The recent renovation of the Walled Garden has restored to the Estate a vitality long since forgotten. A fascinating collection of mature shrubs and plants are now well established and the original splendour of the Walled Garden is becoming evident once again.
The gardens at Dunskey have a friendly atmosphere and charm all of their own. Visitors can explore the walled garden using the wide gravel paths and broad lawns to enjoy a garden full of plants both familiar and unusual. The sloping site means that there are a number of different micro- climates throughout the garden and these are reflected within the planting.
The jewel in the walled garden has to be the range of 19 century glasshouses. These are used for growing Peaches, Nectarines, Grapes and exotics such as the tropical looking Passiflora antioquiensis.
The developing woodland gardens lead off from the walled garden and include some lovely loch views. The woodland gardens are probably at their best in late spring and early summer when the Rhodedendrons are matched by carpets of Bluebells and other wild flowers.
Every Wednesday at 11.30am there is a gardener’s tour with Gaby (entrance fee applies)
Try out the wonderful Dunskey Maze!
This is great fun for children of all ages.
A selection of homegrown plants from the garden are for sale at the Garden entrance.
Garden Groups to Gardens of Galloway
Stay in DUNSKEY COUNTRY COTTAGES – 1 single, 3 twins, 3 doubles and a further double and 2 twins available; larger groups please contact us. Evening meals can be delivered to the cottages and there are a variety of eateries in Portpatrick. The Gardens of Galloway are within 12 miles and there others further afield. For non gardening group members there are golf courses and magnificent walking.
Like other contemporary gardens Dunskey was built to serve a country house. Pleasure grounds and paths radiated across the estate while the walled garden provided fruit and vegetables. And, like so many other historic gardens, Dunskey fell into disrepair.
In the late 1990’s the decision was made to bring the garden back as a pleasure garden. The walled garden was ploughed up and new paths and hedges laid out. The glasshouses were renovated and brought back to life. Over the years the plant collection has been built up, and today’s visitors find it hard to believe that the rejuvenated garden is only ten years old.
The maze is a new feature and is believed to be the first hedge maze planted in South West Scotland. It’s great fun for anyone with a bit of energy to run off – or visitors can simply pick a bench, relax, and listen to the birdsong.
In late winter the Snowdrops lighten the short days and are followed by Primulas and Rhodedendrons in all their flamboyant colours. Summer belongs to the traditional herbaceous plants and scented Roses, whilst late summer and autumn brings the exotic flowers in the glasshouses and rich autumn tints on the trees and shrubs. Of particular interest at Dunskey is the National Collection of Clianthus, Nicotiana and Sutherlandia. These southern hemisphere plants are at their very best in April and are forming the basis for a National Collection.
Built originally by Mackenzie & Moncur, these fine examples of 19th century garden architecture house a selection of exotic plants, shrubs and fruit. The glasshouses are increasingly rare examples of garden architecture. They are constructed from timber and cast iron. Although beautiful this method of construction is very time consuming and expensive to maintain. As a result most gardens have either demolished their Victorian and Edwardian glasshouses, or replaced them with aluminium structures.
The glasshouses at Dunskey are in desperate need of conservation in order to preserve an important part of our working past. However Dunskey does not have the resources to undertake a major restoration project without help. Can you help us to secure important pieces of Scottish heritage and save them for future generations to enjoy?
See here for more information about how you can help.
Dunskey is famous for its wonderful snowdrops and opens each year in February for The Snowdrop Festival in conjunction with Scotland’s Gardens Scheme. See more here.