Tag Archives: Scotlands Garden Scheme

Fingask Castle and Glendoick Gardens in Perthshire

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.

Fingask Castle
Topiary at Fingask Castle

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.

Glendoick Gardens
Glendoick Gardens

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.

Rhododendrons at Glendoick Gardens
Rhododendrons at Glendoick Gardens

There were flowers and colour absolutely everywhere and it was a real pleasure to wander around.

Rhododendrons at Glendoick Gardens
Rhododendrons at Glendoick Gardens

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!

Rhododendrons at Glendoick Gardens
Rhododendrons at Glendoick Gardens

The Explorer’s Garden in Pitlochry

Ever since I read Seeds of Blood and Beauty, a fascinating book about the preeminence of the early Scottish plant hunters, not to mention an abundance of untimely and sometimes intriguing deaths, I’ve been fascinated by these early pioneers of horticulture.

The Explorer's Garden in Pitlochry

Many of the plants we take for granted in our gardens are not native species and the Explorer’s Garden tells the stories of these astonishing men who travelled the world and endured extreme hardships to bring us plants and trees for cultivation, commerce and conservation.

The Explorer's Garden in Pitlochry

The garden is laid out representing areas of the world from where the species originated, along with storyboards shedding light on individual stories, travels and achievements.

The Explorer's Garden in Pitlochry

It’s still pretty early in the season, and having just bagged two snow clad munroes (Ben Macdui and Cairngorm) the day before, I knew it wasn’t going to be at its best but it had been on my ‘to do’ list for so long I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to visit that our Easter weekend away presented.

The Explorer's Garden in Pitlochry

The garden has a lovely feel to it and it’s quite a bit bigger than I’d been expecting. The volunteer on the gate was super-friendly, telling me where she’d seen red squirrels that morning and showing me where the first yellow meconopsis had just bloomed the day before (they host the National Meconopsis Plant Collection). There was also a lovely exhibition of photographs celebrating modern Scottish plant hunters in the pavilion.

The Explorer's Garden in Pitlochry

Whilst it was still beautiful with plenty of points of interest, architecture and spots of colour I think that in a few weeks time this garden will be absolutely stunning – I really hope to be able to return again and see it then, although I suspect I would have to trade the pleasure and solitude of an out of season visit to be able to see it at its best. The red squirrels were a charming bonus.

The Explorer's Garden in Pitlochry

A wee plug while I can – whilst you can visit any day (in season), the Explorer’s Garden are opening in aid of Scotland’s Garden Scheme on Sunday 2nd June, when it should be looking absolutely fabulous, so, if you fancy visiting it, please consider doing so on this day as the money raised does so much good for the charities being supported.

Looking for Community Groups who’d Like to Visit a Garden…

Anyone know of any Scottish-based community groups who might benefit from a visit to one of our gardens…?

This year Scotland’s Garden Scheme will join sister organisation, the National Gardens Scheme who cover England and Wales, to hold Gardens and Health Week the 11th – 19th May.

The health and well-being aspect of being in a garden is a key element to our programme of garden openings this year. The physical and mental benefits of gardens and gardening are well known – when we’re stressed they can calm us and provide a wonderful head space to relax and for mindfulness.

Gardens and Health Week will give community groups, hospices, support groups and schools free access to participating volunteer’s gardens. The aim of this is to benefit people, who might not necessarily have the chance to visit a garden and show how therapeutic and inspiring garden spaces can be.

If you know a community group or school who would like to get involved, or you would like to open your garden to a visit between the 11th – 19th May, contact nadine@scotlandgardens.org

New (dream) Job – and it’s gardening-related!

So, I’ve been a little quiet recently, but, I have some REALLY exciting news to share – I’ve got a new job and it couldn’t be more up my street! I’m the new marketing Manager for Scotland’s Garden Scheme (SGS), a charity that promotes health and well-being through opening gardens across Scotland to raise money for over 200 charities.

Having already visited a number of gardens open through the scheme in my area, I’m now looking forward to getting out and about and seeing many many more, from grand stately affairs to more modest city gardens and allotments. There should be plenty of walled gardens too – I do find them quite magical.

My first job is Gardens and Health Week, the 11th – 19th May – I’m looking for schools, hospices, care homes, welfare and community groups that might benefit from a visit to a garden. So, if you know a group that would like to take advantage of a free trip to one of our gardens, please do let me know.