Dougarie delights at open garden day

The plant stall does a roaring trade at the entrance to the castellated folly gardens.

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An open day at Dougarie gardens on Saturday July 3 attracted hundreds of visitors.

Part of the Scotland’s Gardens initiative, the event was the busiest gathering of the year so far at the venue.

Dougarie Estate has played host to horticultural and inquisitive visitors for a number of years in support of Scotland’s Gardens charity which raises funds for the Queen’s Nursing Institute, Maggies Centres and Perennial.


In addition to supporting the charities nominated by Scotland’s Gardens, the initiative sees 60 per cent of the takings at open garden events donated to a charity of the owner’s choice. This year, Dougarie Estate selected Pirnmill Village Association.

The gardens at Dougarie are on a number of terraced levels within a castellated folly built in 1905 to celebrate the marriage of the 12th Duke of Hamilton’s only daughter to the Duke of Montrose.

Despite Covid restrictions, and thanks in part to brilliant sunshine, the event attracted a large number of visitors with more than 180 people arriving within the first hour of opening.

On display for visitors was a good selection of tender and rare plants and a small woodland area with trees, including nothofagus, hoheria and abutilons.


Visitors were also allowed a pre-opening look at the Boathouse, a listed building which is being refurbished. Set on the seafront, it is due to open in August as a wedding venue.

Cream teas and scones, usually part of the annual attraction, were not available this year owing to Covid restrictions, however, the plant stall went ahead and did a roaring trade.

Scotland’s Gardens scheme was 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 NHS. Their charitable support has expanded over the years and this year it is celebrating 90 years of supporting charities.

Dougarie Estate’s manicured lawn was transformed into a makeshift car park for visitors. 01_B28Dougarie01

Views of the surrounding countryside from the top of the terraced gardens. 01_B28Dougarie02

The Boathouse at Dougarie is to open as a wedding venue in August. 01_B28Dougarie03

A visitor enjoys the fragrant smell of a tree in the terraced garden. 01_B28Dougarie04

Visitors enjoy exploring the lush surroundings. 01_B28Dougarie05

The plant stall does a roaring trade at the entrance to the castellated folly gardens. 01_B28Dougarie06

Is it real? A deer sculpture in the distance adds another dimension to the interesting things to see in the estate. 01_B28Dougarie07

Visitors and their canine companions explore some of the interesting buildings on the estate. 01_B28Dougarie08

Expansive manicured lawns provided the visitors with a place to enjoy the afternoon sunshine. 01_B28Dougarie09

Each terrace of the garden provided visitors with new and varied plants and shrubs to discover. 01_B28Dougarie10

A visitor browses through the books at a book stall. 01_B28Dougarie11