Essential British Gardens, UK & Republic of Ireland Gardens & Arboretums

Gardens of South Scotland

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Arbigland Kirkbean, Dumfries and Galloway.

Woodland and water gardens, featuring Japanese azaleas and maples around a small stream. John Paul Jones, the founder of the US Navy, worked in the gardens as a boy. The cottage where he was born is nearby (also open to visitors).

Brodick Castle (NTS) Isle of Arran, North Ayrshire.

Photo © 2007 The National Trust for Scotland

Brodick Castle Gardens






Contains one of the finest collections of Rhododendrons in Scotland. The Horlick collection planted about 35 years ago is now maturing and is well worth seeing in late May - early June. The walled garden dating from 1710 has been restored as an Edwardian garden. Many fine specimen trees, Echiums, some tree ferns and herbaceous plantings. National Collection of Rhododendron (subsects. Falconera, Grandia, Maddenia).

The Country Park has waymarked trails, woodlands, waterfalls, gorges, wildlife ponds, restored ice-house, a nature room and wildlife garden.




Broughton House Garden (NTS) Kircudbright, Dumfries and Galloway.

Photo © 2007 The National Trust for Scotland

Broughton House Garden







A fascinating small garden with Japanese influences and many surprises. An eighteenth century house with a twentieth century garden by the Artist E A Hornel, who lived here from 1901-33. He was interested in oriental art and the garden reflects this taste.




Castle Kennedy Gardens Stranraer, Dumfries and Galloway.

Photo © 2007 Stair Estates

Castle Kennedy Gardens







Castle Kennedy itself is but a ruin, though the garden is world-famous, and very large, at 30 hectares. Ingeniously using the ground between two lochs, there are landscaped terraces and mounds, and there is also wonderful background in the middle distance. Close to the sea, the micro-climate is favourable, and planting has been cleverly done to avoid wind-stress; there are consequently magnificent displays of Azalea, Rhododendron, Embothrium, Eucryphia. A great many cultivars from the collecting expeditions of the two Hookers, father and son, were naturalised here, particularly those from New Zealand.




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Culzean Castle (NTS) nr. Maybole, South Ayrshire.

Photo © 2007 The National Trust for Scotland

Culzean Castle Garden






Mature parklands, woodland walks and three main garden areas. The Fountain Court - terraced in front of the Castle with an orangery; the walled garden and the 'Happy Valley' a wild woodland garden with specimen trees and shrubs.

Explore the Deer Park or the Cliff Walk, or seek out the estateís hidden treasures like Adamís ruined arch, the ĎRomaní viaduct, the Camellia House or the pagoda. Gardeners can take inspiration from the Fountain Court, the walled garden and the Victorian vinery.




Dawyck Botanic Garden Stobo, nr. Peebles, Scottish Borders.

Dawyck, a substation of Edinburgh Botanic Garden, is dominated by its historic conifers, many of which are outstanding examples of their kind. Champion specimens thrive here, because although the harsh climate engenders slower growth, this leads in time to sturdier, longer-lived specimens. In addition to its wealth of North American species, it boasts famous plantings of unusual Asiatic Chinese trees. National Collections of Larix, Tsuga & Hesperopeuce (Pinaceae).

There are three specialist trails - The David Douglas Trail emphasises the link between the great plant-hunter and the plantings at Dawyck. It features many of the plants Douglas collected in North America, and includes some trees grown from seed collected by Douglas himself.

The Scottish Rare Plants Trail is a kind of botanical treasure hunt. Even with the descriptive leaflet and good labelling, many of our rare native plants can be difficult to spot in settings which recreate their natural settings.

Great Trees at Dawyck is a unique trail which encourages the visitor to seek out 25 unusual 'champion' trees, examples of the tallest, oldest or stoutest of their kind in Britain. For those who love these big trees, Dawyck is a wonderful place.

Edinburgh Royal Botanic Garden Inverleith, Edinburgh.

The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh was founded in the 17th century on an area the size of a tennis court. It now extends to 31 hectares and there is little you will not find in this large botanic garden. Views of the city skyline from the small hill in the centre of the garden are outstanding.

Edzell Castle nr. Edzell, Angus.

Photo © 2007 Historic Scotland

Edzell Castle Garden





Located approximately 2 miles West of Edzell. The beautiful pleasance, a walled garden was built by Sir David Lindsay in 1604; the heraldic and symbolic sculptures are unique in Scotland, and the flower-filled recesses in the walls add to the outstanding formal garden, which also has a turreted garden house. This small but unique garden is owned by the Department of the Environment. See also the About Britain web site.




Falkland Palace (NTS) Falkland, Fife.

Photo © 2007 The National Trust for Scotland

Falkland Palace Garden






The Palace is surrounded by internationally known gardens, between 1947 and 1952. The herbaceous borders are outstanding and the delphiniums are truly magnificent. Royal Tennis, reputedly the world's oldest tennis game, is still played in the court set in the gardens. There is also a small herb garden border featuring quotations from John Gerardís book Herball (1597).

As is often the case with NTS and NT web sites, many gardeners feel that the garden is undersold at Falkland.




Glenwhan Dunragit, Stranraer, Dumfies and Galloway.

Photo © 2007 Glenwhan Gardens

Glenwhan Garden





A beautiful 12 acre hilltop garden overlooking Luce Bay and the Mull of Galloway. Created in 1979, winding paths lead around 2 small lakes. A plantsman's paradise, full of lovely trees and shrubs, particularly rhododrendrons, rock and water plants. Glenwhan Gardens has been described in Kenneth Cox's book 'Scotland for Gardeners' as...'This 12 acre garden is a fine achievement on an impressive scale' .

Filled with glorious collections of plants from round the world, the focus is around several lakes, with a backdrop of sea, where the plants luxuriate in a variety of habitats. This combined with the spectacular views over Luce Bay and the Mull of Galloway, turns Glenwhan into a unique and lovely place. Also a 17 acre Wildflower Walk with over 120 species of recorded flowers, grasses and ferns may also be discovered. A mix of sculptures may be seen, and seats have been placed to enjoy the stunning views.




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Greenbank Garden (NTS) Clarkston, nr. Glasgow.

Photo © 2007 The National Trust for Scotland

Greenbank Garden






The attractive 2.5 acre garden indicates how wide a range of ornamental plants, annuals, perennials, shrubs and trees can be grown in the area and is especially relevant to owners of small gardens. If youíre looking for ideas, inspiration and practical tips for your own garden, then a visit to Greenbank is a must.

A seductive centrepiece to this garden is the bronze water nymph 'Foam', whose exquisite form complements the circular pool and surrounding greenery. Several small gardens, including a parterre layout, illustrate different aspects of gardening, while the larger borders contain a wide range of shrub roses and perennial and annual flowers.




Hill of Tarvit Mansionhouse and Garden (NTS) Cupar, Fife.

Photo © 2007 The National Trust for Scotland

Hill of Tarvit Garden







A delightful small, steeply sloping and south-facing garden. It's piece de resistance is a superb 150 metre long herbaceous border adjacent to a high stone wall with some impresive climbers and roses. A small formal rose garden. The woodland behind the garden is also receiving attention and is full of wild flowers. In Spring and early summer the Rhododendrons are worth seeing in this seldom-visited part of the property.




Inveresk Lodge Garden (NTS) Musselburgh, nr. Edinburgh.

Photo © 2007 The National Trust for Scotland

Inveresk Lodge Garden






This attractive terraced garden is located in the historic village of Inveresk. Most of the plants hold the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit and highlights include the excellent range of roses and shrubs. The woodland area is especially delightful in autumn. National Collection of Tropaeolum (excl majus). See also the About Britain web site.




Kellie Castle and Garden (NTS) nr. Pittenweem, Fife.

Photo © 2007 The National Trust for Scotland

Kellie Castle Garden







The layout of the organic walled garden is 17th century with late Victorian additions and contains a fine collection of old-fashioned roses, fruit trees and herbaceous plants. Display in summer-house on history of walled garden.




Logan Botanic Garden Port Logan, Dumfries and Galloway.

Logan, a substation of Edinburgh Botanic Garden, is a plantsman's paradise. More than 40% of the plants derive from the southern hemisphere and are to be found in few other gardens in Britain. However, the richly colourful landscaped displays conceal the main purpose of the plantings as biological standards for research and conservation. throughout the Garden the visitor will discover recently collected material from South Africa, New Zealand and particularly Chile, evidence of the on-going research into the plant life of the planet in which Logan plays a vital part.

Malleny Garden (NTS) Balerno, nr. Edinburgh.

Photo © 2007 The National Trust for Scotland

Malleny Garden







In the village of Balerno, less than ten miles from the centre of Edinburgh, this 3 acre walled garden beside 17th century Malleny House (not open to the public) provides a peaceful haven from the bustle of the nearby capital. This 1.2 hectares (3 acre) walled garden has a delightful collection of old-fashioned roses amongst which is the National Collection of Rosa (19th century shrubs) and fine herbaceous borders. The garden also houses the National Bonsai Collection of Scotland. A particular feature of the garden is the four 400-year-old clipped yew trees.




Mellerstain House Blomfield Garden nr. Gordon, Scottish Borders.

Photo © 2007 www.mellerstain.com

Mellerstain Garden







Extensive grounds with a lake and many fine trees stand at 600 feet above sea level. The gardens command a glorious view across to the Cheviot Hills and is a beautiful setting for a lovely collection of roses. The lake is home to swans, Canada geese and other wildfowl.

The original garden was laid out with the lake in the form of a Dutch canal surrounded by raised grass walks on which stood classical statues. These have now gone. The lichen covered, formal balustraded terraced garden with parterres, now full of fragrant heritage roses, was laid out in 1909 to designs by Sir Reginald Blomfield in the delightful architectural style of that period.




Mertoun Gardens Dryborough, nr. St Boswells, Scottish Borders.

Photo © www.discovertheborders.co.uk

Spring at Mertoun Gardens






Little is known of the early history of the gardens, but it is assumed from the great age of many of the specimen trees that they were laid out at the time the house was built in 1703-05. The gardens lie to the north and east of Mertoun House, and extend to about 26 acres. Extensive herbaceous borders, very interesting tree plantings and a wonderful old walled garden. This is a fabulous site on the banks of the river Tweed. (N.B. Only open on Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays - and public holidays.)




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Monteviot House Garden Jedburgh, Scottish Borders.

Photo © 2007 www.monteviot.com

Water Garden at Monteviot House






This river garden, running down to Teviot, has been replanted with herbaceous perennials and shrubs in an informal design. Other feature areas include a semi-enclosed terraced rose garden, pinetum, oriental-style water garden with rhododendrons and azaleas, and extensive lawns.




St Andrews Botanic Garden St Andrews, Fife.

Photo © www.st-andrews-botanic.org

St Andrews Botanic Garden







St Andrews in Scotland, well known for its connection to golf, can also be proud of its small, intimate Botanic Garden with many unusual species from all over the world. Discover a hidden gem with hot and temperate houses and glasshouses for cacti and alpine plants. The extensive hillside rock garden recreates natural habitats with scree and water features. Shady woodland of Rhododendrons and other plants of the Himalayas and China. About 8000 species of ferns, herbaceous plants, shrubs and trees are grown here.




Teviot Water Gardens Kirkbank House, Eckford, Kelso, Scottish Borders.

Photo © Teviot Water Garden 2003

Teviot Water Gardens





Primarily a retail outlet for water plants but there is also an enchanting small water garden cascading down a steep bank to the River Tweed which can be viewed during working hours. Because of the topological characteristics of the site, the garden has been created as a series of terraces. Both moving and still water mirror the expanse of the river below. This small and tranquil garden offers inspiration to the amateur horticulturist by displaying a host of interesting design ideas and many wonderful plant associations. The feathery plumes and delicate foliage of Astilbes look outstanding against a background of leathery, purple leaves of Rodgersias and Rheums. Look out also for the interesting combination of pink roses, Lythrums and water lilies.




Threave Garden and Estate (NTS) nr. Castle Douglas, Dumfries and Galloway.

Photo © 2007 The National Trust for Scotland

Threave Garden







A 64 acre garden for all seasons. Best known for its spectacular springtime display of over 200 varieties of daffodil, there are also colourful summer displays from the herbaceous beds and borders, and stunning autumn colours from the trees and from the heather garden.




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