Private Gardens of the Scottish Borders
Among the rolling hills of the Scottish Borders are a host of attractive gardens, from intimate private properties to the splendour of Floors Castle. Broadly following the course of the River Tweed, which runs like a silver thread through this tour, we visit a carefully selected series of gardens from our base in Melrose.
These include the walled garden at Kailzie and the private gardens of Carolside, Corbet Tower and Lennel Bank, each one offering interest and individuality. Lying adjacent to historic Melrose Abbey are the tranquil Harmony Gardens and the specialist Priorwood Gardens, while at West Leas we will discover a dramatic project on a grand scale with a passion for plants at its heart. Impressive as this project may be, nothing can quite compare to the grandeur and spectacle of Floors Castle, the largest inhabited house in Scotland, whose fine gardens enjoy glorious views over the Tweed.
Our hotel: The 4-star Cardrona Hotel, Golf and Country Club, nestling on the banks of the River Tweed in a tranquil valley a few miles to the east of Peebles in the Scottish Borders.
Deposit: £100 Single supplement: £120
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Day 1 -
We depart by coach from our local pick-up points and travel to our first visit, - Kailzie Gardens, near Peebles. Kailzie was originally known as West Kelloch and there are remnants of old forts on the hill. The house was in the hands of the Tweedie family for several centuries who at one stage built a keep - the site of this can still be seen. In 1638 ownership passed to the Earls of Traquair, and then through several owners until 1914, when William Cree, the uncle of the present owner’s father in law, took ownership. In 1962 the Georgian house was demolished and soon after, the current owner, embarked on a plan to develop an almost wild garden. Standing 700 feet above sea level, facing north and east, the garden has encountered frost in every month of the year, and plant selection is restricted to the most hardy. There is now a semi-formal walled garden with a rose garden, herbaceous borders and old fashioned roses.
From here we travel to the private garden of Carolside, a traditional and romantic garden set in a beautiful 18th century landscape, comprising lawns, shrubberies, mixed borders, a secret garden, a winter garden and an oval walled garden containing herbaceous borders, fruits, vegetables and parterres. There is also a historically important collection of roses that has been carefully assembled over more than 20 years.
Later we continue to Peebles and our comfortable accommodation at the Cardrona Hotel.
|Hotel||Cardrona Hotel, Golf and Country Club|
Day 2 -
Following breakfast we head for Melrose and a visit to Harmony Gardens, a delightfully tranquil walled garden comprising lawns, herbaceous and mixed borders and Priorwood Gardens, a specialist garden where plants grown are selected for their suitability for drying. Their colourful and imaginative selection ensures variety for the dried flower arrangements, local plants and produce that can be purchased on the premises.
We continue to Floors Castle, home of the Duke & Duchess of Roxburghe, a romantic fairytale castle with a roofscape of turrets, pinnacles and cupolas. The spectacular Walled Garden contains a fine example of a Victorian kitchen garden; the Millennium Garden features a French-style parterre and the herbaceous borders are a frenzy of colour. Features of historical interest include a charming summerhouse known as the Queen’s House after Queen Victoria’s visit in 1867 and a holly tree marking the spot where King James II of Scotland was killed in 1460, when his own cannon exploded while laying siege to nearby Roxburghe Castle.
Our final visit today is to Lennel Bank is a terraced garden overlooking the River Tweed, consisting of wide borders packed with shrubs and perennial planting, some unusual. The water garden, built in 2008, is surrounded by a rockery and utilises the slope ending in a pond. There is a small kitchen garden with raised beds in unusual shapes. Different growing conditions throughout the garden from dry, wet, shady and sun lend themselves to a variety of plants.
|Hotel||Cardrona Hotel, Golf and Country Club|
|Meals included||Breakfast, Dinner|
Day 3 -
After breakfast we check out of the hotel and head for the private garden of Corbet Tower, a Scottish Victorian garden set in parklands in the foothills of the Cheviots. The garden includes a formal box parterred rose garden with old fashioned roses, a well stocked traditional walled vegetable and cutting garden, lawns with a medieval peel tower and an attractive woodland walk.
Next is West Leas, a dramatic project on a grand scale which is still in the making. At its core is a passion for plants allied to a love and understanding of the land in which they are set. Collections of perennials and shrubs, many in temporary holding quarters, lighten up the landscape to magical effect. There are new landscaped water features, a bog garden and extensive new shrub and herbaceous planting. A recently planted orchard, with underplantings of spring bulbs demonstrates that the productive garden can be highly ornamental.
After an opportunity for lunch in Jedburgh (not included), we depart for our final visit, the private garden of Monteviot. There are a series of differing gardens here, including a herb garden, a rose garden, a water garden linked by bridges, and a river garden with herbaceous shrub borders. There is also a dene garden featuring ponds and bridges and planted with a variety of foliage plants.
Following our visit we will return to our original departure points.
Tour dates & prices
Included in your cost:
- Services of a professional tour manager
- Comfortable coach travel throughout
- Meals - as per the itinerary
|Tour Departure||Tour ID||Departure date||Return Date||Guided by||Price||Deposit||Single supplement||Availability|
|23 July 2021||BPGB210723||23 July 2021 (Friday)||25 July 2021 (Sunday)||£495