Dumfries & Galloway possesses some of the loveliest gardens in Scotland, both large and small, along with a wide range of specialist nurseries which, together provide a mecca for the garden lover.
Two general websites are of especial interest to the visitor to Kirkcudbright. The Dumfries and Galloway Gardens & Nurseries Association has details and links to all it’s members. A search for Kirkcudbrightshire on the Scotland’s Gardens Scheme website will give you access to lists of private gardens open to the public, either by arrangement or at certain times. The gardeners of this area are strong participants in this “Gardens Open for Charity” scheme.
Cally Gardens is a working nursery, specialising in unusual perennials. With over 4,000 perennials, the borders at Cally are not only stock beds and trial grounds for the nursery, but a magnificent display for visitors. There is plenty of interest throughout the year, with good collections of Helleborus and species Paeonia in spring and early summer, Geranium at mid summer, and Agapanthus, Kniphofia and Crocosmia in late summer and autumn. Visitors to the nursery can wander amongst established plantings of several thousand varieties, and choose from a selection of several hundred in the sales area. Alternatively, plants can be purchased through their mail order catalogue. Visit the website…
Although some 50 miles from Kirkcudbright, this garden is worth a special mention and a visit if you are in Galloway. This outstanding 12 acre garden centres round two small lakes with magnificent views across Luce Bay and to the Mull of Galloway. This is a garden for all seasons, where every effort has been made to create colour not only in the Spring when beautiful banks of azaleas and rhododendrons dazzle the visitor, but throughout the summer months when the plantsman may discover many rare gems, ending the season with a flourish of hydrangeas. Visit the website…
This is a small nursery and garden, run by Elizabeth and Alasdair MacGregor on the outskirts of Kirkcudbright selling plants by mail order, at some flower shows and of course from the nursery. Nursery open late spring and summer on Friday, Saturday and Monday 10am till 5pm. Closed in the winter months. They produce a catalogue each autumn, once they know what they have propagated and should have available for the following spring. Visit their website….
The 63 acre ornamental garden is owned and maintained by the National Trust for Scotland. In springtime the grounds come to life with displays of bulbs and rhododendrons, summer sees the walled garden at its best and in autumn the tree colours are amazing. Threave also has a Scottish Baronial House (open) and is set in 1500 acres estate with way marked trails, bird hides, and a wild fowl sanctuary. With restaurant, gift shop and plant centre it has everything for a great day out. Visit the website for full details.
Fascinating town house garden that belonged to E A Hornel – artist, collector and one of the ‘Glasgow Boys’. Full of colour, mostly herbaceous, old apple trees, greenhouse with old pelargonium varieties, fruit and vegetable garden. The garden is open from February to October, including the Snowdrop Festival every February. Visit the National Trust for Scotland website for full details.