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Spring is a great time to explore Scotland’s glorious gardens and enjoy the splashes of colour around the country. The National Trust for Scotland is the largest garden owner in Scotland with lots of gardens and designed landscapes to discover. Our beautiful gardens are best seen at first hand so here’s a flavour of what to see over the coming months.
Daffodils take centre stage in spring at many Trust properties including Brodie Castle in Moray, Threave Garden in Castle Douglas and Drum Castle by Banchory. Brodie holds a national collection of daffodils and you can enjoy the spectacle of thousands in bloom.
Make sure you visit Drum Castle over the coming weeks as the main daffodil show has already started. The beautiful gardens also contain a delightful collection of miniature daffodils and spring bulbs such as dog’s tooth violet, fritillarias and scillas.
Spring has also arrived at Crathes Castle in Banchory. Chris Wardle, Head Gardener, explains how his team has been working hard over the winter months preparing for the new season: “Spring is an amazing time in the gardens at Crathes with so much promise for the year ahead. Everything is starting to take on the lovely lime green of new growth. All the herbaceous plants are starting to push through the ground and we have been busy planting our spring and summer bulbs.”
The world-famous gardens of Inverewe are also well worth a visit this spring. This beautiful garden is full of exotic plants nurtured by the warm currents of the North Atlantic Drift. Chinese rhododendrons, Chilean lantern-trees, Mediterranean rock roses and South African bulbs are just some of the striking plants that can be found when exploring the garden.
Susan Burgess, Property Manager & Head Gardener at Pitmedden Garden in Ellon, shares her top tips for spring gardens.
1. Once the harsh winter weather has passed, spring is the ideal planting time for trees, shrubs and perennials. Don’t forget to water new plantings well during dry spells.
2. Deadhead larger bulbs once they finish flowering. Be careful not to damage foliage and apply a liquid feed to boost flowering for next year.
3. Older hedges can be pruned back harder at this time of year.
4. When the conditions are right, weed and dig over borders in preparation for seed sowing.
5. Protect your plants from slugs by putting a ring of crushed egg shells or sharp sand around them. Beer traps or slate traps should be checked daily to avoid unsightly damage to foliage.
The Trust also has a fantastic programme of garden events lined up for the new season, including practical workshops, plant sales and open days. Many properties hold regular walks and tours during which you’ll be able to be inspired and pick up tips for your own garden.
Click here to find an event near you.