Key plant collections

We’​ve recorded more than 100,000 cultivated plants in our gardens, so whether you’ve got the greenest of fingers or just a passing interest, you can visit different Trust gardens to see special varieties close up, and learn how we cultivate them.

Our gardeners are always happy to point you in the direction of interesting plants. Some of the plants in our care are notable for their rarity, others for their beauty, and then there are the special collections. 


There are 1,024 different species of this famous flowering plant. Many have interesting leaves and bark, but it’s in spring, when rhododendrons tend to bloom, that you can see these trees and shrubs burst into life. Some of the best Trust places to admire rhododendrons include Arduaine Garden, Brodick Castle Garden and Inverewe.

A close-up of purple Bergenia in Greenbank Garden

Plant Heritage Collections

Plant Heritage Collections worked with Plant Heritage (formerly part of the National Council for the Conservation of Plants and Gardens) to identify 15 specific National Plant Collections®. These include collections of Cassiope at Branklyn Garden, Olearia at Inverewe and Bergenia at Greenbank Garden.
We conserve these varieties, traits and genetic material – and the skills required to cultivate them – for future generations to enjoy.

Malleny National Rose Collection

One of our protected National Plant Collections® is the 19th-century Shrub Rose Collection at Malleny Garden – a mixture of hybrids and naturally occurring species. This impressive rose collection was developed in the 1960s by Mr and Mrs Gore-Browne Henderson (who then owned the garden), and it continues to thrive.

A close-up of fresh raspberries from the Kellie Castle garden

Scottish fruit

There are fruit collections and orchards at plenty of Trust places, including Kellie Castle, Falkland Palace and Pitmedden Garden. There’s even a whole garden dedicated to Scottish fruit (and vegetables) at Fyvie Castle. We’ve cultivated 52 types of Scottish apple as well as every known variety of Scottish blackcurrant and raspberry. At Threave Garden, you can find a collection of rarely cultivated pears that definitely do not feature in your local supermarket!

Champion trees

The Old Holly Tree at Castle Fraser has a girth of over 3 metres and is one of the oldest holly trees in Scotland. We’re not sure of its exact age but it features in a painting that helps us to date it as a mature tree before 1842. This is just one of the many TROBI (Tree Register of the British Isles) champion trees we have in our care across Scotland – we’ve got dozens at Brodick Castle Garden alone!