Scotland’s Gardens Scheme ready for amazing 2018

Whether you are a plantaholic, wildlife lover, grow-your-own newbie or just love visiting beautiful and interesting gardens with family and friends, you are in for a treat in 2018 when over 450 gardens open to the public for Scotland’s Gardens Scheme.

Gardens of all sizes across the country, in cities and villages, on islands and lochs, will have their gates unlatched to welcome visitors over the year, including 57 opening for the first time.

The variety is enormous – from walled gardens, community gardens and allotment society gardens to stately homes, village cottages and urban gardens – there is something for every taste.

With 2018 celebrating the Year of Young People, Scotland’s Gardens Scheme will be teaming up with the Scottish International Story Telling Festival during May and October to offer interactive ‘Growing Stories’ events in six gardens including Fingask in Perthshire, with its Alice in Wonderland-style topiary. Other children’s activities include a Gruffulo Trail at Ardkinglas Woodland Garden, poetry at Glen House in Peebleshire and willow crown making at Cambo, near Fife. Entry is free for children at all privately-owned gardens opening for the scheme.

Wildlife lovers can find red squirrels and orange tip butterflies, while visitors can pick up tips on deer-proof planting and composting, as well as organic and biodynamic gardening. Merchinston Cottage in Edinburgh will be buzzing with talks on beekeeping and visitors to Priorwood in Peebleshire can learn the traditional skill of flower drying.

Plant connoisseurs can treat themselves to 18 national plant collections and of the gardens open for 2018 have champion trees. Over 200 of the gardens will offer plants for sale.

Many of the gardens opening under Scotland’s Garden Scheme are private, so not normally open to visitors. Around 250 local and national charities are supported by the scheme with over £1 million raised for charity over the last five years.

(Above: Shepherd House, East Lothian)

Among the highlights for 2018 will be a new Fife Spring Trail with 12 gardens opening April/May; 24 openings for the Scottish Snowdrop Festival 27th Jan to 11th March 2018; eight new groups and five new village groups; the Japanese Garden at Cowden in Stirling – a restoration project in its early stages. New gardens include Dalbeattie allotments, Edinburgh – open gardens of the Lower New Town and Belgrave Crescent gardens; Newburgh in Fife and Kippen Village in Stirling. There are 53 gardens with historic ‘designed landscapes’ including Temple Village, the headquarters of the Knights Templar 12th to 14th centuries.

Terrill Dobson, National Organiser for Scotland’s Gardens Scheme, said: “Scotland has some amazing gardens and I encourage as many people as possible to get out and explore them. You can pick up some growing tips, learn a new craft or simply spend a relaxing hour or two taking in the sights. You’ll also be raising money for worthwhile charities.”

You can find out further details by visiting the new look Scotland’s Gardens Scheme website at www.scotlandsgardens.org

The Scotland’s Gardens Scheme handbook also contains all the information you need for visiting and is now available to order. You can order your copy by visiting http://scotlandsgardens.org/buy-the-guidebook/

Picture credits: All photographs ©Scotland’s Gardens Scheme- banner top of page: Crawick-Multiverse, Dumfriesshire, credit Crawick-Multiverse.

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