Opening a fantastic selection of gardens across Scotland to raise money for hundreds of charities
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An Overview of Scotland's Gardens Scheme


Scotland’s Gardens Scheme (SGS) raises money for charity by encouraging, promoting and supporting garden openings, whilst making the whole experience inspiring, rewarding and enjoyable for all involved. We are a SCIO (Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation) regulated by OSCR, No. SC049866, and our President is the Duchess of Rothesay.


SGS has about 200 Organiser Volunteers, who are there to guide you through the process of opening your garden for charity. Scotland is divided into 23 Districts each run by a District Organiser(s) who is supported by Area Organisers. District and Area Organisers are responsible for selecting gardens to open and ensuring those gardens have all the support needed for a successful event. District Volunteers also assist in promoting and marketing their programme of garden openings, helped by SGS Office staff, who also publicise and arrange for promotional materials to be printed and distributed. The Office staff include a National Organiser, Office Manager and Marketing Manager, while a Board of Trustees oversees the charity’s financial performance and strategic vision.

Each District also has its own Treasurer, who is responsible for the collection of open garden takings and for sending remittances to the charity(s) nominated by the person(s) opening their garden (the Garden Opener) as well as to Head Office for the beneficiaries.


Since 2018, 60% of the garden gate takings can be designated for the Garden Opener’s nominated charity(s). This recent change reflects SGS’s commitment to support Scotland’s local communities and the concerns of its Garden Openers. Each year more than 200 different charities benefit, many of these small and local. It is then from the remaining funds raised and enhanced by donations, sponsorship and advertising revenues that the administrative costs of SGS are deducted; after that, the balance of funds is distributed to SGS’s selected Beneficiaries; The Queen’s Nursing Institute Scotland, Perennial and Maggie’s Centres. Since we were founded in 1931, SGS has raised almost £7 million for charity.


You will join a long tradition of helping your community through both charitable funding and the pleasure of enabling the public to visit beautiful gardens. SGS are looking for all types of gardens of horticultural interest – not only large and small gardens, allotments, villages and kitchen gardens but also those with snowdrops, autumn colours and interesting winter walks, etc.

You will also benefit from our 90 years of experience in opening gardens and will receive our promotional support, which includes individual listing:

  • In our Guidebook (10,000 copies distributed each year)

  • On our website (

  • On free flyers and calendars within your District and area

Other invaluable material includes:

  • Posters for your opening, available in a variety of sizes.

  • Various road signage (arrows and banners) to advertise your opening day.

  • Signs for within your garden and other materials to support the actual opening.

  • Donation collection buckets or cans.

Promotion on social and print media:

  • Facebook (corporate and local), Twitter, Instagram and YouTube

  • In our monthly e-news

  • In press releases, partner blog pages, editorial features, what’s on listings and other media-generated articles.

  • Invitations to special social and other events

  • SGS conference attended by Garden Openers and Volunteers. The format includes a morning of workshops, lunch, and talks from supported charities, the presentation of annual awards and an address by a guest speaker.

  • Private openings and social events with other Garden Openers.

  • Biennial regional meeting get-togethers.

  • Special festivals and/or celebrations.


If you would like to know more about volunteering your garden for charity, visit our website, email us, write to our Head Office Scotland’s Gardens Scheme, 23 Castle Street, Edinburgh EH2 3DN or call us on 0131 226 3714.