We may have just “enjoyed” four seasons in a week but, look beyond the recent blast of snow, and you’ll see signs that spring has most definitely arrived.
Cherry blossoms have bloomed, snowdrops have emerged, and daffodils burst in brilliant yellow across bare parks and greenspaces.
In line with the relaxing of Covid-19 safety restrictions, the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) reopened a number of the properties it cares for at the start of April, among them several gardens which stand as the country’s springtime treasures.
Here we pick out some of the best places to see spring in bloom.
A hillside haven within walking distance of Perth city centre, Branklyn is among the NTS properties which recently reopened.
Developed by John and Dorothy Renton in the early 1920s, the garden has long been a paradise for horticulturalists and boasts an extraordinary collection of rare plants and flowers from all over the world.
For more than 200 years, Geilston has stood as a gem of a garden on the banks of the Clyde, carefully protected by the towering walls which surround it. The garden has a floral mini-maze and playground and a long-established kitchen garden, which springs to life between April and May.
Threave, Castle Douglas
A garden for all seasons and the home of the School of Heritage Gardening since 1960.
Threave has a unique design, offering ‘garden rooms’ which showcase a different gardening style and planting scheme. The property also offers breathtaking views across the Galloway Hills and the Ken/Dee valley.
Brodie Castle, Forres
If you are looking for a picture-perfect image of Scotland in spring, Brodie is it.
The castle and grounds are the vision of Ian Brodie, 24th Laird of Brodie, who succeeded to the title in 1889 and began planting a garden that would eventually become Scotland’s National Daffodil Collection. You’ll find more than 100 different varieties of Narcissus within the grounds.
House of the Binns, Linlithgow
The ancient seat of the Dalyell family takes on a golden hue in April as thousands of daffodils carpet the grounds. The House of the Binns is a place with an incredible, sometimes gruesome history and has walks which take you beyond the grounds and gardens, through deep woods and to hilltops offering views across the central belt.
Another unmistakable sign that spring has sprung is spectacular displays of rhododendrons, which begin to appear in all shapes and colours.
Crarae, created in 1912 by Lady Grace Campbell, has them in abundance and is a truly unique and unusual garden.
Set amid woodlands, with a gorge, rippling burn and tumbling waterfall, it is described as the finest example of a Himalayan-style garden in the British Isles.
Ben Lawers National Nature Reserve, Perthshire
The nature reserve offers one of the other true sights of spring and the first alpine plant to flower in the hardy little purple saxifrage.
Ben Lawers also has the most celebrated collection of arctic-alpine plants in Britain.
P.S. Did you know there are more than 200 different kinds of daffodil and, given the right conditions, a daffodil field can bloom for as many as 50 years? And, as they are relatively easy to grow, they are a great choice for beginner gardeners.
Factfile: Visit nts.org.uk for up-to-date information on safety measures that will be in place for visits, and top tips for visiting responsibly.
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