Opening a fantastic selection of gardens across Scotland to raise money for hundreds of charities
3 birds

Virtual Garden Tours 2020: An Intimate Look into our Gardens

So many people took to their gardens over the depths of Lockdown, and our Garden Openers were certainly among them. A common remark was… ‘My garden never looked so good, with not a weed in site. Too bad no one can see it’. Well, gardeners are the ultimate optimists, and our community proved this when they worked out how to beat this challenge. Armed with their mobile phones or digital cameras, maybe a friend, and even a few with a drone… our Garden Openers prepared video tours of their gardens. And what a treat these have been!

Jean’s tour of Hunter’s Tryst

Launching our new YouTube Channel on 6th April, and with virtually (pun intended) no experience with videos, we now have 125 virtual garden videos and nearly 250 subscribers to our channel. With 28.7K views and 1.5K watch time hours, we are astounded by everyone’s support. Having missed the peak of our opening season, we also hoped (and continue to hope) to raise additional charity funds and are pleased that these videos have, to date, raised £2.5K through donations from our viewers. 

The garden videos vary so much which is a fantastic part of the appeal, each bearing the creativity of the maker. In some the gardener speaks and walks the viewer around the garden, in others the walk is silent but for the bird song, some with music and even a couple with drone footage.

Here are just a few highlights…

Lucy shows her garden at House of Aigas

Jean Knox, from Hunter’s Tryst has provided monthly updates of her Edinburgh garden over April-July, highlighting the changes over the season. Lucy Lister-Kaye walks us around her Highland garden, House of Aigas, bursting with wildlife. Stella and David Rankin, with their Chelsea award winning nursery, share their Midlothian garden, Kevock. And Julia Young walks us around her very unique garden, South Flisk, built around an old quarry in Fife. Artist, Ann Fraser, provides a tour of her East Lothian garden, Shepherd House, showing us the inspiration for some of her work. And Rae Renwick, not planning to open this year couldn’t resist but show us her lovely Edinburgh garden at 19 Gardiner Road. And for a different perspective, Duntreath Castle video is entirely aerial drone view, and Thirlestane also includes drone footage.

We had many new gardens set to open for the first time this year whose efforts were thwarted by the Lockdown, and several sent us videos of their gardens including: Gardyne Castle in Angus, Heatherwick Farm in Aberdeenshire, Garth House in Renfrewshire and 3 Burgie Mains in Moray & Nairn. And even a few villages did not want to miss their opportunity to provide a virtual look into their stunning rural settings, including Kilry Village in the Angus Glens, Gifford Village located in East Lothian, and Yetholm Village in Roxburghshire.

Eilidh’s Bug Hotel

And finally, a very special treat during this period had been when we celebrated National Children’s Gardening week in late May, featuring children’s activity videos, with several starring our community’s children and grandchildren. Please don’t miss Eilidh creating a bug hotel, her cousin Megan adding a live roof for her bird house, Matilda showing how to make a Kokodama and Lotte how to make a beautiful Jar-din.

These highlights are just a taster, there are so many more videos on our website and YouTube Channel. We encourage you to watch, and of course would be grateful for your donation towards our charity fundraising.