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Garden of the Season – Scotland’s Garden Scheme

August 22nd 2023

Every year hundreds of gardens across the country participate in SGS openings, giving visitors the chance to explore a huge variety of layouts and garden styles, from tiny city centre courtyards to suburban plots, rural idylls and country estates. Some of the gardens contain important plant collections or notable trees, others have meadows and ponds while many of the allotments that also take part offer a wealth of knowledge on growing fruit and vegetables.

Village openings, where a number of gardens in the one location open on the same date, are particularly popular as they offer the opportunity to discover how different gardeners have responded to similar growing conditions.

2 Durnamuck:

The garden is south-east facing on the edge of Little Loch Broom. It is a coastal plantsman’s garden with a rich mix of herbaceous borders, trees and shrubs, vegetables, drystone wall planting, South African/Mediterranean plants, a wild meadow and stunning views. Many of the plants have been collected from all over the world, and growing them has provided obvious challenges but with a pleasing outcome. Featured in 2019 entries in Gardens Illustrated, Homes & Gardens and Beechgrove. Entry in the English Garden magazine in September 2020. A wood and stone Wee Garden Hut accommodation is available for garden passionate people, it is small and compact but very beautiful in its own garden.

Little Loch Broom, Wester Ross IV23 2QZ

By arrangement 1 July - 30 September
Admission £5.00, children free.
The Hidden Garden:
Celebrating its 20 years anniversary in 2023, the multi-award winning Gardens have been designed to reflect the legacy of this historic site as well as the ever-changing character and needs of the local area. The north to south borders echo the layout of the site when it was a nursery in the 1800s, supplying trees and shrubs to major gardens in Scotland, whilst the retained tramlines and the chimney reflect its industrial past. A number of artworks are integrated into the overall design, for example Alec Finlay’s Xylotheque, a library of wooden books detailing 17 native Scottish trees. The Hidden Gardens is an independent charity offering learning and social activities and opportunities for the whole community to participate in its development. Volunteer-led guided tours are available to book during most of the year, for free.
25a Albert Drive, Glasgow G41 2PE
Tuesday – Friday 10am – 5pm, Saturday & Sunday 12 – 5pm (closed on Mondays)

The Hidden Garden SGS


SGS, Bradystone House

Another garden to catch now is Bradystone House at Murthly in Perthshire, which is open every Thursday afternoon until Thursday, 10 August. This densely-cultivated garden surrounds a restored steading and contains unusual perennials, shrubs, a collection of clematis and roses, as well as a pond, orchard and woodland walks.

These openings, and others like them, are a great chance to talk to knowledgeable gardeners, find inspiration, share ideas and on many occasions to buy home grown plants.

Bradystone House, Murthly, PH1 4EW.

The garden is open on Thursdays, 11am - 4pm, until 10 August. Tickets £5 (children free.)

Charity Openings

Scotland’s Gardens Scheme was launched in 1931 to raise money for the Queen’s Nursing Institute in Scotland. Money raised by garden openings still supports this cause as well as Perennial (Gardeners’ Royal Benevolent Society) and Maggie’s Cancer Care Centre, while 60% of ticket receipts are distributed amongst charities chosen by garden owners.

Last year there were 500 openings, which were assisted by 1200 volunteers, attracted 70,000 visitors, and raised £375,000.

SGS provides training and support for garden openers, and it is constantly on the look-out for more gardeners willing to participate in aid of good causes. Current gardens are spread from the Borders to Shetland and the Western Isles and openings take place throughout the year, beginning with snowdrops in February and continuing right through until the last of the autumn leaves has fallen.

Courtesy of The Herald

SGS 16 Main Street, Killearn