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.
Threave has been on my ‘to visit’ list for a few years, ever since one of my gardening club friends told me about it – it’s the National Trust’s Training Centre for future Professional Gardeners and is home to the School of Heritage Gardening.
Based just outside Castle Douglas, down in Dumfries and Galloway, it’s not really on the beaten track so when I found out one of our Regional Meetings was going to be held there I was more than happy to head along.
We had our meeting in the ‘big house’ and then we were lucky enough to get a guided tour of the garden from gardener Brian McMillan. I do love a walled garden but this one was enormous! The produce is used in the cafe and is also on sale to the public.
It’s a wonderful place for wildlife, we saw a Red Squirrel, and it’s also home to Scotland’s only bat reserve. There’s a viewing platform for ospreys and wildfowl as well as wildlife hides in the nature reserve. There’s a visitor centre, plant sale and terrace cafe so it’d be easy to spend a good while here, well worth the trip!
Whilst open throughout the year, it’s open, with proceeds going to Scotland’s Gardens Scheme charities, on Sunday 23rd June.