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The Gardens of the National Trust for Scotland

With more than 283 hectares under intensive cultivation, supporting over 13,500 different sorts of plants the National Trustís gardens are internationally renowned. Geographic and climatic diversity, such as the Gulf Steamís effect on west coast gardens, provide conditions for the growth of remarkable and often unique collections.

Almost every style of Scottish garden history is represented in the National Trustís garden portfolio of 30 properties Ė from late medieval (Culross Palace), through to 18th century picturesque (Culzean), Victorian formality (Haddo, House of Dun), early 20th century (Arduaine, Branklyn, Crarae, Inverewe), to modern creations in older settings (Falkland Palace, Inveresk Lodge and Priorwood).

For locations and opening times check out the Castle, Historic Homes, and Garden sections of our Attractions Scotland page

Gardens to visit

Arduaine Garden by Barbara Ballard Arduaine Garden
The south facing 20 acres contain rhododendrons, azaleas, and magnolias, and a collection of perennials. Blue Tibetan poppies, giant Himalayan lilies, and other perennials are an attraction. A woodland garden is complimented with ponds. The garden was given to the Trust in 1992.

Branklyn Garden
Two-acre garden with outstanding collection of rhododendrons, alpines, herbaceous, and peat-garden plants. These include the blue Himalayan poppy. There is a national collection of Mylnefield lilies.

Brodick Castle, Garden, and Country Park
The rhododendron collection is of international repute. Other features are an early 18th century walled garden, a Bavarian summerhouse, a woodland garden with waterfalls and wildlife ponds. Guided walks with a gardener are offered.

Brodie Castle
In the grounds is a collection of daffodils, woodland walks, and lime and beech trees.

Broughton House and Garden
The two-acre garden has a Japanese influence.

Castle Fraser Garden by Barbara Ballard Castle Fraser Garden and Estate
The castle has a historic walled garden under restoration (2005). In the grounds are mixed woodland, shrubs, and perennials.


Crarae Garden
This is an informal Himalayan style woodland with a gorge, burn, waterfalls, and cliffs. Exotic plants and shrubs include blue poppies. Rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias, and magnolias are springtime attractions. There is a national collection of southern beech. The garden was begun in 1912 by Lady Campbell.

Crathes Castle Garden by Barbara Ballard Crathes Castle Garden
The walled garden is made up of eight individual gardens, ranging from the formal to modern. They were created over 300 years. The yew hedges were planted in 1702. The Golden Garden was planted by the Trust in 1973. The June Borders are two beds of herbaceous colour. Thereís a Red Garden and a Green Garden.

Culross Palace and Garden A model 17th century garden with raised beds containing vegetables, herbs, and perennials is in the palace grounds.

Culzean Castle Garden by Barbara Ballard Culzean Castle and Country Park
The 560 acres have miles of paths through the woodland. Thereís a walled garden, a swan pond, a sunken fountain garden, and a Victorian vinery.


Drum Castle Garden by Barbara Ballard Drum Castle Garden and Estate
Drum castleís walled garden contains historic roses and herbaceous plants. The estate has an ancient oak woodland.

Falkland Palace Gardens by Barbara Ballard Falkland Palace Garden
Percy Cane designed and cultivated the gardens between 1947 and 1952. The gardens are based on 16th century terraces. There are herbaceous borders, lawns, unusual shrubs and trees, and a small herb garden featuring quotations from John Gerardís book Herbal (1597).

Fyvie Castle and Estate
The grounds were designed in the early 19th century while the walled garden dates from the 18th. It contains Scottish fruits and vegetables. Parkland and lochside walks are featured.

Geilston Garden
Late 27th century garden with a fruit and vegetable area, walled garden, wooded glen, waterfall, and burn. The walled garden has a giant Wellingtonia trees and azaleas. In the spring bluebells and wood anemones bloom.

Greenbank Garden
The one hectare walled garden, in the grounds of Greenbank House, is designed to showcase new ideas and techniques for domestic gardens. There are 30 different areas planted with 3,600 named plants, as well as important collections of narcissus.

Haddo House Grounds courtesy NTS Haddo House
The Georgian mansion has a terraced garden with summer bedding plants, a fountain, herbaceous borders, and trees that include an avenue of limes. In the country park are lakes, walks, and wildlife.
Hill House and Garden
The garden of this Charles Macintosh house uses the early design with plants of the period. There are art pieces in the garden.

Hill of Tarvit courtesy NTS Hill of Tarvit house and garden
Long terraces, formal lawns, yew hedges, a sunken rose garden, and perennials make up the gardens. The gardens were designed by Sir Robert Lorimer.

House of Dun
Walled garden of late Victorian period; wooded den, evergreen shrubs, rock garden.

Inveresk Garden courtesy NTS Inveresk Lodge Garden
This is a small terraced garden with herbaceous beds, shrubs, and a collection of old roses. In addition there is an Edwardian conservatory with aviary, tree ferns, and exotic plants.


See our article on Inverewe Garden

Kellie Castle and Garden
The gardens have existed for 400 years and included older varieties. There is an organic walled garden with flowers, fruit, and vegetables, summer roses, herbaceous displays, and fruit trees.

Leith Hall Garden by Barbara Ballard Leith Hall, Garden and Estate
The 6-acre garden has herbaceous borders, alpines, and a rock garden.

Lockalsh Woodland Garden
This is a 13-acre woodland garden with Scots pine, oak, larch, beech, and a variety of bamboos, fuchsias, and hydrangeas.

Malleny Garden courtesy NTS Malleny Garden
This is a small three-acre walled garden with old-fashioned roses and herbaceous borders and 400 year old clipped yew trees.

Pitmedden Garden by Barbara Ballard Pitmedden Garden
The heart of the property is the formal walled garden originally laid out in 1675 by Sir Alexander Seton. The garden was inspired by 17th century designs at the Palace of Holyroodhouse. In the 1950s the Trust set about re-creating the gardens. Pitmedden features over five miles of box hedging, arranged in intricate patterns to form six parterres. These parterres are filled with some 40,000 plants.

Priorwood Garden and Harmony Garden
Priorwood has plants and flowers for drying, an orchard with unusual varieties of apples, plums, pears, and greengage. Harmony has a flower garden, kitchen garden, and mixed borders. Colourful plantings and intricate designs are the main feature. The lower terrace is laid out in four parterres, one containing the coat of arms of the 1st baronet of Pitmedden. On the upper terrace is a parterre with period herbs and one illustrating earlier styles without foliage plants. Local perennials are on sale.

Threave Garden by Barbara Ballard Threave Castle Garden
Threave is an estate consisting of the mansion house, 65 acres of garden, 120 acres of woodlands, and an estate of four farms. The National Trust for Scotland became the owner of the property in 1948. Courses in gardening are taught at the house, which was built in Victorian times. Visit the gardens in June and July to see the roses and in the spring to see 200 varieties of daffodil, flowering shrubs, and trees. Fruit and vegetables are grown in the walled garden and glasshouses. There is also a rock garden and, rose garden, heathers, conifers, and herbaceous perennials.

Website: National Trust for Scotland

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