Love Your Garden? Open it for Scotland’s Gardens Scheme!

Scotland’s Gardens Scheme invites people to visit hundreds of wonderful gardens throughout Scotland each year, raising money for charity through admission tickets, plant sales, and teas. Each year, the charity invites new gardens to take part and is now seeking gardens to join in for 2024.

West Bank House, Tranent – Copyright Delia Ridley-Thomas

Scotland’s Gardens Scheme is a charity which raises money for other charities by facilitating the opening of large and small gardens of horticultural interest throughout Scotland to the public. Most are privately owned and are normally inaccessible to the public at other times.

Gardens of all shapes and sizes are welcome, from walled gardens to cottage gardens, urban oases and rural retreats. The charity also encourages community gardens and allotments, and groups of smaller gardens opening together in villages or local streets are ever-more popular with visitors. This year alone, over 500 gardens have taken part in the scheme, and we estimate that in 2022, over 70,000 people visited open gardens throughout Scotland, raising funds for over 220 charities.

Liz Stewart, Chief Executive of Scotland’s Gardens Scheme said: “We’re looking forward to seasoned garden owners joining us again next year and are also seeking to welcome new gardens to join in. Our garden visitors are always so appreciative of participating gardens and the sheer variety of sizes, styles, and planting – as well as the opportunity to meet the gardeners behind the gardens!

“This year, visitors have been inspired by wild areas and wildflowers, by productive veg and herb plots, by cut flower growing, by challenging sites, as well as by beautiful borders and planting schemes. There really is something for every garden lover to enjoy, and inspiration for new gardeners.”

West Bank House, Tranent – Copyright Delia Ridley-Thomas

This year Bridget and Mike Bevan opened their Borders Eco Flowers garden at The Moorhouse near Abbey St Bathans in the Borders for the first time. This was a chance to share how they grow ecofriendly cut flowers and foliage and created posies and bouquets for sale on the day.

Garden owner Bridget said: “We wanted to show that it is possible to grow cut flowers here in
Scotland, even at an exposed location like The Moorhouse. Visitors were interested to see the variety of different plants we grow (including the rampant gourds in the polytunnel) and learn about our chemical-free methods. We had fun creating a sustainable floristry exhibition to illustrate how we use moss, chicken wire, and pin holders to make our seasonal floral creations. It was a very rewarding afternoon”.

The Difference You’ll Make

Gardens opening through Scotland’s Garden Scheme help to support the work of hundreds of
charities. Garden Openers can choose to support the charity’s core beneficiaries, Maggie’s, Perennial, and the Queen’s Nursing Institute Scotland. Or they can choose to donate up to 60% of funds raised going to their charity of choice, with the rest going to support Scotland’s Garden Scheme charity and its main beneficiaries.

Gardens may open as a one-off event, as a series of openings, as part of a group, or even by arrangement.

The Support You’ll Receive

Gardens are promoted in Scotland’s Gardens Scheme’s famous yellow Guidebook, on its website, and nationally distributed leaflet, in social media and weekly e-news, as well as with posters, materials, and in the press, with advice and support from a wonderful team of local volunteers and Head Office staff.

With interest in gardening continuing to boom, it is a great chance to share your space, your passion for gardening, and to inspire others by opening your garden as part of Scotland’s Gardens Scheme, all while supporting charities.

New gardens are being recruited right now so get in touch before 30th September! More details are available on the Scotland’s Gardens Scheme website, or email, or call 0131 226 3714 for an informal discussion. Garden openers will join an amazing network of gardens, great and small, opening around Scotland, following a tradition of over 90 years.

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