Take a virtual tour of Scotland’s gardens
More than 200 Scottish gardens, mostly privately owned, were set to open to the public in May with a further 400 in the summer.
But the scheme, which raises thousands of pounds for a variety of charities every year, has fallen foul of the coronavirus.
The charity behind garden open days has had to suspend all the events for the first time in its 89 years.
Terrill Dobson, Scotland’s Gardens Scheme director, said: “Since 1931 our charity has been successfully running open days every year, even during World War Two. However, that continuous record stopped in March.
“Even though the gardens are looking splendid, as people seek solace in gardening, our garden openers will not be able to welcome visitors for the foreseeable future.”
To lift community spirit and continue raising money for charity, the scheme reached out to participants – asking them to video their gardens to share virtually.
David Gallacher and Tom Williamson from Bonnyrigg, who have around 610 plants, 200 containers and pots and 30 hanging baskets, were among the first contributors. They are raising money for Lyn’s Small Animal Rehoming and Forth Valley Sensory Centre.
Other garden openers followed suit with footage from their gardens, including Terrill and her husband Gavin who have shared footage of their garden in Kirriemuir, Angus. They are hoping to raise funds for Glens and Kirriemuir Old Parish Church children’s programmes.
“There’s been a very positive response; we receive videos most days,” said Terrill. “Garden openers genuinely want to share their gardens while also raising funds for their chosen charities, which need help now more than ever.
“We’re asking people who would usually have visited the gardens in person to watch the videos instead and consider making a donation.”
Scotland’s Gardens Scheme will be adding to its virtual garden tours every day on its website and new YouTube channel.
They include Parkvilla in Aberdeenshire, a south-facing Victorian walled garden, lovingly developed from a design started in 1990 to give interest year-round. It is owned by Andy and Kim Leonard, whose chosen charities are St Mary’s Church in Ellon, Alzheimer Scotland and Ellon Men’s Shed.
And Sarah and Peter Landale, who own Dalswinton House, near Dumfries, have shared their garden in support of Kirkmahoe Parish Church of Scotland.
To find out more and take a tour, visit scotlandsgardens.org.