Gardens at this time of year are at their very best. Fresh spring buds, vivid colourful flowers, pollinators busy at work.
You don’t have to know the difference between a daisy and and a delphinium to enjoy nature’s beauty, but you’ll never know if you don’t get up and go.
The Forres area has a number of local gardens which are open to the public. Labours of love that take us to happy place, fill us with a sense of wellbeing, rejuvenate our soul, and put a smile on our face.
Some are personal gardens that the owners just want to share, others are national treasures.
Let’s dive right in.
This is truly a hidden gem. Tucked away behind a private house with a home-made sign easy to miss, you’ll regret not visiting this natural secluded paradise.
It’s a 1000-acre private garden on the Burgie Estate, it include two ponds, a nut grove, Japanese garden, oak wood, and many other sections that make for something different around every corner.
This is not a formal garden, the grass gets high, the tracks are rough in places, but that only adds to the raw, natural beauty. Although there are many mature trees, new species have been brought in and the variety of flowers, bushes and trees is changing constantly, and the aim to produce colour all year round.
Entry by donation (suggested £3). More information and directions.
Logie House Gardens
This more formal garden is in the grounds of Logie House on the estate of the same name.
Tended by owners Panny and Alasdair Laing since 1991, it is a mix of formality, productivity and pleasure, also with an attempt to provide plants that are attractive all year.
It’s interesting to note the burn that runs through the garden has been ‘unearthed from an underground pipe and now creates a point of focus as it meanders through the garden under bridges and irrigating plants on its banks as it goes.
Part of the garden is walled but only on two sides. There is a large neat lawn in front of the house, and while this is open to the public, the variety of flowers, shrubs and trees is the real attraction – the house and lawn simply add to the picturesque beauty.
You may also see the production garden, which supplies the nearby Farm and Garden Shop at Logie Steading, although this is closed to the public.
The garden is six miles south of Forres on the A940. Follow signs for Logie Steading.
Entry: £2; children: free. Open all year round.
The gardens at Brodie Castle are well worth a visit. The extensive grounds around the castle are well-kept by the National Trust for Scotland. The Victorian shrubbery is a informal garden with peaceful walks, a central sundial, and a large variety of flora.
Daffodils abound all over Brodie in Spring, and these are followed by bluebells. The long avenue up to the castle is a carpet of colour. The large daffodil collection of over 100 varieties is not be missed. This flowers between March and April.
The collection is inside the Playful Garden, for which there is an entry fee, but the grounds around the castle are free to enter and open all year round. There is also a fee to park.
Beyond the gardens you’ll find the duck pond. The path around the pond has been improved recently and wooden carvings added. There are two bird hides on this circular walk.
Grant Park, Forres
Right in the town is Grant Park, most famous for its Forres in Bloom displays and multiple awards. Floral sculptures and a sunken formal garden make this a popular place for locals and visitors. The flowers are tended by a volunteer group who recently won the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.
Grant Park was gifted to the town by Sir Alexander Grant, who is credited with inventing the Digestive biscuit.
Biblical Gardens, Elgin
Further afield are the Biblical Gardens in Elgin. A formal layout in the shape of a cross, with masses of colour at this time of year.
The garden contains every tree mentioned in the bible and is tended by the horticulture department of Moray College UHI.
Gordon Castle Walled Garden, Fochabers
Gordon Castle is the ancient seat of the Dukes of Gordon. Following redevelopment in the 18th century, it became one of the largest country houses in Scotland.
In its grounds is the impressive walled garden, itself one of the largest and oldest kitchen gardens in the country.
Extending to eight acres, it has been recently restored with a modern design. Today’s garden is tended by a small team of gardeners, growing herbs, cut flowers and vegetables, some of which go into their own gins, and served in the on-site cafe. More than 200 products in the attached shop are inspired by the estate or plants grown in their garden.
Open all year round with a natural play area for children
Entry: £8; concession £6; children £4. Open every day 11-4; cafe open Wed-Sun 11-4.
More information at: https://www.gordoncastle.co.uk/garden/
Scotland’s Gardens Scheme lists more places you can visit. See what else is available near to you: https://scotlandsgardens.org/