Castle Kennedy Gardens
Romantically situated, Castle Kennedy Gardens are surrounded by water and comprise 75 acres of terraced earthworks and magnificent avenues. Described as ‘one of the showpieces of Galloway’ this is one of Scotland’s most well-known historical gardens. Situated on an isthmus between two natural lochs Castle Kennedy Gardens offer up a treasure trove of delights, including a two acre circular lily pond, rare and exotic plants, 21 Champion trees, family trails, peaceful woodland and loch-side walks.
The colourful displays of rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias and Embothriums are among the most stunning found anywhere in the UK and particularly special in May and June. So too the originally planted herbaceous borders of the Walled Garden which comes into its own during July and August. 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 at one end, and were added to in 1840 by the 10th Earl who built Lochinch Castle and its gardens at the other end.
Perfect for exploring, the gardens are internationally famous for their species rhododendrons, including many of Sir Joseph Hooker’s original introductions from his Himalayan expedition. A charming tea-room serves delicious homemade baking and light lunches and there is a gift shop, plant centre and children’s activities and facilities.
Glenwhan Garden and Arboretum near Stranraer in Dumfries and Galloway is a plantswoman’s garden for all seasons. In spring and early summer rhododendrons and azaleas are a riot of colour, by mid-summer come roses, rockroses, primulas and iris, and then herbaceous plants carry on through to the magnificent array of hydrangeas in late summer and through to the autumn. Many rare gems may be discovered at Glenwhan whether they are rock scree or the bog loving genera and there is a large and interesting array of trees and shrubs. This really is a peaceful haven with seats placed at strategic viewpoints and winding paths through woodland walks, making it an ideal place to bring the family for a fun day out. The garden also has a 17 acre moorland and wildflower walk adjacent to the gardens, home to red squirrels and peacocks. Don’t miss the lovely tree trail which has been devised, listing over 130 genera for the dendrologist (tree lover). Dogs are welcome in the gardens but strictly on leads.
Logan Botanic Gardens
Logan Botanic Garden lies at the south-western tip of Scotland, and because of the influence of the Gulf Stream, a remarkable collection of bizarre and beautiful plants flourishes outside, making this Garden a plantsman´s paradise. Wonder at the groves of eucalypts and at the Gunnera Bog in the Woodland Garden. Enjoy the brilliant blooms of southern hemisphere plants in the Walled Garden.
This is a showcase for tender plants, and provides a blaze of colour all year round. Visit the Discovery Centre, and unearth the intriguing history of the Logan Botanic Garden, from its foundation to its current wealth of plant collections. The garden now boats a new Victorian-style greenhouse, enhanced visitor centre and learning centre. A bistro offers a wide range of meals and refreshments. Logan Botanic Garden is an outpost of the Royal Botanic Gardens.