Relax in the Beautiful Glenwhan Gardens

The exquisite 12-acre Glenwhan Gardens are located on the hills above the picturesque village of Dunragit, about 6 miles south of Stranraer in Scotland. Glenwhan Gardens is a treasure trove of natural beauty just waiting to be explored. Including two lochs, a wilderness area with a pond and plenty of wildlife, as well as a tearoom serving delicious home-made cuisine, a visit to these beautiful gardens is a welcome break for tourists and locals alike.

In the late 1970s, when Tessa and Bill Knot moved to the area with their young family after buying a farmhouse and 103 acres of land sight-unseen, they found a flock of pigeons and a herd of cattle occupying the house they were to call home. The land around them was a wilderness of rock, bracken and gorse – beautiful, but wild. The house had to be rebuilt and making a garden was not high on the Knott family’s list of priorities.

After a visit to Logan Botanic Gardens and Tresco on the Isles of Scilly, Tessa was inspired to tackle the task of gardening. A 12-acre area around the house was fenced off and a shelter of deciduous trees and mixed conifers was planted as a barrier against the ever present wind. Two lochs were dug out and a series of small ponds were formed, linking the top of the garden where water was seeping through the ground down to the lochs, creating a stunning water garden. The lochs have been stocked with Koi carp and brown trout that can be seen lazily swimming around.

Taking into account the ph level and climate, clearing and planting began. The ground in the area is rocky and the soil is shallow and poor, so rock had to be removed from each hole and replaced with compost, manure and fertilizer to give the new plants the best possible chance to thrive. Much of the gorse in the area was retained at first as a protection for the new plants and as the plants grew, the gorse was removed. Now, twenty-two years on, the garden has established its own microclimate with the result being that many plants from all over the southern hemisphere flourish. The original trees planted for shelter are forming a proper wind barrier allowing for more delicate plants to thrive, further enhancing the beauty of the gardens.

When Tessa Knott started out with her project of creating a garden from the wilderness around her, she decided to allow nature to be her guide. Anyone visiting the Glenwhan Gardens in Scotland will agree that this is nature at its best.