Focus on embracing the natural world in your garden
The positive impact gardens can make to the environment in a world battling climate change is to be highlighted by Scotland’s Gardens Scheme this year.
With more than 500 mainly private gardens opening to the public, and about 40 per cent of those having a wildlife area, the charity is calling on visitors to create nature-friendly features in their own plots.
The charity’s President, HRH The Duchess of Rothesay (HRH Duchess of Cornwall) said in this year’s guidebook: “Every little helps: whether it be planting flowers to attract pollinators or using natural pest controls; making a garden pond or keeping bees.”
The 2020 Scotland’s Gardens Scheme Guidebook also includes wildlife gardening tips from Simon Milne MBE, Regius Keeper for the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.
Wild gardens opening include Baile Geamhraidh on a biodynamic farm on the Island of Lismore in the Inner Hebrides; Barochreal in Argyll has active beehives, a wild garden, a small glen and waterfall where 40 different species of moth and over 70 species of wildflowers, as well as red squirrels and pine martins; and Bruckills Croft in Aberdeenshire, the home wildlife gardener Helen Rushton, which has its own butterfly alley.
New Garden Festival Weekend
A new May Garden Festival Weekend (23-25 May) will be held with dozens of gardens opening, including many normally only open ‘by arrangement’.
Galanthophiles will love the 26 gardens opening for Snowdrop & Winter Walks this month and March including Kailzie Gardens in Peeblesshire & Tweeddale, a snowdrop collection of over 150 varieties at Ecclesgreig Castle in Kincardine & Deeside, and Danevale Park on 23 February with tea served in the house.
Running over Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays in June, the Angus & Dundee Garden Trail will offer 17 diverse gardens to explore, including a wildflower meadow, community garden and productive walled garden.
Visitors can visit 89 gardens opening to the public for the first time for the charity, including:
- Jupiter Artland, & Bonnington House, Edinburgh & West Lothian: the private garden of Bonnington House and extensive grounds of the adjoining award-winning sculpture park.
- Gardyne Castle, Angus: beautiful and varied formal gardens merge into mature woods and parkland with a spectacular display of bluebells and romantic walks.
- Duchess of Montrose Memorial Garden, Glasgow & District: a new garden created from the derelict site of a former shipyard.
- 1 Burnton Road, Ayrshire: a serpentine path meanders through dense planting of palms, bamboos and tree ferns.
- Crinan, Wigtownshire: 10 lochs, many unusual conifers including Wollemi Pine.
- Bothwell Village Gardens, Lanarkshire: four gardens developed by various local organisations. You will find formal and informal gardens, managed woodland, a sensory garden, suffragette-inspired planting, wildflowers, sculptures, plus quirky features such as craft bombing and fairy doors.
Terrill Dobson, National Organiser for Scotland’s Gardens Scheme said: “This year we are thinking about healthy gardens by celebrating wildlife.
“Our gardens and green spaces are ecosystems that nurture a vast array of biodiversity including insects, butterflies, birds, small animals, earthworms and even beneficial bacteria.
“These, in turn, benefit our gardens, through pollination, improved structure and pest control. It’s wonderful to offer the public so many fantastic nature-friendly gardens to visit and we’re hoping lots of people will walk away inspired by what they’ve seen.”
More than 250 charities will benefit, 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 projects to improve physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. More than £1 million has been raised for charity during the last four years.