• Balcarres
  • Balcaskie
  • Elie
  • Gilston
  • Kilconquhar
  • Strathtyrum
Three of the estates open their gardens to the public as part of Scotland’s Garden Scheme.
Balcaskie garden’s terraces and vista are inspired by French Baroque gardens, such as Vaux-le-Vicomte. These were restored in the 18th century and the parterre was designed in the 1840s by WA Nesfield. The gardens are undergoing a period of imaginative restoration. New parterre borders on the themes of air, earth, fire and water will be ablaze with crocosmia, kniphofia, hedychium and other unusual perennials. These are set off with a variety of dwarf hedging, as alternatives to box is trialled. The garden frames stunning views out to sea.
The garden at Balcarres is always very exciting in the Spring with interesting plants and a profusion of colour. There are a multitude of daffodils, snowdrops, primroses, polyanthus and smilacina together with many other spring plants. The Woodland Walk also bursts with life with much variety and colour including hostas, trillium and a multitude of bulbs.
Gilston belongs to Edward Baxter – the great, great grandson of the first Edward Baxter. Edward’s wife, Catherine, has continued the work of generations of the family to shape the garden. Catherine says: “I inherited my mother-in-law’s garden and started gardening it properly around 10 years ago. We set about reinvigorating some of the borders with some favourite perennials and shrubs. We laid out a new terrace with French lavender, dusty purple sedums, geranium, Japanese anemones and firecracker alliums.

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Founded in 1931 to raise money for the Queen’s Nursing Institute Scotland, to help support the Queen’s Nurses, before the creation of the National Health Service, the project’s charitable support has expanded over the years and their love of gardens has remained constant. In 2018, 60% of a Garden’s Open Day takings are donated to the Garden Opener’s nominated charities with net of the remaining 40% distributed to Scotland’s Gardens’ beneficiaries.
For information on opening times, please click on the estate names above or visit Scotland’s Garden Scheme’s website.