Sadly, the day we’d dedicated to some serious garden-visiting around Angus and Dundee turned out to be a cats and dogs (and bitterly cold) one. Nonetheless, we ventured forth and Pitmuies Gardens were first up.
Disclaimer – this is actually my boss’s garden and I’ve been dying to visit after seeing it in a recent press article. Handily, our recent tour around Scotland made it the perfect place to pitch camp so we got to have a good look around.
I have both serious greenhouse and walled garden envy, and raised beds and polytunnel envy for that matter! In fact, this is precisely the type of garden I would love one day.
The physic garden is so interesting, everything is handily labelled so you can see what ailments the medicinal herbs can be used to treat. The pollinators must be going wild in here just now.
As if that’s not enough there’s woodland, a lovely lake, highland cows, pigs and chickens too and everything is organic.
I would definitely recommend a visit here – all you need do is email email@example.com and they will happily show you around during the months of June, July and August – more info here.
Last week I was on a bit of a garden-visiting tour of Scotland, starting with a meeting at Fingask Castle at Rait where ‘Alice in Wonderland’ topiary is the order of the day. We also had a guided tour from owner Andrew Murray, who took us down the dell to St Peter’s medieval wishing well.
It was just 5 minutes down the road to Glendoick Gardens which is only open to the public in April and May – boasting a unique collection of rhododendrons and magnolias in the woodland garden it was definitely a sight to behold.
The perfumed Rhododendron Tinkerbird, a compact hardy hybrid was absolutely divine – sadly it’s been selling itself so well by wafting its wares all over the place that there were none to be bought in the garden centre but I have got my name on the waiting list.
There were flowers and colour absolutely everywhere and it was a real pleasure to wander around.
The garden centre and cafe at Glendoick, which are open all year are great – the sort of place you can spend a small fortune, and with a big smile on your face!
Yesterday was Scotland’s Garden Scheme’s biggest garden opening event of the year – The Garden of Cosmic Speculation at Portrack, near Dumfries. It’s a private garden and only opens one day a year via SGS and tickets were sold out a few weeks ago.
Designed by Maggie Keswick (the founder of Maggie’s Centres) and her husband Charles Jenks the garden covers 30 acres and is packed with gardens, landforms, sculptures, gardens, terraces and architectural features. It’s a clever and often humorous use of nature to stimulate the senses
I was lucky enough to be there, along with a raft of our volunteers, to help man the gates, the stalls and just make sure all the visitors had a lovely day. I did get a quick nose around but I only saw a fraction it. No excuse needed to go back and help out again next year, that’s for sure.
It was tiring but all the happy faces as people were leaving made it all worthwhile, not to mention the fact that we raised £thousands for charity. I still can’t quite believe that this is my job now – SO lucky! Next year, I’ll be sure to post this as soon as tickets go on sale as I can’t recommend it highly enough.
Sadly, I’ll not be able to make this as I’ll be up running The Road to the Isles half marathon in Arisaig, however, it looks like a lovely day out in a beautiful part of Scotland.
‘FlowerFest’ is a 3-day celebration of the horticultural heritage of the Clyde Valley in Scotland.
The festival opens on Friday 10th May and runs until Sunday 12th May. There will be a whole range of garden-themed activities including garden centre displays, planter competitions, plant sales, tours of the park and a Gardeners’ Question Time chaired by Beechgrove Garden’s George Anderson. To attract a wider audience, there will also be entertainment from local groups, food & drink, a craft tent and kids’ entertainment.
Entry is £3 for adults per day or £5 for a 3-day weekend pass. School age children are free. Further information about the festival, including the full programme line-up, is available here.
Keen & willing, if slightly clueless, gardeners – life in & around our Scottish Pentlands garden