‘I dream’d I lay where flowers were springing,’ Robert Burns.
The history of the Scottish garden is as rich as the history of the country itself, spanning centuries of change from the purely functional, to a status symbol for the nobility, lairds and the landed gentry. Scotland’s historic gardens reflect all the romance, intrigue and brutality of the country itself. They paint a portrait of, not only the development of gardens from a source of food to that of pleasure, but also reflect the turbulant feudal history of the country, and the often surprisingly cosmopolitan nature of its influences.
We seek to trace the development of the magnificent, and often ancient gardens of Scotland; the changing fashions in their design and architecture; their plants and planting schemes. These latter often being also surprising, as the great Scots adventurers and engineers travelled the globe in the days of Empire, they frequently returned with exotic plants and seeds, which set up shop happily in the varied Caledonian climate.
And of course, a list of the best historic gardens to visit in Scotland! Not all of them grand in scale, but significant in the history of Scottish horticulture.
Here you will find preserved and restored old Scottish gardens, along with design and restoration ideas. We have plant suggestions and tips to suit the colder climate of Scotland, but we do cover the warmer, Gulf Stream-bathed south and mid-west coast. Oh, and a nod to the true enemy of the Scottish visitor and gardener alike – the Midge.