what a terrific story of how the family grew the trees and planted so many species. It really paid off didn't it. I wonder how the family would feel if they knew the estate now belongs to the Nation???
wonderful POV here John, it works so well. I feel as if i'm on Horseback riding through the forest sipping a bit of the fanciest wine, or better yet, it being served to me lol
lovely photo, well done
mkamionka (37843) 2013-11-25 13:07
you really pay attention to the detail. I would not notice this red dressed person if it was not mentioned in one comment..
Great POV to present this lovely house in the bigger context. Nice framing with the vegetation. Interesting play of the light and shadow on the house itself. It was a great timing -a bit later I guess there would be too much shade already.
This picture illustrates well that the time I took for the meeting was definitely not enough to appreciate the beauty of this rich county.
- Copyright: John Cannon (tyro) (25716)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2013-11-04
- Categories: Nature, Architecture
- Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L USM, Hoya 77mm Pro1D UV(0)
- Exposure: f/8, 1/250 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Map: view
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Date Submitted: 2013-11-23 7:39