The Gardens of Galloway – Scotland`s Garden Route is a cluster of six independant gardens in and around the Rhins of Galloway in South West Scotland. They collaborate to create a garden route and to provide a “passport” so that discounted entry can be enjoyed. At least two, preferably three days are required to do this route justice!
The participating gardens are:-
Logan Botanic Gardens and Logan House Gardens. Both are near Port Logan on the Southern Rhins.
Ardwell Gardens at Ardwell House near Sandhead, also on the South Rhins
Dunskey Gardens near Portpatrick on the North Rhins
Castle Kennedy Gardens near Stranraer
Glenwhan Gardens near Dunragit, a few miles east of Stranraer
Logan Botanic Garden is known as Scotland`s most exotic garden and has recently been awarded 5 Stars from VisitScotland. Logan Garden features many species from the southern hemisphere. The walled garden is always alight with colour and has a tropical atmosphere with its cabbage palms, Chusan Palms and Tree Ferns.
Logan Garden has many exotic species which are unique in Scotland. It also has a woodland garden with a vast collection of weird and wonderful features such as the eucalypts grove and a gunera bog.
New for 2014, a large Victorian Conservatory is to open in June and will house species from South Africa. The conservatory will be powered entirely from renewable sources.
The garden also has a Discovery Centre where you can learn more about the garden and its history. Exhibitons are also held in the Discovery Centre Digital Audio Guides are also available
Many events are held at the gardens.
Lunches and snacks are available at the Potting Shed Bistro within the gardens.
Logan House Garden -a Victorian woodland garden features champion trees, immaculate lawns, pathways through ancient shrubberies and a majestic monkey puzzle avenue. Logan House Gardens is a wonderful woodland walk when many varied specimens of rhododendron abound in March – May after which azeleas – again many varied specimens take over.
Logan House Gardens features many champion trees including 14 Scottish varieties
Logan House Gardens and Logan Botanic Gardens adjoin one another so it is ideal to combine a visit to both attractions.
Also in Port Logan is Logan Fish Pond so that a whole day can easily be spent exploring the area around this charming village.
Dunskey Gardens, near Portpatrick feature walled and woodland gardens, lochs and Victorian glasshouses. A special seasonal feature is the magnificent and varied display of snowdrops while the plants trees and shrubs provide continuing interest and colour through to late Autumn.
A unique feature of Dunskey is its Hedge Maze, the design of which was based on the maze at Hampton Court! It is the only hedge maze in South West Scotland.
The gardens also have a tearoom – Seasons which features a specially commissioned mural and which has a sheltered sun terrace.
Ardwell Gardens near the village of Ardwell, a few miles from Sandhead surround a private 18th century estate house. During the early part of the season there is a magnificent display of azaleas, camellias and rhododendrons followed in the summer by a wide range of summer bedding plants in the walled garden.
There are a number of woodland walks including a walk round the largest pond (takes about half an hour) providing excellent views over Luce Bay.
Castle Kennedy Gardens are almost surrounded by water and extend to 75 acres. This is one of South West Scotland`s most well known historical gardens.
The gardens are on an isthmus between two lochs and features include a two acre circular lily pond, rare and exotic plants, Champion trees, family trails, woodland and loch side walks and colourful displays within the walled garden.
The layout of the gardens dates way back to 1730! They are set around the ruins of Castle Kennedy Castle. The gardens were extended in 1840 when the “new” Lochinch Castle was built.
There is a charming tea room within the gardens and special events are held throughout the year including open-air theatre, family fun days and guided walks.
Glenwhan Gardens are a few miles east of Castle Kennedy, and are the most recently created gardens on Scotland`s Garden Route. The present owners purchased the land, which was covered with bracken and gorse, over 30 years ago. They have lovingly created a 12 acre garden filled with an array of plants from around the world. Glenwhan Gardens features a number of small lochs or lakes which add to the interest. Winding paths, well placed seats, sculpures and water all add to the tranquility of Glenwhan. The gardens face south. As they are around 300 feet above seaa level there are magnificent views to the Isle of Man and the Mull of Galloway.
There is a 17 acre Wildflower Walk with over 120 species of flowers, grasses and ferns. Glenwhan Gardens also has a recently created tree trail where over 130 trees have been identified.
Glenwhan Gardens also have an excellent tea room and shop.
Slides of Logan Botanic Gardens ( red rhodo and lily) and Logan House entrance by Colin Tennant / Destination Dumfries & Galloway Image of Glenwhan Gardens by SRWD