WELCOME to the website of the Old Orchard, the garden surrounding the Old Manse, Cromarty in Ross-shire, Scotland.
The 17th-century house and 3m-high red sandstone wall surrounding the garden are both A-listed. Their history reflects the changing fortunes of Cromarty's prosperity, decline and revival.
The garden spans the years from Sir John Urquhart's 'Great Dyke' of the 1660s, through Capt John Reid's ownership (he of mermaid fame) in the 18th century, to the late-Victorian garden of the Cromarty Estate under head gardener Alexander More, to the productive garden that supplied fruit and vegetables to Royal Navy ships anchored in the Cromarty Firth in the first half of the 20th century, through dereliction after World War II to its restoration in the 1990s.
Now, the time has come for us to downsize and leave our home of twenty-six years. Hopefully, new owners we come to love this house and garden as much as we have - and appreciate that they are merely stewards of a property linked to Cromarty's past with a role to play in its future.
Ken and Kristina Dupar
See the Old Orchard entry on page 75 of Ken Cox's 'Scotland for Gardeners' book.