Scotland’s ‘hidden’ historic horticultural gems to be celebrated by Scotland’s Gardens

The important role gardens play in Scotland’s historic landscape will be highlighted in 2017 by the open garden charity Scotland’s Gardens.

Of the 500 gardens throwing open their gates to the public during the year under the Scotland’s Gardens banner, over 80 have been recognised for their historic, national significance. Many of these are not that well known, even though their horticultural features play a vital role in the country’s heritage, so Scotland’s Gardens will be encouraging people to visit, delve into their past and soak up the atmosphere.

A monastic priory garden dating back 700 years, an ‘apple walk’ at Tyninghame House, the Victorian kitchen garden of Scotland’s largest inhabited castle, an unique 18th century elliptical walled garden and even an Edwardian Japanese water garden, are just some of these noteworthy locations being celebrated in Scotland’s Gardens 2017 Guidebook. Many of the gardens are private, so not normally open to visitors, and all are listed in Scotland’s Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes, compiled by Historic Environment Scotland.

As well as these distinguished horticultural stars, hundreds of other gardens of all shapes and sizes will be opening to visitors across Scotland to raise money for charities. Highlights of the Scotland’s Gardens programme during 2017 include:

  • 70 new gardens including Westerhouses in Roxburghshire, an old Borders farmhouse garden with fabulous views across the local hills; Drumstinchall House & Drumstinchall Cottage in Kirkcudbrightshire with an array of colourful borders, vegetable garden and walk to the local loch; a secluded wildlife-friendly garden surrounded by eight acres of pine trees at the Garden at Auld Post Office in Caithness, and the garden at Carey House in Abernethy with views over the Ochil Hills, transformed just six years ago from a field of brambles and thistles.
  • A week-long garden festival in Orkney during June. Four trails including one on the island of Hoy and Longhope with beach-side gardens boasting their very own resident seals
  • The Fife Garden Trail – nine stunning, privately owned gardens, five of which have never or rarely admitted visitors before
  • East Lothian Garden Trail – 12 spacious gardens and well-tended allotments open in June and July
  • Nine plant sales including a new sale in Angus featuring (unusual) plants and prosecco
  • 24 village openings including West Linton Village, a conservation village, offering a special Garden and History Trail and two with allotments
  • 226 different charities, from the very small to large, well-known organisations, will be supported by garden owners taking part in the programme

Terrill Dobson, National Organiser for Scotland’s Gardens said: “We’re excited to play a part in raising the profile of these gardens and the role they play in our historic environment and landscape. All the more so in 2017, which has been designated the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology by VisitScotland.

“Whether you’re a garden lover, history buff, or just enjoy a great day out with a good cuppa, please support Scotland’s Gardens and all of our many charities generously with your visits.”

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