HUNDREDS of gardens of all shapes and sizes – including one on the Isle of Lewis – will open this year as part of Scotland’s Gardens programme.
A horticultural roll-call of elegant country houses, rural crofts, modern family homes, towering castles and several villages will open their garden gates to visitors to raise money for the Scotland’s Garden charity.
Visitors will also find it easier to plan their days out to participating gardens as a new, colourful, easy-to-navigate website has been launched: www.scotlandsgardens.org
Click on the area you’d like to visit and details of all gardens opening locally will be displayed, with opening hours, online map and key details.
“We have something for everyone in 2013,” said Paddy Scott, Director of Scotland’s Gardens.
“Unusual plants, champion trees, wonderful walled spaces hidden from view and gardens in every part of Scotland – a host of horticultural gems waiting to be explored.”
Highlights for 2013 include The Fife Garden Trail, being held in May and June, when nine stunning gardens will open over a number of days, some into the long summer evenings; and gardens boasting Champion Trees, specimens that are simply the best of their kind in the country.
Twenty-four properties will also be opening as part of the ever-popular Scottish Snowdrop Festival in February and March.
And as well as the new website, garden listings can be found in Scotland’s Gardens Guidebook, on sale in major bookshops, at tourist attractions, garden centres and online via the website.
In the last three years, over £1million has been raised for charity by Scotland’s Gardens.
Forty per cent of funds go to charities nominated by each garden owner with the net remainder being donated to Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centre, the Queen’s Nursing Institute Scotland, The Gardens Fund of the National Trust for Scotland, and Perennial.