Gardens In Scotland

31 January 2017


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Scotland has always attracted visitors for the glorious scenery, beaches and mountains but, in addition to the obvious attractions, increasing numbers of people are choosing to visit because of the impressive number of gardens open to the general public.

Achnacloich sits in the middle of a 5,000 acre estate and is surrounded by 30 acres of unique gardens. These magical and playful gardens are open to the public on Saturdays but if you stay in the house then you can enjoy this massive collection of rhododendrons, magnolias, maples and sorbus all to yourself throughout the week.

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One of Scotland’s most popular botanical attractions is the world famous Inverewe Gardens in Wester Ross. Created out of bare rock in 1862 this peninsula, at the edge of Loch Ewe, is now full of colourful exotic plants from all over the world. Highlights include the most northerly planting of rare Wollemi pines, Himalayan blue poppies, olearia from New Zealand, Tasmanian eucalypts, and rhododendrons from China, Nepal and the Indian subcontinent. 

Thanks to the warm currents of the Gulf Stream and the foresight of the original creator, who planted over 100 acres of woodland to shelter the garden these plants flourish here, despite the northerly latitude. Taigh Glas in Gairloch is just a 20 minute drive away along one of the most scenic roads in the country.

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The magnificent gardens at Dirleton Castle feature in the Guinness Book of World Records as being home to the world's longest herbaceous border. The grounds also feature manicured gardens which date to the 16th century and one of the most atmospheric castle ruins in the area. If you are staying at Denfind it is only a short walk or an easy pedal away if you need to take a break from golf for a while.

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New for 2015 The Angus and Fife Garden Trail is a project by Scotland’s Gardens to give visitors the opportunity to visit some of the most spectacular gardens in the area while raising money for charity. Wormistoune House is one of the most impressive and its beautiful 1.5 acre walled garden is just a five minute drive up the Fife coast from The Secret Cottage in Anstruther. This horticultural jewel is well-known for its main herbaceous border which runs east-west along the garden’s spine and peaks in July, for its elaborate thistle-shaped parterre and for its productive potager and beautiful fritillary-filled wildflower meadow.  

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Gateshaw House is set within two acres of mature gardens but for something even more special then only a 20 minute drive away lies the splendour of Monteviot Gardens.  These, extending to some thirty acres, surround Monteviot House, spilling down over lawn and through woodland onto the flood plain of the river Teviot below. Your journey starts by the House with a small series of specialist areas including a Dwarf, Alpine and Rhododendron border, a mixed shrub and Herbaceous appetiser border (giving a taste of the extensive plantings in the main River garden) and a Japanese Acer and Pieris border underplanted with Candelabra Primulas. These specialist areas lead in turn to the breathtaking viewpoint over the main garden, the river Teviot and the heritage parkland beyond.

Wherever you stay in Scotland its worth investigating some of the local horticultural attractions. Some of the most perfectly tended gardens and amazing labours of love are hidden away just waiting to be discovered.

Photo Credits Dennis Hardley & Scotland's Gardens