Gardening in the highest villages in Scotland, at around 1500 feet, has its challenges, especially cold winds which burn much in their path. The growing season is short and the soil poor. Despite all this, our gardeners have created three delightful gardens: an ecological garden of 'rooms' dedicated to wildlife, a miniature village garden and a colourful imaculate one. The villages also boast the world's first working mans' library instituted in 1741.
Old Manse Wild Garden (NEW)
Old Manse, Wanlockhead, Biggar ML12 6UR (Callum Gough): Gardening at 1530 feet is not easy but this fascinating garden is exceptional. Extending to about one acre, it is divided into many intriguing and sometimes quirky rooms, each one very different from the next and hugely biodiverse. The owner has an interest in permaculture and the garden is dedicated to providing habitats for wildlife (the entire ecosystem for some species), in particular amphibians and all types of insects including butterflies and bees. The butterfly garden should not be missed during the late summer through into autumn, but the plantings designed to attract wildlife and the rest of the garden provide a highly enjoyable visit throughout the year.
Teddywood Bear Village (NEW)
104, Main Street, Leadhills ML12 6XR (Lee Gilmore): A quirky hillside garden featuring the homes of the Leadhills bears, paying homage to the many famous sons of Leadhills. This miniature village has been cleverly designed to incorporate paths, flowers and natural hillside mosses to great effect.
The Musical Plants Garden
106 Main Street, Leadhills ML12 6XR (John McClafferty): In excess of a hundred containers packed with colour and inspiring planting give a stunning first impression of this garden. The hillside behind the cottage has been lovingly tended to make the most of its contours. There are few surprises to be found here.
Leave M74 at Junction 13 and follow signs to Abington, through the village signposted Leadhills. From Sanquhar/Thornhill on A76 take turn near Mennock signposted Wanlockhead. Buses available from Sanquhar and Lanark.
These gardens are not suitable for people with limited mobility. Stout shoes recommended. The Mining Museum in Wanlockhead has a visitors' mine and Visitor Centre.