Throughout Scotland, gardens will be open for the annual Scottish Snowdrop Festival which takes place during February and March. It’s an annual event organised by Discover Scottish Gardens.
Many of these gardens are part of the Scotland Gardens Scheme (Open for Charity). They range from well-known gardens of stately homes to cottage gardens, wildlife gardens and allotments. As well as the delight of visiting the gardens, an added bonus is the opportunity to talk with the owners who are as varied as the gardens they tend - ranging from the elderly woman who restored her garden with the help of just one gardener and now maintains a seven acre plot, to the international opera singer and her musician brother who carry on the work of their parents. There are a wealth of stories and inspiration to enjoy.
So, wrap up well and enjoy a brisk walk amongst the snowdrops. Take a look at some gardens close to our hotels that are open for walks:
Kailzie Gardens, Peeblesshire
Woodland and burnside walks where you can enjoy the snowdrops along with rhododendrons, bluebells and azaleas. There is also a semi formal walled garden, where later in the year the herbaceous borders and rose gardens can be enjoyed, together with the plants in the large Victorian greenhouse.
Dawyck Botanic Garden, Peebles
This is an offshoot of the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh with a wonderful collection of rare trees and shrubs, including Chinese conifers, Japanese trees and 150 feet tall sequoiadendrons. Bold herbaceous borders run alongside the burn and there are many trails and walks.
Ardmaddy Castle, Oban
These gardens lie in a valley sheltered by mature woodland and the elevated castle on a volcanic mound. There is a woodland walk which leads to a water garden which has a mantle of bluebells in spring and water loving plants later in the year. There is also a walled garden, cutting garden and fruit and vegetable gardens. A great garden for all plant lovers.
Ardchattan Priory Gardens, Oban
Overlooking Loch Etive, these gardens are now in private hands but the ruins of the chapel and graveyard are looked after by Historic Scotland and are open along with the gardens. There are extensive herbaceous, shrub and rose borders which, along with bulbs, give colour all year.
Drummond Castle, Crieff
The formal garden here is said to be amongst the best in Europe and is the largest in Scotland.
Blair Castle, Pitlochry
The castle is the focal point of a designed landscape of 2,500 acres within the estate. Recently the Hercules Walled Garden has been restored to its original 18th century glory and contains ponds, a Chinese bridge and orchard of more than a hundred fruit trees.