Subsequently two volunteers George and Sue Thomas enthusiastically took up the challenge of project managing this exciting new development. The first Sculpture Garden exhibition was held in summer 2011, jointly curated by Threave and The Nail Factory, an art gallery in Dalbeattie.
Following its success, work began immediately on the 2012 exhibition, with a ‘call for work’ put out in November 2011, to Scottish born, trained or based artists. A panel of judges including well known sculptors, and representatives of the local artist community and the National Trust for Scotland, chose pieces by 10 sculptors.
Of the pieces selected some are generic to the outdoors and others have been designed and created with Threave in mind. The artists involved are:
• Tom Allan ARBS PAI
• Andrew Brown
• Lesley Carruthers
• Peter Dowden
• Elin Isaksson
• Sushelia Jamieson
• Lucianne Lassalle
• Jenny Pope
• Dawn Rhodes
• Natasha Smith
In addition to these works, internationally renowned Scottish sculptor Ronald Rae, a passionate supporter of the project, has loaned his stunning 7 tonne granite piece depicting St Francis. The emotive work sits perfectly in the Garden, serenaded by birdsong and cascading water.
The opening will be held in a marquee in the garden, with light refreshments provided. The Trust’s Chief Executive Kate Mavor will officiate on the day.
Visitors will have the opportunity to admire the wonderful new exhibits from 24 June 2012 until May 2013.
Threave garden is beautifully varied, made up of lots of different garden styles. It has spectacular daffodils in spring, colourful herbaceous borders in summer, and striking autumn trees. There is also a lush walled garden, an orchard stocked with authentic regional varieties of fruit, rose garden, a heather garden, temperate glasshouse collection, rock gardens and water features including a cascade.
The woodland garden is one of the most attractive and tranquil places to visit. Visitors can enjoy glimpsing plants from all over the world in the dappled shade while birdsong fills the air.
Enjoying lunch on the restaurant terrace is also a delight with the heavenly fragrance of honeysuckle and sweet peas growing alongside.
For the more adventurous, there is the chance to explore the circular estate walk for a spot of bird watching and join the osprey watch near Threave Castle.
The Scots Baronial house is also open for visitors to enjoy.