Visit a Scottish open garden this year – get a nature fix and raise money for charity

The positive link between gardening and health is being celebrated by Scotland’s Garden Scheme as it unveils hundreds of private gardens opening to the public during 2019 to raise money for charity.

Whether you garden, have a desire to learn more or just want to reap the wellbeing benefits of being around nature, the national open garden charity is encouraging people to get out and explore Scotland’s horticultural treasures.

Over the year, 516 gardens will be welcoming visitors under the scheme including seven allotments, 14 community gardens, 34 villages and groups, 39 historic designed landscapes and four therapeutic gardens. Children’s activities will be taking place in 47 gardens and 180 gardens will be serving homemade teas. Visitors will be able to explore 15 spectacular gardens on spring and summer trails in Fife, and 26 gardens and woodlands for snowdrops and winter walks. Included in the 64 gardens opening for the first time are:

  • Dumfries Station Garden, a colourful, all-year interest garden planted on both sides of a working train station by a thriving ‘station adopters’ community group;
  • Fairnielaw in North Berwick with its mixed tree mini forest and contemporary garden rooms;
  • the popular Berridale Allotments and Gardens in Cathcart, a Glaswegian horticultural stalwart since before WW2;
  • the plots of the Allotment Association of Crieff, renowned to be the most scenic in Scotland;
  • Ellisland Wild Garden next to the River Nith in Dumfriesshire and the former home of poet Robert Burns;
  • a quirky enclosed tarmac garden at the Bravehound project at Erskine Hospital in Bishopton, which provides companion dogs to military veterans;
  • Preston Hall Walled Garden in Midlothian, a beautiful example of a 18th century walled garden which the owners started to restore in 2011; and
  • the romantic garden at Ardno and Strachur House on Loch Fyne with its walled garden, gorge and meadow.

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Terrill Dobson, National Organiser for Scotland’s Gardens Scheme said:

“We gardeners share a secret – our gardens are like a very special friend, helping us with our health and wellbeing. When we’re stressed, they calm us. They get us out of the house when the winter darkness is tugging at us. And our garden can nourish us, literally, as you can grow so much in a small space. Fortunately, even if you are not a gardener, you can still enjoy many of the benefits by visiting them. What a wonderful way to spend time, out in the fresh air, surrounded by the serenity of a beautiful garden.”

More than 250 local and national charities will benefit from the funds raised through garden openings including Scotland’s Gardens Scheme’s own beneficiary charities – the Queen’s Nursing Institute Scotland, Maggie’s and Perennial. It will also be offering a £5,000 bursary to a guest charity to help fund garden-based projects to improve physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. Last year Horatio’s Garden received a bursary towards a garden room at its project at the Queen Elizabeth National Spinal Injuries Unit in Glasgow. Over £1 million has been raised for charity over the last four years through Scotland’s Garden Scheme’s openings.

Visitors can plan their days out to participating gardens by clicking onto www.scotlandsgardens.org.  Click on which area you’d like to visit and details of all gardens opening locally will be displayed, with opening hours, online map and key details.