this month's flower
Edgworth and District Horticultural Society



See also the picture gallery.

Dumfries and Galloway, in the south-western corner of Scotland, is home to some of the country's most attractive gardens.  Under the influence of the mild, damp climate a spectacular range of plants can be grown here, including exotic sub-tropical species.  The jewel in the crown is perhaps Logan Botanic Garden, Scotland's most exotic garden, with its spectacular display of bizarre and unusual non-native species.  We visited some other gems as well, such as Glenwhan, lavishly planted with trees and shrubs, and Broughton Garden, where E. A. Hornel lived and which shows the influence of his time in Japan.  We  also visited Threave Gardens, where the National Trust for Scotland has its own school of horticulture, and the internationally famous Castle Kennedy, which boasts species rhododendrons and a vast collection of azalea, magnolia and embrothriums.  Cally Gardens and Nursery at /gatehouse of Fleet and Elizabeth MacGregor Nursery and Garden are two of the country's finest plant centres and offer an excellent opportunity to purchase something a little unusual for your own garden.

Castle Kennedy

  Friday 26th June 2009

We departed from the Barlow Institute and Bromley Cross Railway Station and headed for Threave Gardens.  The gardens are owned by the National Trust of Scotland and have their own school of horticulture, having been largely created by the students since the school started in 1960.  Mature woodland of beech, conifers and oaks form the background to a large collection of shrub roses, sweeping mixed borders, dwarf heathers, peat and rock gardens, a walled kitchen garden and superbly maintained glasshouses.

After our visit we  travelled to our comfortable accommodation at the 4-star North West Castle Hotel in Stranraer.  the hotel dates from 1820 when it was built for Sir John Ross, the arctic explorer, and enjoys superb views over Loch Ryan.  The food every night was suberb.

Threave Gardens

  Saturday 27th June 2009

Following a good breakfast, we headed for the fabulous Elizabeth MacGregor Nursery and Garden and an opportunity perhaps to take home some plants as a souvenir of our trip.

Hereafter we visited Broughton Gardens, a fascinating 18th  Century house and garden which was home to E. A. Hornel from 1901 until his death in 1933.  During his time he had twice lived in Japan and his experience there influenced many of his paintings.  The garden which runs down to the estuary of the Dee also shows the influence of his time in Japan and is always full of colour.

Our last visit of the day was to Cally Gardens and Nursery at Gatehouse of Fleet.  Set in a 3 acre walled garden, Michael Wickenden has a treasure trove of plants and runs a truly marvellous nursery with an emphasis on unusual herbaceous perennials - most of which are on display.  This is truly one of the country's finest plant centres and offered an excellent opportunity to purchase something a little unusual for your own garden.

Dinner was served at the hotel in the evening.

Elizabeth MacGregor Nursery and

Broughton Gardens

  Sunday 28th June 2009

Following breakfast we visited the world famous Logan Botanic Garden at Port Logan.  Port Logan lies in the Mull of Galloway, which juts out into the sea in the extreme south-west of Scotland.  The garden was started by the McDougall family who lived here for 800 years and since 1969 it has been in the care of the Royal Botanic Garden at Edinburgh.  Logan Botanic Garden is beautifully laid out, particularly in the walled garden with its fine terraces and well planned borders under an avenue of cabbage palms..  The climate here is exceptionally mild and several different habitats provide conditions for a huge range of plants.

Our next visit was to Glenwhan Gardens, spread out over a windy hilltop with marvellous views of Luce Bay and the Mull of Galloway.  Since 1979 the Knotts have made a very large, interesting an individual garden that is filled with good plants.  At its heart is an extensive pool, divided by a grassy causeway and fed by a tumbling stream.  The slopes above are lavishly planted with trees and shrubs - almost any gardener will find something unfamiliar here.

Glenwhan Gardens

  Monday 29th June 2009

After breakfast we checked out of the hotel for our return journey whilst the coach driver struggled to load all our plants.

We stopped en route at the Castle Kennedy Gardens, one of Scotland's most famous gardens, which is both important and impressive - 75 magnificent acres set in an area of outstanding beauty.  The gardens were originally laid out in 1730 around the ruins of Castle Kennedy by the 2nd Earl of Stair, who reshaped the landscape on a grand scale.  The gardens are internationally famous for their species rhododendrons, including many of Sir Joseph Hooker's original introductions from his Himalayan expedition.  These, along with a vast collection of azaleas, magnolias, and embrothriums give spect
acular colour in late May/June. 

Other features of interest included an internationally famous 19th Century pinetum, with a wide variety of tender trees, a monkey puzzle avenue, the walled garden and an impressive two acre circular lily pond.  Situated between two beautiful natural lochs, the gardens offer visitors a choice of walks through the avenues and along the terraces. 

After rushing down a light lunch of sandwiches we left to visit the relatively small, private garden of James and Carol Coutts near Dumfires.

This garden of 1.2 acres was new to visitors and is at Newtonairds Lodge, a Scottish sandstone Baronnial Lodge House to the former Newtonairds estate.  the main attraction is a National Collection of Hosta Plantaginea cvs. & hybrids of which most have fragrant flowers.  It is the only collection of fragrant flowered hostas in the UK.  It is a plantsmans garden with many topiaries and shrubs, also hundreds of different perennials and large plantings of fragrant oriental lilies.  There is also a rose circle containing vegetables from Heritage seed. 

James and Carol have developed the garden from a largely blank canvas 5 years ago and it is pesticide free and patrolled by free range Indian Runner Ducks.

Castle Kennedy

Newtonairds Lodge