Home Gardening news Scotland’s Gardens Scheme launches virtual garden visits

Scotland’s Gardens Scheme launches virtual garden visits

Humbie Dean. Picture; Frank Kirwan
Humbie Dean. Picture; Frank Kirwan

Videos to cheer people under lockdown and raise money for charity

To lift community spirit and continue raising money for charity, Scotland’s Garden Scheme (SGS) has asked its Garden Openers to video their gardens to share virtually during lockdown.

More than 200 Scottish gardens, mostly privately owned, would have been opened to the public in May, and more than 400 during spring and summer to raise money for numerous charities.

Instead, due to Covid-19, the charity behind garden open days in Scotland has had to suspend all the events for the first time in its 89-year history.

SGS director Terrill Dobson said: “Since 1931 our charity has been successfully running open days every single year, even during WWII, but this stopped in March.

“Even though the gardens are looking splendid, as people seek solace in gardening, our Garden Openers will not be able to welcome visitors for the foreseeable future.”

Packed garden

David Gallacher and Tom Williamson from Bonnyrigg, who have about 610 different plants, 200 containers and pots and 30 hanging baskets in a 30ft x 120ft area, were among the first contributors. They are raising money for Lyn’s Small Animal Rehoming and Forth Valley Sensory Centre.

Terrill added: “There’s been a very positive response. We receive new videos most days. Garden Openers genuinely want to share what’s happening in their gardens while hoping to support the charities that now need it even more than ever.

“We ask people who would have come to the gardens to watch the videos and consider a donation.

“We are excited to share these videos with everyone and truly believe that seeing the passion that our Openers put into their gardens will leave people inspired.”

Anyone can support the scheme by subscribing to its newsletter and YouTube channel, watching videos on its website and making a donation through the SGS website.

Virtual visits

SGS will be adding to its virtual garden tours every day, available on its website and new YouTube channel. These include:

Shepherd House, East Lothian: A constantly evolving artist’s garden that never stands still. Owner Ann Fraser’s selected charity is Live Music Now Scotland.

Parkvilla, Aberdeenshire: A south-facing Victorian walled garden, lovingly developed from a design started in 1990 to give colour and interest all year. Andy and Kim Leonard’s chosen charities are St Mary’s Church Ellon, Alzheimer Scotland and Ellon Men’s Shed.

Shepherd House. Picture; Ann Fraser
Shepherd House. Picture; Ann Fraser

Humbie Dean, East Lothian: A two-acre ornamental and woodland garden sandwiched between two burns at 600 feet with interest throughout a long season. Owner Frank Kirwan is raising money for Mamie Martin Fund.

Hunter’s Tryst, Edinburgh: Well-stocked and beautifully designed, mature, medium-sized town garden with herbaceous and shrub beds, lawn, fruit and some vegetables, water features, seating areas, trees and cloud pruning. Owner Jean Knox is supporting St Columba’s Hospice and Lothian Cat Rescue.

101 Greenbank Crescent, Edinburgh: A fascinating garden on a steeply sloped site, featuring ornamental plants as well as productive beds. Owners Chris and Jerry Gregson are raising money for Shelter Scotland.

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Mandy Watson is a freelance journalist and an incurable plantaholic. MandyCanUDigIt grew from the tiny seed of a Twitter account into the rainforest of information you see before you. Gardening columnist for the Sunderland Echo, Shields Gazette and Hartlepool Mail and editor of the Teesdale Mercury Magazine. Attracted by anything rebellious, exotic and nerdy, even after all these years. Passionate about northern England and gardens everywhere. Falls over a lot.

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