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Gardens

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If your passion is beautiful gardens a visit to our area will not disappoint.  Spend a little time here and discover some spectacular gardens through the ever changing vista of the seasons. Whether you enjoy grand or intimate, traditional or contemporary, wooded or walled, pay a visit and find your own little patch of paradise.

Stately Homes & Gardens

Our area has a rich and chequered history with significant land wealth generated over the centuries which has resulted in there being more stately homes here than in any other part of Scotland. Lucky us!  The gardens of these historic homes reflect the noble status of the lairds and landed gentry through the ages and the rich heritage in their design and architecture.

And so let’s begin our journey with a visit to Paxton House near Berwick, one of the finest Georgian houses in Britain set in 80 acres of spectacular gardens where the rich explosion of colour through spring, summer and autumn will not fail to impress!  Dancing daffodils frame the house in a blanket of yellow from March to early May - a glorious spectacle not to be missed. From here, a short drive will take you to Manderston House home to the only silver staircase in the world and boasting 56 acres of formal and informal gardens, including many rare specimens of rhododendrons and azaleas.  Over to Mellerstain House next where intricate balustraded terraces and herbaceous borders give way to breathtaking views over lush lawns to the ornamental lake beyond.

Not to be missed is a visit to the grandeur of Floors Castle near Kelso, home of the Duke and Duchess of Roxburghe, where the Walled Garden, Millennium Garden and Star Plantation feature a very pretty contrasting mix of ornamental and woodland planting.  Relax here for a spot of lunch at the super Terrace Cafe, perhaps take a wander through the garden centre and then pop over to Mertoun House overlooking the River Tweed for a gentle stroll through the walled kitchen garden, taking in a wide variety of plants, shrubs and specimen trees along the way.

Take time-out to explore the family home of Lord Lothian at Monteviot House near Jedburgh which features a series of specialist garden areas designed to provide the visitor with planting interest from April until October, including the oriental influenced Water Garden. To Abbotsford House near Melrose next, the ancestral home of the great poet and novelist Sir Walter Scott, where the gardens and grounds are deemed of national historic importance. Scott’s imagination and creativity is still very much in evidence in the gardens we see today and his planting schemes, quite distinct in character, were designed to offer picturesque settings for the main house.

A stroll on the formal southern terraces of Bowhill House near Selkirk opens up stunning vistas across the Ettrick Valley and a chance to explore the beautiful grounds of the wider estate.

And finally onwards to Traquair, Scotland’s oldest inhabited house, which features an informal landscape of over 100 acres of woodlands and estate grounds including an outstanding hedged maze planted in 1981 which covers over half an acre.

If you care to venture a little further afield, the Northumberland portfolio includes the contemporary garden in Alnwick where you can enjoy magnificent water features, the exquisite ornamental garden, and even the very unique Poison garden!  Discover the delights of Cragside House & Gardens or alternatively Chillingham Castle sits right in the heart of Northumberland, a medieval castle set within idyllic grounds, where you can explore its Italian garden, a rare survival from 1828 with a herbaceous border the longest in Northern England.  

Other Gardens in the Area

Melrose is home to the Harmony Garden and Priorwood Garden, both National Trust properties with enviable views across to the graceful architecture of Melrose Abbey.  Open April through to October, Harmony comprises 2.5 acres of lawns, colourful flower beds, fruits and vegetables, whilst Priorwood is a delightful 2 acre rustic walled garden with Scotland’s only dedicated dried flower garden and workshop.

Kailzie is a large domestic garden on a grand scale occupying a beautiful position on the River Tweed. Standing 700ft above sea level, it is surrounded by magnificent hills, and planted with a wide variety of mature specimen trees.  Within the walled section are greenhouses, herbaceous borders, laburnum arches and an enchanting rose garden.

Managed by the Royal Botanic Garden of Edinburgh, Dawyck is home to one of Britain’s finest arboreta with some of the country’s oldest and tallest trees.  This 65 acre garden has a variety of woodland and burn side walks and is renowned for its rich seasonal displays of snowdrops, bluebells, rhododendrons, azaleas, Himalayan poppies and wonderful autumn colour.  Visitors can enjoy themed trails and follow the adventures of plant explorers such as David Douglas, after whom the Douglas Fir is named. Simply stunning.

Woodside is home to an RSPB wildlife garden, set within a pretty walled setting near to Jedburgh.  With its plant centre, cafe with scrummy home baking and seasonal organic produce it really is a lovely spot to while-away a few hours before heading home for supper.

Don’t miss….

Gardening Scotland - why not combine a break with a day out to this national gardening show held at the Royal Highland Showground Edinburgh at the start of June.  Featuring 400 exhibitors, leading garden designers and experts, thousands of plants, and elaborate floral displays, the area has everything for enthusiastic beginners to gardening masters.

 

 

bridge at Dawyck Botanic Gardens


 

Abbotsford House gardens


 

Abbotsford House gardens


 

Mellerstain House gardens


 

Bowhill House


 

Wilton Park


 

Floors Castle

 

 

gardens