Places to Visit in Scotland
- Glendoick Gardens, Perthshire
Motorists who flash past the Glendoick Gardens on the main trunk road between Perth and Dundee, may think that it is just an ordinary garden centre, and not a very large one at that. How wrong they are! These pages - with over 40 illustrations - only scratch the surface of an extensive series of gardens full of colourful flowers, woodland walks, demonstration garden and nursery. And there's an excellent restaurant there too!
The gardens at Glendoick consist of:
Next to the commercial garden centre is a delightful demonstration area - the Pagoda Garden. This shows off to advantage many of the plants available in the garden centre. There is a succession of flowering plants though the spring (with dwarf rhododendrons and azaleas) and the summer (when many of the herbaceous border plants at their peak) are the best times to visit. Like the garden centre, the Pagoda Garden is open seven days a week, closing at 5.30pm.
Glendoick House Garden
Open only for about two months, from around the middle of April to mid-June, this medium-sized garden is a delight. There are mature trees such as Halesia (the snowdrop tree) and Davidia (the handkerchief tree) and a stunning collection of Kalmia as well as many other shrubs and plants, many of them unusual varieties. Fortunately, most of the plants have their name-tags to help those of us who are not expert botanists.
Glendoick owes its existence to a tradition (which began over 80 years ago) of three generations of plant hunters and growers who have travelled to Burma and China to collect interesting plants and bring them back to Scotland. Today's plants are grown in nurseries (not in containers) and rows and rows of mainly young rhododendrons but also other plants in the nursery allow visitors to compare the different varieties. Over the years, Glendoick has developed its own hybrid rhododendrons and evergreen azaleas which are particularly suited to the Scottish climate. Glendoick Nursery is open by appointment only, normally Monday-Friday, 10-4pm. You can call nursery on 01738 860205 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wandering through the pathways between well established rhododendrons, azaleas, meconopsis (in a large number of different varieties), magnolia and a large number of unusual shrubs and plants, it is clear that it has been enlarged several times over the years. Despite clinging to the side of a hill and meandering through a small glen, the pathways are not too steep. The best time to see the woodland garden is in April/May when the rhododendrons are at their best - the photos in this feature were taken in Mid-May and early June.
Even if you are not enthusiastic about flowers and plants, the Pagoda Restaurant is a good enough reason to stop here! Focusing on good wholesome food, you can start with a large bowl of home-made soup (such as cream of cauliflower and other varieties you just don't get out of a tin) served with herb bread, freshly-made sandwiches, salads, baguettes and toasties. In the winter time, there's shepherd's pie, lasagne and hot pies. And if you can walk past the home baking and only pick up one item, you have more will power than me! Lemon drizzle cake, carrot cake, date and ginger breads, chocolate delights of all sorts and home-made scones are there to tempt you. In the summer, when the weather is suitable, there is a patio area (on the ubiquitous decking made popular by TV garden programmes in the 1990s).
How to Get There
Glendoick is just off the east-bound carriageway of the A90(T) road between Perth and Dundee. The garden centre is well sign-posted on both carriageways. See also the Location Map (you can enlarge the scale of this map, if required).
You can also get more information about Glendoick via their own Web Site.
The rest of this feature on Glendoick allows the many flowers and plants to do most of the talking. The thumbnails below lead to larger versions of the pictures with a few notes on each. There is a second page of illustrations of the variety of plants on view and another page focusing on rhododendrons. You can take the "grand tour" as each page is linked to the next.
You can now go to the Second Page in this series of thumbnail index of pictures from Glendoick....
Or to the Rhododendrons....
Or return to Index of Places to Visit
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