Dunvegan Garden scoops RHS award

DUNVEGAN Castle & Gardens has been selected as this year’s top Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) partner garden in Scotland.

The RHS said that the award recognised the “sizeable investment, hard work, and passion” that has gone into the five acres of formal and semi-formal gardens since 1978.

Estate director Hugh MacLeod, who is also his clan’s chief, said: “When I took over the management of Dunvegan Castle & Gardens in 2008, I didn’t know much about plants or flowers, but I did have a love of gardens and their design.

“It has been exciting to work with our fantastic team of dedicated gardeners and external contractors on all these major projects to produce the desired ‘wow’ factor, and to continue building on my late father’s legacy.

“Forty-four years of investment, effort, sympathetic yet innovative design work and care have made Dunvegan Castle’s gardens what they are today: a continually evolving and beautiful testament to the commitment, skill and vision of all the talented people involved over the decades.”

He added: “As any gardener will know, a garden does not stand still, and our future plans include improved accessibility, new paths and planting schemes, an annual sculpture exhibition, more interactive educational experiences for children, a wildflower meadow and enhanced visitor interpretation.

“We are proud to have proved the mother of the 23rd chief wrong when she told Dr Samuel Johnson in 1773 that ‘there was not and never could be a good garden at Dunvegan’.”

Head gardener Úna Craven added: “Gardening at Dunvegan Castle & Gardens brings an interesting and satisfying combination of challenges, be it the unpredictable Highland climate with its high rainfall or the windy conditions and shallow soil; yet the team manage to maintain and enhance this beautiful garden oasis by combining bulbs, herbaceous perennials, shrubs and trees in a very special heritage setting.

“It is an honour to the receive this RHS award.”

Read more news on Scottish Field’s gardens pages.

Plus, don’t miss the gardens at Teasses in Fife in the December issue of Scottish Field magazine.