Happy birthday Will!
Today is my eldest's birthday. He's twenty years younger than I am which helps me remember how old he is. Will was in flower-taking-mode in this picture. The lupines were outstanding in this walled garden at Culzean Castle! There was no mildew and no gigantic fuzzy gray aphids like I get on mine.
I just read this on Wikipedia: Since 1987, an illustration of the castle has featured on the reverse side of five pound notes issued by the Royal Bank of Scotland. So while I was in Scotland I was probably walking around with a picture of Culzean Castle in my purse!! How about that.
THE KENNEDY FAMILY is one of Scotland’s oldest families and trace ancestry to Robert the Bruce. Culzean Castle was their principal seat from 1759, the castle and its landscape reflecting their status and aspirations. Over the centuries, the Kennedys transformed a medieval tower house, built to protect its inhabitants during dangerous times, into one of the grandest country houses in Ayrshire.
In the 1770s, the 10th Earl commissioned the famous architect, Robert Adam, to create a house worthy of his political status. The armoury display is the largest collection of its type in existence, apart from Her Majesty the Queen’s at Windsor Castle. In 1812, the flamboyant and ambitious 12th Earl bought the pistols and swords from the Office of Ordnance at the Tower of London. The arms were dispatched from London in twelve chests along with ‘one of the men from the tower with the Arms, who will fix them up in a proper manner’.
The gardens and Home Farm of Culzean provided a huge variety of fruit, vegetables, meat, eggs and poultry and there would have been a plentiful supply of fish, shellfish and game. Two ice houses at Culzean provided ice for cooling drinks, making ice cream, and preserving food.
When the Kennedy family donated the castle to the National Trust for Scotland in 1945 they asked that the top floor be given to General Eisenhower as a thank you from the people of Scotland.
Ike first came to Culzean in 1946 and was clearly touched to accept this gift. He visited the castle three more times, once as President when, for a short while, Culzean was his Scottish White House.
His longest stay was during his retirement when he enjoyed painting and walking in the peace and quiet of Culzean's beautiful gardens, woodland and shore, as well as playing golf nearby.
He wrote of Culzean, "This is a place I can relax." There is a museum honoring General Eisenhower and you can rent the Eisenhower suite if you want to stay there and can afford it.