Walled and Landscape – David Roberts, Woodfall Gardens
The eighteenth century walled garden stands in a long tradition, dating back to Persian civilisation, with variants in Greece, Rome and the mediaeval monastic garden. By the middle of the eighteenth century, it was recognised that the microclimate of a walled garden provided the opportunity for skilled gardeners to produce fruit and vegetables throughout the year and the walled garden became part of the establishment of the landed estate. The area around Whithorn has at least seven gardens larger than 1 acre (0.4 Ha) existing in some form and three of these can be visited.
Galloway House Gardens at Garlieston is open from March to October. The historic gardens were created in 1740 by Lord Garlies, the eldest son of the 5th Earl of Galloway. His successor, the 7th Earl, was one of the great improvers of eighteenth century Galloway, planted extensively, made enclosures, and built farm buildings and cottages.. The 4.5 acres (1.8 Ha) walled garden is now used for soft fruit production, and the surrounding woodland still contains many specimen trees, including a rare example of Davidia, the “handkerchief” tree.
Woodfall Gardens at Glasserton is historically linked with Galloway House. Originally known as Glasserton House Gardens, they were laid out by Keith Stewart, the sixth son of the 6th Earl of Galloway and uncle to the improving 7th Earl, between 1767 and 1790, as part of a plan to create of parkland and elegant farm buildings round the House. The garden walls, comprising an estimated 1.5 million hand-made bricks, enclose an area of about 3 acres. Despite some decline after World War II, remains of the arbour, the greenhouses and vinery, the hollow walls and boiler room can be seen. Over the past two decades, the slow process of revitalising the garden has been in progress.
Monreith House Gardens, just outside the village of Monreith, today consist of woodland and more formal gardens, clustering round the White Loch of Myrton. Despite some neglect in the twentieth century, the gardens are remarkable for containing traces of mediaeval, eighteenth century and nineteenth century gardens. Sir Herbert Maxwell ( 1845-1937) was in correspondence with the leading plant hunters and plantsmen of his day, and also wrote extensively on plants and trees, as well as being a noted flower painter.
Dumfries & Galloway possesses some of the loveliest gardens in Scotland, both large and small, along with a wide range of specialist nurseries which, together provide a mecca for the garden lover. The Dumfries and Galloway Gardens and Nurseries Association was formed to promote the gardens and nurseries of Dumfries and Galloway for the benefit of visitors and the local economy, and all our member gardens and nurseries are represented in this site – www.scotlands-garden.org.uk.