Stroll Through the Beatrix Potter Garden in Birnam
Situated in the Perthshire village of Birnam, the Beatrix Potter Garden pays tribute to the 19th century author and illustrator of children’s books that continue to entertain little ones around the world today. Her stories have been retold in ballet, song, film, and animation, and her instantly recognizable characters and their woodland surroundings appear on countless items of merchandise. Visitors to the Beatrix Potter Garden will recognize many, if not all, the sculptured characters scattered throughout the beautifully maintained and tranquil grounds.
Born in London in 1866 to Rupert and Helen Potter, Beatrix was educated at home, while her younger brother Walter went to boarding school. Her childhood has been described as lonely, and she spent a great deal of time with her pets, particularly her rabbits Peter and Benjamin. Her family spent winters in London and summers in the country. Between the ages of 5 and 15 years, Beatrix spent summers with her family at Dalguise House in Perthshire, just five miles from Birnam. Her parents were among the supporters of the building of the Birnam Institute, a community centre for entertainment and education which was opened on 29 September 1883. The Beatrix Potter Garden is located in the grounds to the rear of the Birnam Institute.
After passing through the wrought iron archway with the words “Beatrix Potter Garden” flanked by Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny overhead, visitors can enjoy a stroll along pathways listening to birds twittering in the trees, stop off at the pond and enjoy the view with Mr Jeremy Fisher, or search out Mr Tod the Fox near his home, as well as Mrs Tiggy Winkle and Peter Rabbit and his friends in other areas of the garden.
The pavilion at the center of the garden contains displays with information about Beatrix Potter and various aspects of the garden, while the Birnam Institute has an exhibition of the author’s works and characters. There are also a series of interactive areas for children visiting the exhibition. An 18th century pillar originally located at Dalguise House, where the Potter family spent some of their summers in Scotland, is also on display.