Many parts of Dumfries and Galloway are influenced by the Gulf Stream which provides excellent growing conditions. These produce stunning gardens full of beautiful plants and trees, many of which originate from the Southern Hemisphere. There are 25 gardens, either tropical, walled, formal or inland which offer something very special to the visitor.
There are several private gardens which also open to the public as part of Scotland’s Garden Scheme. If you are lucky this may happen during your visit to Dumfries and Galloway.
Logan Botanic Gardens, near Stranraer in the west of the region, is a showcase for plants and trees throughout the season. One of its highlights is a 3 acre walled garden. There are over 1800 different plant species, including around 120 that are threatened in the wild but can be seen thriving at Logan. It has a wonderful collection of South African bulbs, tender perennials and palm trees and ferns, many of which come from the Southern Hemisphere.
A near neighbour of Logan Botanic Gardens is Castle Kennedy Gardens which are located in stunning scenery between two lochs. The gardens extend to 75 acres of sculptured, landscaped terraces, avenues and gardens. With views of two ruined castles, these gardens are full of history as well as exotic plants. Castle Kennedy Garden is famous for its displays of rhododendrons and azaleas.
Threave Gardens, near Castle Douglas, are owned by the National Trust for Scotland. It is certainly worth a visit as Threave has 64 acres of gardens which provide stunning displays throughout the year.
There are many other beautiful gardens in our region, including gardens which can be opened by request. Six gardens in the west of Dumfries and Galloway, which are within easy travelling distance of each other, have come together to create Scotland’s Garden Route. These are Dunskey, Castle Kennedy, Logan House, Logan Botanic, Glenwhan and Ardwell Gardens. Apply for a Gardens of Galloway Passport, get it validated at one of the gardens and you will receive a 10% discount on entry at each of the other gardens.
Why not let Hospitality Plus Scotland arrange a tour for you where you can enjoy the experience of walking through these gardens, as rare and exotic plants grow alongside more usual Scottish varieties. Many of these gardens are set in the grounds of castles, stately homes or historic houses. Why not combine a historical tour with a garden tour. Eleanor has a real love of gardening and would be happy to accompany you on a tour.