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Love Your Garden

February is the month of love so we asked Brian Cunningham, Head Gardener of Scone Palace, to tell us five things that he loves about the historic gardens and grounds in which The Scottish Garden Show will be held from 29 – 31 May 2021.


Read on to find out more…

1. Variety The grounds of Scone Palace in Perthshire cover more than 100 acres so that allows many dedicated spaces to be carved out within the grounds. Brian notes that so many aspects of horticulture can be found across the estate including vegetables, herbaceous plants, conifers, trees, topiary and seasonal flowers such as snowdrops and daffodils.

Here are a few pictures of snowdrops donning our woodland area last year:



2. History The village of Scone once stood within the grounds of Scone Place. However, by 1805 the entire village had been relocated some two miles away in the hamlet now known as ‘New Scone’. David Douglas, one of Scotland’s great plant hunters was born into the village of Scone in 1799. He was an apprentice gardener at the Palace for seven years before moving on to wider explorations. His connection to the Palace grounds remains as a tree that bears his name, grown from seed collected by the man himself, grows proudly in the Pinetum area of the Palace Grounds.



3. The Kitchen Garden

Reinstated in 2014, the Kitchen Garden offers various plots full of fresh produce including vegetables and cut flower beds.


August is Brian’s favourite time of year in the Kitchen Garden as the scent of sweet peas fills the air, dahlias are in full bloom and the borders are colourful and eye-catching.

4. Spring Time Colours

Come mid to late March, Spring has arrived and warmer temperatures are welcomed. Spring foliage and flowers are blooming with a rainbow of colour filling the Palace grounds including the likes of daffodils and primulas.


Here are just a few of the glorious blooms we had last spring:


5. Team work The Scone Palace Gardens are maintained and developed by a team of full-time gardeners and local volunteers. As the grounds are so extensive, maintenance is a full-time job with work including the likes of protecting plants from the elements, planting bare-root trees and shrubs, pruning hedges, sowing seeds in the Kitchen Garden and cutting grass or maintaining paths. Brian boasts that his team are enthusiastic, loyal and dedicated to making the Gardens look their best. Without them, he would be lost.


Brian Cunningham is helping to curate The Scottish Garden Show and is hard at work pulling together the itinerary for an educational zone in the Walled Garden. This space will be sure to draw attention as it will showcase a number of guest speakers, Q&A sessions, practical workshops and exposure to gardening groups and societies. Each day of the Show has a gardening theme with the Saturday focusing on families, Sunday will celebrate sustainability and Monday will focus on small space gardens and design.

As well as gardening experts from the TV world, a huge selection of gardening groups and societies will be at the show offering interactive demonstrations and to offer advice to visitors. These groups include: The National Trust for Scotland, Royal Caledonian Horticulture Society, Scottish Rock Garden Club, Discover Scottish Gardens, and many more. Keep updated with our confirmed Show schedule as well as exciting news and updates when signing up to our newsletter here.

To secure your attendance at The Scottish Garden Show, order your tickets online today here

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