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Spring in our gardens

A mass of daffodil planting in the Playful Garden at Brodie Castle.
Beds of daffodils at Brodie Castle & Estate
Spring has sprung, and little buds of colour are popping up in gardens across Scotland. We’ve picked out just a few extra-special highlights at some of our places.

Brodie Castle & Estate

If we had to pick one garden that encapsulates the essence of spring, it could very well be the one at Brodie Castle & Estate. Not only does it play host to a National Collection of daffodils – with 216 different varieties – but it’s also home to a 6.5m-tall bunny sculpture made of white marble Jesmonite. Take a walk through the walled garden here to admire the blanket covering of daffodils in all their shapes, sizes, forms and hues of white, yellow and orange. Get up close to appreciate their heady fragrance, too. In the shrubbery, between the castle and walled garden, you will also find more than 100 mature rhododendrons bursting into magnificent flower.

Make a point of visiting during the Easter weekend to take part in the Easter trail – it’s guaranteed to be fun for all the family.

Plan your visit to Brodie Castle & Estate

Beds of bright yellow daffodils with orange trumpets grow in the foreground. In the background stands the rose-pink Brodie Castle,
Brodie Castle in spring

Branklyn Garden

2022 marks the centenary of this 2-acre garden, which was created by John and Dorothy Renton with the help of seeds collected by renowned plant hunters such as George Forrest, Frank Ludlow and George Sherriff. Branklyn is famed for its National Collection of Meconopsis, and the Himalayan blue poppies are in flower from the end of April all through May. They actually come in an incredible array of colours, from blue to purple, red to pink, and even white. See if you can spot all 40 cultivars across the hillside space.

Other special sights in spring include mass plantings of Erythronium revolutum (mahogany fawn lily), dog’s tooth violet, wild oxlip, trilliums and, of course, the glorious flowers of 100-year-old rhododendrons.

Plan your visit to Branklyn Garden

A close-up view of three blue poppies, seen against a dark foliage background.
Meconopsis at Branklyn Garden

Greenbank Garden

The cherry blossom avenue of Prunus avium ‘Plena’, planted in 1921, is a sight not to be missed at this garden in spring, when it is in full flower. Look out too for the gorgeous Magnolia stellata, with its white star-shaped flowers, across the main lawn. As you explore the plethora of individual garden ‘rooms’ at Greenbank – intended to demonstrate different gardening techniques and styles to visitors – keep your eyes to the ground where you’ll find the white, pink and red flowers of Bergenia (or elephant’s ears), a perennial plant of which this garden has a National Collection. Explore the garden’s woodland walkway too, where you’ll find hundreds of varieties of daffodil and a carpet of vibrant bluebells from early spring onwards.

Hear Greenbank’s head gardener, Andrew Hinson, talk about the site’s dazzling daffodils on our Love Scotland podcast.

Plan your visit to Greenbank Garden

Daffodils line a path in Greenbank Garden in the springtime
Hundreds of different varieties of daffodils can be admired at Greenbank Garden.

Threave Garden

If there is one sight in south-west Scotland not to be missed in spring, it is this garden’s famous daffodil bank: it boasts over 360 varieties of daffodil and dates back to 1872.

In addition, beautiful carpets of more ornate spring bulbs, including Iris reticulata ‘Katharine Hodgkin’ and many species of crocus, cover the ground of Threave’s walled garden in spring. Built in 1872, the walled garden is famed for its fruit, vegetable and cut flower produce, which originally supplied the main house. White and pink blossoms adorn the branches of trained apple cordons and pyramid pears. Look out for the garden’s own cultivar of apple – ‘Threave Castle’. On chilly spring days, head along the yew-lined central avenue and take cover in the hot, temperate and cool rooms of the display glasshouse. As well as exotic collections of cacti, orchids and bromeliads, you might be able to spot the koi carp in the special indoor pond.

Plan your visit to Threave

Quote
“Spring is the time of year that every gardener enjoys – the days are longer, the soil is warming up and plants are beginning to emerge. This is a busy time for sowing seeds indoors, ready to plant out later. Forced rhubarb, which provides tender, flavoursome stems, is available for harvesting. Enjoy talking to our team for tips on how to improve your own vegetable gardens and allotments.”
Michael Lawrie, Head Gardener
A view of Threave House from the bottom of a gently sloping hill. The foreground is carpeted with daffodils. Tall trees frame the photo.
The famous daffodil bank in Threave Garden

Crathes Castle, Garden & Estate

The borders at this internationally renowned 4-acre garden are a sight to behold come spring. An impressive display of bulbs from all over the world, including chionodoxa and crocus, brings the first splash of colour before early-flowering trees and shrubs such as magnolia and cornus steal the show. Later, the rich reds, perfect pinks and awe-inspiring oranges of rhododendrons burst into bloom for everyone to admire. The gardeners cross their fingers for no late frosts so the flowers will last.

Plan your visit to Crathes

Geilston Garden

This garden has wonderful displays of spring-flowering plants including Trillium grandiflorum (American wood lily), Pulmonaria angustifolia (narrow-leaved lungwort) and Convallaria majalis (lily of the valley). The impressive Sequoiadendron giganteum at the centre of the garden can be admired through every season, as the garden flourishes and changes around it. The heather garden boasts a collection of spring-flowering cultivars of Erica x darleyensis, such as ‘Furzey’, ‘Ghost Hills’ and ‘Jenny Porter’, that attract an abundance of bees looking for early foraging material. Bright, bold flowers appear on evergreen Japanese azaleas and the rich and heady scent of Rhododendron luteum (yellow azalea) fills the air.

Plan your visit to Geilston Garden

Bluebells alongside a grassy path in Geilston Garden
Bluebells at Geilston Garden

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