Home to Glasgow’s Earls and Countesses, Kelburn Castle and Estate boasts a versatile garden which features an unconventional yet inspiring mix of past and present horticulture.

Throughout its rich history, the Castle and its gardens have evolved in line with the personal tastes of its occupiers, including the 1st Earl of Glasgow in 1700 who commissioned an obelisk-shaped sun dial, which stands at over nine feet high. This is also evident in the garden’s finer details, including the small number of shrubs brought from New Zealand by the 7th Earl of Glasgow.

Conflicting tastes between its occupiers is apparent in the garden’s structure. Whilst the 1st Earl of Glasgow built what is thought to be the first instance of a formal garden in a walled forecourt, his successors extended this. Most of the landscaping and planting of the grounds were carried out by the 3rd Earl of Glasgow and his wife Elizabeth. They created the walled garden, known as ‘The Plaisance’ and the ‘The Children’s Garden’.

The Children’s Garden is created in the shape of a Scottish saltire flag with each of the four segments containing one of their children’s initials. It remains as one of the Estate’s most loved attractions with blue lobelia flowers planted annually by Kelburn’s gardeners.

A specialised cocktail of warm gulf stream air and stereotypical Scottish weather creates the ideal environment for naturally grown sub-tropical plants to thrive. The garden also features rare tree species including the Weeping Larch and the Yew Tree which have been recognised by the international Forestry Commission as two of the 100 most important heritage trees in Scotland.

A short walk from the gardens, visitors will find the peaceful waterfall pool where the Kel Burn drops a sheer 20-feet into a spectacular grotto.

Website: www.kelburnestate.com

Telephone: 01475 568 685

Opening times: 10am – 6pm

Admission costs: £7 per adult, £5 per child