Explore the Elegant Greenbank Garden
Located around five miles south of the center of Glasgow, Greenbank Garden covers an area of 2.5 acres where the city outskirts give way to the countryside. Consisting of a stately 18th century house, a series of individual gardens divided and walled in by hedges of greenery, as well as 15 acres of woodland surrounding the walled gardens, Greenbank Garden invites all to take a stroll through nature at its very best.
Built in 1763 by Glasgow merchant Robert Allason, Greenbank Gardens changed hands a number of times during the following two centuries, until in 1962 it was bought by W.P. Blyth. Together with his wife, Blyth transformed the fruit and vegetable gardens into the ornamental gardens currently enjoyed by thousands of visitors each year. In 1976, Blyth handed over the house and the entire 16 acre estate to the National Trust for Scotland.
Passing through the tall stone gates leading to the walled garden, visitors can stroll through the various gardens, enjoying the colors and fragrances and perhaps gathering ideas to use in their own gardens. Among the favorites is the topiary area, featuring a gigantic rabbit sitting up on its hind legs and eating a carrot. The neatly clipped anniversary borders commemorate the thirty years that the National Trust for Scotland has had ownership of Greenbank Garden, as well as the twenty-five years that the Friends of Greenbank have been supporting the upkeep of these exquisite gardens. A large circular pond with water spurting over a water nymph in the centre, adds the tranquil sound of running water to the beauty of the surroundings. Continuing through the gardens visitors will come across a greenhouse filled with flourishing plants, as well as an unusual sundial, summer, winter and spring gardens, and an autumn walk.
There are more than 3,700 named species of plants thriving at Greenbank, including close to 450 different species of Narcissus and an extensive collection of Bergenias. Promoted as an educational garden, Greenbank Garden has a trials area for assessing the suitability of various ornamental plants for the Scottish climate. Depending on the time of year, Greenbank Garden showcases apple and cherry blossom, aubretia, deutzia, saxifrages, astilbe, dicentra, hydrangeas, primulas, roses, dahlias, philadelphus, azalea, rhododendron, crocosmia, phlox, lythrum, cosmos, sedum, lavatera, helenium, monarda and sweet William. A tea-room next to the garden is operated by the National Trust, and visitors can make use of the tea-room’s comprehensive encyclopedia of plants to identify specimens they are not familiar with. To the east of the walled garden, visitors can enjoy a woodland walk through the surrounding area, which is particularly lovely in spring when hundreds of daffodils are in bloom.
A visit to Greenbank Garden can be an enjoyable activity for the entire family, and if you happen to be there when experts are giving practical demonstrations of gardening techniques, you are likely to pick up some very helpful tips for your own garden – and to motivate you even further, plants are on sale to the public.