Scotland’s Gardens Scheme returns for 2023 introducing early season spring highlights to start the garden opening year in style. The charity will open gardens the length and breadth of Scotland throughout 2023, raising funds for hundreds of charities and involving over 1000 volunteers.
Scotland’s Gardens Scheme support the opening of gardens throughout Scotland to the public, raising funds for charity through garden gate tickets, plant sales and teas. Most are privately owned and are normally inaccessible to the public at other times. 60% of funds raised at each garden opening may go to garden owner’s charity of choice with the remainder being donated to Scotland’s Gardens Scheme and its beneficiary charities, Maggie’s, the Queen’s Nursing Institute Scotland and Perennial. Scotland’s Gardens Scheme is powered by volunteers and has been raising funds for charity through garden openings since 1931.
New gardens opening for the first time, or returning after an absence, range from small private gardens to gardens on a grand scale:
• Scone Palace will open its gates for SGS as part of the Scottish Snowdrop Festival from 25th January to 11th March, with the chance to join Head Gardener, Beechgrove presenter, and SGS Ambassador, Brian Cunningham and his team, to plant snowdrops in the green.
• Baravalla Garden in Argyll opens for the first time in May, a rare chance to visit the 26- acre garden of two renowned plant hunters, Peter Cox MBE and Sir Peter Hutchinson, started over 50 years ago with collections from all over the world.
• In Fife, wade through a sea of bluebells and ancient trees at Kenly Green House, built in the 1790s, or visit a quirky coastal garden overseen by a dragon sculpture perched in a tree at the House of The Dragon.
We celebrate the start of spring with glorious daffodil displays at Westhall Castle in Aberdeenshire, and Winton Castle in East Lothian, where a family fun day in March will mark the 89th year of opening with the charity.
Humbie Dean in East Lothian is planted for interest throughout the season with monthly open days from March featuring early season hellebores, spring bulbs, and primula, while 17a Menzieshill Road in Dundee explodes with colour in April and May with thousands of tulips.
Walk through the small, colourful cottage garden at The Steading at Clunie in Perthshire, for a profusion of primroses, wood anemones, and snakeshead fritillaries, followed by a carpet of cowslips. Or visit The Limes in Dumfries & Galloway, a plantswoman’s spring garden which will be in full of colour with an abundance of spring flowers in March.
For details of all this and lots more to whet the appetite for the garden visiting season ahead, browse through the Scotland’s Gardens Scheme website or buy the 2023 guidebook, available on the website at scotlandsgardens.org.