4 March 2015
From the beauty and scent of a bluebell wood to a garden designed around the ancient art of herbal medicine, a new trail gives visitors the chance to see behind the walls of some hidden horticultural treasures.
Twelve private gardens in Angus and Fife will open their gates to the public this year (2015) as part of a programme of open days run by the charity Scotland's Gardens.
As well as offering visitors a flexible way to visit a diverse range of gardens over two months in May and June, the Angus & Fife Garden Trail will also raise money for two locally chosen charities - Macmillan Cancer Support and St Andrews-based Worldwide Cancer Research (formally AICR) - as well as Scotland's Gardens’ traditional beneficiary charities.
In addition, it is the first time three of the Fife gardens – Kenly Green House, Millfield House and St Mary's Farm, have been opened to the public.
The gardens at Kenly Green House, four miles south of St Andrews, were laid out in 1790 at the same time as the house was built. Here, on four successive Thursdays between mid-May to early June, visitors will be able to wander along paths through the property's stunning bluebell woods.
From here it is just a skip and a hop to the neighbouring Kenly Green Farm where a large raised rockery occupies the site of a former cart track. 'The mound', as it is known, provides a viewing point over the garden where a wide range of herbaceous perennials and annuals offer exuberant colour from late May until early October.
South of these two properties is Wormistoune House at Crail, one of Fife's horticultural jewels. Restored by owners James and Gemma McCallum over 20 years, it is well known for its main herbaceous border - which runs east to west along the garden's spine, its thistle-shaped parterre and its productive potager.
Near Cupar, one of Scotland's Gardens top ten new openings for 2015 includes St Mary's Farm. The farm's main garden area measures just 25 x 25m and is enclosed by walls on three sides and a yew hedge on the fourth side. In addition, there is a small courtyard garden with formal pool, wild pond area and two acres of woodland.
The garden at Millfield House in Falkland, which also opens its gates to the public for the first time, is divided into different areas. To the south is a formal walled garden of yew, lime and box, with herbaceous borders and rose beds. Beyond this is a heritage apple orchard which leads into woodland. To the front and sides of the property, the gardens are laid out in a naturalistic style with curved paths and borders and a small burn.
Further south in Fife, visitors will be able to take in three gardens at Glassmount House, near Kirkcaldy, Logie House at Crosslands and Kirklands at Saline on selected Wednesdays in May and June. Meanwhile, in Angus, four gardens will open on Tuesdays.
The Herbalist's Garden in Logie is set within an 18th century walled garden and large Victorian-style greenhouse on Logie's organic farm.
The garden is divided into eight rectangles, each including medicinal herbs which have an affinity for a particular system of the body, from the heart to the nervous system. All of the 150 herbs are labelled with a description of their properties and uses, allowing visitors to learn something about herbal medicine at the same time as enjoying the garden.
North east of Logie, the garden at Kirkside of Lochty, near Brechin, originally contained just a few rhubarb bushes, two old apple trees and some climbing ivy. In the last 17 years it has been transformed into a semi-formal garden with four ares of different character including a spring garden with many unusual woodland plants, a formal summer garden of bulbs and herbaceous perennials, a wildflower meadow and a woodland area.
Also opening in Angus are Kirkton House near Montrose and The Garden Cottage at Dunnichen.
The Angus & Fife Garden Trail follows on from the success of the Fife Garden Trail in 2013 and weekend festivals in 2012 and last year.
The three events attracted hundreds of visitors and raised more than £44,000 for Worldwide Cancer Research, Maggie's Cancer Caring Centres, the Queen's Nursing Institute Scotland, the Gardens Fund of the National Trust for Scotland and Perennial.
This year, in addition to the above charities,Macmillan Cancer Support will also benefit from money raised from ticket sales.
"We are delighted to be working with Scotland’s Gardens in 2015," says Shirlie Geddes, Macmillan's Fundraising Manager for Angus & Tayside. "The money raised from this partnership will make a huge difference to the lives of people affected by cancers.
"Cancer comes with a hefty hidden price tag: the average cost per month of living with cancer is almost equivalent to the average monthly mortgage payment.
"In 2013, we awarded over £101,000 in Macmillan grants across Angus, Dundee, Perth and Kinross, helping 333 families.
"It is wonderful that Scotland’s Gardens will be able to help us fund this kind of local support."
Terrill Dobson, owner of the Herbalist’s Garden, adds: “We chose Macmillan because of the fantastic work they do at their centre in Brechin. We wanted a charity that would touch many people in Angus. The same is true of the work done by Worldwide Cancer Research for people in Fife. So please help us to help our community while enjoying some of the area’s best gardens.”
Visitors can choose to see all the gardens in short succession (between May 26-28 or June 2-4) or take the whole two months to see them all.
The gardens can be visited at different times of the day, with some open all day, some in the afternoon only and others in the afternoon and evening. At different gardens there will be plants for sale or the option to have tea.
For more information and to buy tickets online visit:
An early bird admission price of £20 is available until February 28 and includes entry to all 12 gardens. After this, admission costs £25. Alternatively, you can send a cheque (including an extra £1 for P&P) payable to Scotland's Gardens to: S Lorimer, Willowhill, Forgan, Newport on Tay, Fife, DD6 8RA.