Now, you may or may not have seen the useful article "50 Greatest Gardens" in The Sunday Mail on 29/04/07.
For those of you who did not, read on ? I will make sure you don't miss out!
Those of you who did read it however, should still find this article equally or possible even more useful!
I have compiled a more concise list here without the descriptions for 50 of the top floral gardens in Scotland which includes the web links (or phone numbers where there was not one) for every one.
I will go into more depth with several of the top 50 ? trying to give information on a Garden near you! So you will not need to go through pages of information of locations further afield that you may not be able easily to get to.
This list consists purely of locations within Scotland ? but never fear ? look out in the near future as I will look into and post locations in England, Northern Ireland and Wales.
My own top picks for gardens in Scotland (by Area)
Far North of Scotland
Castle of Mey, near John O'Groats,
Caithness. Saved by the Queen Mother after falling in love with it in 1952, the then Barrogill Castle was renovated and the beautiful gardens created to the standard that they are now in. A great feat considering it was to be abandoned previously before the Queen Mother rescued. It can also boast of being the most northern castle on the Scottish mainland. For great links about the castle and its gardens, see www.castleofmey.org.uk
Pitmedden Gardens near Ellon, Aberdeenshire
The link is to the Gardens section of ?aboutbritain.com? and so gives links to various other places of interest as well as things you may like to consider if you are not local ? such as hotels, travel etc. As for the Pitmedden Gardens themselves, although re-created in the 1950s by the National Trust, the original gardens were set out by Pitmedden's first baronet ? Sir Alexander Seton in 1675 (the designs said to be inspired by those of Holyrood House in Edinburgh. The link again is: www.aboutbritain.com/pitmeddengarden.html
Arduaine Gardens, near Oban, Argyll.
Supported by ?The National Trust for Scotland?, the website is a credit to the Gardens ? and is certainly worth a visit itself ?even if you do not get to visit in person. With sections going through the Garden's History, with James Arthur Campbell saying to have ?turned the first sod of the garden in August 1895? (as per his own journal). He began the ornamental garden several years later ? and the site contains pictures of the garden developing in its early years. The Garden Today Section is equally informative, with picuresque illustrations of its garden in contemporary times. There are even sections called ?Meet the Staff? through to ?Plant Collection? and ?What's New? among others. This link, well worth a visit: www.arduaine-garden.org.uk
East of Scotland
Inveresk Lodge, Musselburgh
This too is supported by ?The National Trust for Scotland?, and as such the site is similarly detailed as the Arduaine Gardens (above). The site gives a brief glimpse into the Gardens and is very visitor friendly ? with its disabled-friendly sign proudly displayed ? as is its ?Family Friendly? link. Its Home Page describes: ?
Secluded garden features features rare and unusual plants in an informal setting, with wooded and wildlife areas
?. Also links to up-to-date news about the property and gardens, aswell as others in the locality and further afield. The link again: www.nts.org.uk/Property/35
Cluny Gardens, near Aberfeldy
This is a link from the ?Perthshire? website. It should be pointed out that the Gardens are open only from March until October. It does however boast a Wellingtonia tree with the widest girth (11m) of any conifer in the UK. Most impressively in my own opinion ? due to the the rapid decline of the red squirrel in the wild, the gardens have them! Please see: http://www.perthshire.co.uk/index.asp?pg=395for the link from Cluny Gardens specifically on this now rare breed.
Kailzie Gardens, near Peebles
For those of you who love to visit Flower Gardens ? or just take a passing interest ? I would really recommend this sitewww.kailziegardens.com. It is probably the best of the independent or ?stand-alone? sites in the Top 50 (in my opinion), and has many interesting links ? making you feel like you have visited the place before even going! There are many photos to illustrate the Gardens ? with links to its History, Osprey Watching and even Weddings. Open 7 days a week, unlike many Gardens which are open only during late Spring/late Summer. This is definitely one worth a look.
Anyway, I hope that you found this entry useful -whether or not you read the original article. As I said, I will soon look at locations outwith Scotland that should be of interest to you. I will also keep lookout for upcoming events and if there are any you know of in your area - please let me know about them! Also, any gardens you feel should have been in the Top 50 but weren't - let me know your opinion.
Prepared by Viki posted by Bob.