Dawyck Gardens is one of four regional gardens that make up the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh group. The historic arboretum, sited in a glen, was awarded a Visit Scotland 5 star award. Itís an uphill/downhill garden.
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Some of Britainís tallest trees are located here. Specimen trees include two Japanese conifer species, Nikko fir and Maries fir, and Britain's largest specimen of the Austrian black pine at 131 feet.
Visitors flock to the garden in the spring to see the daffodils, bluebells, and wildflowers. Flowering cherry trees and crab apples are other spring delights as are yellow-green to wine-red maples. In late spring the beech trees come out. Copper beeches are found on Chapel Bank, and a three coloured beech is located on a bank above Swiss Bridge, a landmark in the garden. In May and June the azaleas cover a terrace with colour.
Summer is blooming time for herbaceous perennials which can be found on stream banks and under trees and shrubs. Some of these are astilbes, bergenias, hostas, rodgersias, Himalayan blue poppy, and herbaceous saxifrages. The garden is home to hardy ferns. Some of the shrubs and trees flower in the summer, among which are the rhododendrons, spiraeas, and cotoneasters.
Autumn is the time for acorns, crab apples, red-brown beeches, and conkers. Japanese maples and spindles add colour with their foliage. Yellow birch adds both colour and aroma to the garden in autumn.
Garden features include Italian stonework that links the terraces and paths, ornamental urns, and Dynamo Pond, once used to generate electricity for Dawyck House (not open to the public).
Garden sections include an azalea terrace, Scrape burn, Sargentís garden, rhododendron walk, Swiss bridge, chapel bank, birch and rowan collections, a shelter belt, upper Scrape glen, a dynamo pond, native Scots pine wood, a heron wood reserve, middle ride, silver wood, beech walk, Shaw brae, and lower Scrape Glen.
A Visitor centre has two AV presentations, a garden shop, and light refreshments (which are excellent).
Stobo, Borders, on the B712, 8 miles south-east of Pebbles
Tel. 0 1721 760 254
Open: Feb-end Nov, daily, 10am; closes Feb and Nov, 4pm; April-Sep, 6pm; March and Oct, 5pm
Parking; special exhibitions and events; shop; light refreshments
All photos © by Barbara Ballard