The walled garden at Colzium has been laid out as a decorative garden with a fine collection of plants.
A walled garden is a garden enclosed by high walls for horticultural purposes rather than for security. Originally all gardens may have been enclosed for protection from animal or human intruders. The main function of the walls surrounding a walled garden is to shelter the garden from wind and frost, though on many occasions they also serve a decorative function.
The shelter provided by enclosing wall can raise the ambient temperature within the garden by several degrees thus creating a micro-climate permitting plants to be grown that would not survive without the protection of the high walls. Most garden walls were constructed with stone or brick which would absorb the heat and then slowly release it later in the day. On occasions a walled garden wall would be built with heating pipes within the structure increasing the temperature of the wall. At some locations throughout Britain hollow walls were constructed with opening so that fires could be lit to heat the air within the wall, again raising the temperature of the wall. Special plants could be grown against the warm walls such as peaches, cherries with more traditional fruit such as apples and pears.
Walled gardens would allow the gardener to grow vegetable crops and fruit such as black currants, red currants in sheltered conditions extending the growing season. Invariably the greenhouses were located within the walled garden, again for protection and warmth.
The Colzium walled garden has not produced vegetable and fruit for the main house kitchen since Colzium House became unoccupied. The walled garden was operated for a time as a market garden until it was taken into public ownership in 1967. The garden now has an extensive display of plants and trees including, conifers, heathers and many species of snowdrops. The wrought iron gates forming the entrance to the garden were presented to Colzium Lennox Estate by a local youth club in Kilsyth. Like many garden several memorial seats have been gifted for the garden since 1967. A wrought Iren arch was placed in the garden in 2018 which was presented by the Town Twinning Association from Meulan, France.
Stevens and Associates a leading law firm in 2002 commented “The historic, somewhat idiosyncratic approach to the planting scheme in the walled garden is regarded by many as an attraction that differentiates Colzium from other historic houses where a more traditional and historically accurate approach to the planting regime has been adopted (for example a potager or Lorimer garden)”
The garden has also featured in a few publications and on BBS Scotland broadcasts. The garden was awarded a Scottish Tourist Board double-starred visitor attraction rating and forms part of Visit Scotland’s annual Snowdrop Festival.
The garden is open daily in summer from Easter to September.