Opening a fantastic selection of gardens across Scotland to raise money for hundreds of charities
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Meet Our Trustees

Scotland’s Gardens Scheme is overseen by a Board of Trustees who oversee the charity’s financial performance and strategic vision. The trustees each bring their own expertise to the table.


Dougal Philip (Chairman - from April 2022)

A graduate of St Andrews University, Dougal began working as a landscape gardener before starting a garden centre, a business he has been in for over 40 years, New Hopetoun Gardens in West Lothian.  A past president of the Horticultural Trades Association, a Vice President of the Royal Horticultural Society, a past chair of Perennial now one of their Vice Presidents he has much experience of running charities.

Married to Lesley Watson, a past presenter of The Beechgrove Garden, they are both very keen gardeners and love visiting other gardens.  Chairing the trustees of Scotland’s Gardens Scheme will be an honour and a treat to be able to explore so many wonderful gardens across Scotland and meet so many passionate gardeners. Being able to use garden openings to raise funds for so many different charities is such a wonderful thing.


Sarah Landale (Deputy Chair)

Sarah is a District Organiser in Dumfriesshire. She and her husband open their garden at Dalswinton House.


Peter Yellowlees (Honorary Treasurer)

Peter was a partner in an independent firm of Chartered Accountants advising a wide range of individuals, businesses and charities in accounting, tax and audit matters. Having visited many of the amazing gardens opened on behalf of the charity over the past 40 years, he was delighted to become Honorary Treasurer of Scotland’s Gardens Scheme (SGS) in 2011. Peter oversees the financial running of the charity as well as our OSCR reporting.

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Colin Crosbie

Colin is a horticultural consultant based near Dumfries and has opened his garden at Dalswinton Mill for a number of years.  Colin has had a fascinating career in horticulture, including having been Head Gardener to Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother and Curator of the Royal Horticultural Society’s garden at Wisley.  Colin brings his horticultural passion, expertise and knowledge of the sector, as well as his experience as one of our Garden Owners and of working within charities.


Charlotte Hunt (Honorary Vice President)

Charlotte was brought up visiting gardens in the North of Scotland as her Mother was a District Organiser for Scotland’s Gardens Scheme for many years. Charlotte followed in her footsteps becoming an Area Organiser in Stirlingshire and went on to become Chairman of SGS for five years from 2002. Gardening is her favourite pastime and best form of relaxation. Char provides the Board with a historical perspective of our charity.


David Buchanan-Cook

David and his partner, Adrian, open their gardens at Helensbank (Kincardine) and at West End Cottage (Newburgh) under the SGS. David has also been SGS Treasurer for Fife since 2016 and Co-District Organiser since 2019. David’s professional background is in fraud and risk management, in both the private and public sectors. He is also a Trustee on the Board of Perennial - the UK’s Gardeners’ Benevolent Fund and is on the garden committee of York Gate Garden near Leeds. When not gardening, or visiting gardens, David's passions include music - he is the Director of Bel Canto and also composes choral music.


Stephen McCallum

Having changed career from architecture to horticulture, Stephen worked for 10 years as Head Gardener at The Beechgrove Garden before joining The MacRobert Trust as Head of Gardens. He manages the Trust’s ornamental and productive gardens and organises the annual SGS Douneside Gardens Open Day. He also manages the MacRobert Trust Horticultural Training Scheme and is proud of the growing MacRobert alumni of professional gardeners working across Scotland and beyond. He is a committee member of the Chartered Institute of Horticulture and brings an active interest in the Horticultural industry.


Charlotte Halliday

Charlotte balances her love of the natural world, including her enthusiasm for gardening, with running Noble Ox, a small brand and digital agency in Edinburgh. Sometimes, she's lucky enough to combine the two!

Jonathan Cobb Trustee

Jonathan Cobb

After serving in the Army, Jonathan spent nearly 30 years in the investment management industry running client portfolios. He is presently a full time writer and is pursuing his interest in history. He gardens in his spare time.


Helen McMeekin

After a career in charity fundraising, communications and events management, Helen discovered a passion for plants and gardening.  She is now studying Horticulture with Plantsmanship at RBGE/SRUC and has an interest in landscape horticulture, garden design history and plant collections. She hopes to combine her skills to support the work of SGS and is looking forward to meeting its Garden Openers, volunteers and visitors.  She lives in Glasgow where her own garden is a ‘work in progress’, and enjoys visiting Scotland’s fine array of gardens for inspiration.