If you’re a keen gardener or just looking for ideas for your own space, why not visit some of the North-east’s best private gardens over the summer? Scotland’s Gardens Scheme sees around a dozen of city and shire’s most beautiful gardens, as well as similar numbers in Angus and Dundee and Moray open for charity over the summer months. You could choose a few and make a day of it.

The Scotland’s Garden’s Scheme supports over 250 different charities. 60% of the visitors’ entry fees goes to a charity of the owner’s choice while the remaining 40% is distributed to three charities. The 2019 beneficiaries are Maggie’s Cancer Centres, The Queen’s Nursing Institute of Scotland and Perennial – a small specialist charity which helps anyone who professionally makes or looks after gardens, sports grounds, woodlands and other green spaces, in times of crisis or difficulty.

Some gardens open on selected weekends, when the garden is at its best. There are often teas and refreshments on offer, particularly in the larger private gardens. Some gardens also sell plants in aid of their chosen charities, so you could come home with a lot more than just some new ideas.. It’s fascinating to have a poke around other people’s gardens, and a constant source of inspiration.

Some gardens are only open by appointment, but you will be made very welcome. It’s a great chance to see what plants work well together and to pick up some expert advice and insider tips from the owners. It’s a good idea to take a notepad or use your phone to take pictures of plants you like and note down those pesky Latin names.

You’ll find full listings on the scheme’s website at Scotlandsgardens.org, but here are a few of our favourites…

near Kirriemuir DD8 4SA
8, 22 August, 5, 19 September, 2pm – 5pm Admission £3.00, children free


Iain Nelson’s sloping terraced garden in the Angus Glens is designed to be a garden for all seasons. Half is dominated by bulbs, rhododendrons, azaleas, primulas, meconopsis and clematis. The other half mainly later summer bulbs, herbaceous plants and roses. There is also a rockery/scree and fernery. Check website for directions as many SatNavs will lead you astray.

Logie Walled Garden
Angus Plant Sale, DD8 5PN
7 September 2-5pm Admission £3, children free

Visit the gardens and pick up some plants from an interesting selection, sourced from private gardens and donated by local nurseries. You can also visit the Herbalist’s Garden until the end of August by appointment.

Laundry Cottage
Culdrain, Gartly, Huntly AB54 4PY
By arrangement 1 January – 31 December Admission £4.00, children free

Judith McPhun opens her cottage garden by arrangement only and there’s always something of interest. This informal garden nestles by the river Bogie and includes a wide variety of herbaceous plants, shrubs and trees, an orchard area and fruit and vegetable plots, making a garden of year-round interest.  

Danestone, Aberdeen AB22 8AR
By arrangement until the end of October

Visit this 18th century walled garden in Aberdeen. The rose garden was replanted in 2010 and the policies abound with daffodils, tulips, rhododendrons, azaleas, mature trees and shrubs.

Easter Ord Farm
Easter Ord, Skene, Westhill AB32 6SQ
By arrangement till 25 August Admission £4 children free

Catherine Fowler has created a one-acre mature cottage garden with year-round interest. Her use of garden rooms is striking and there’s a fruit garden, large herbaceous borders, lawn areas, small wildlife pond, vegetable garden and mini orchard with wild flowers. Lots of ideas worth stealing.

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