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Please check with garden owners or their website to confirm current dates open
1st Apr - 31st Oct; daily; 10am - 5pm.
Coaches by appointment, limited parking
SGS day 5th May
rhododendrons, trillium, primula, alpines, peat walls
Adult £6.25; Concession £5.00; Family £16.50; Family (1parent) £11.25
NTS, NT & RHS members free on wednesdays.
Car Park Free.
Limited facilities for the disabled. Event: Meconopsis Day 26th May 2013 .
The most intensively cultivated 2 acre garden in Scotland
Collection of primulas, alpines and rhododendrons
Rock gardens and scree beds
Meconopsis, Cassiope. Preliminary Lily collection.
Isle of Skye Hotel Kinnaird
Let's Eat, Perth
The Bein Inn, Glenfarg, (4m S. of Perth)
Scone Palace - 4 miles away
Caithness Glass Workshop
Bell's Cherrybank garden - 3 miles
There were three major influences which helped Dorothy and John Renton to channel their ideas and to produce a garden of international acclaim. First, there was their clear interest in the Sino-Himalayan flora: for example, the receipt of 200 packets of seed from the Ludlow and Sherriff expeditions, collected in the wilds of south-east Tibet and Bhutan. Second, their enthusiasm for complementary plant associations, perhaps influenced by the ideas of Gertrude Jekyll. The third influence which transformed much of the later development at the south end of the garden was the concept of peat-wall gardening. This was conceived at Logan House in the 1920s by building mini-terraces with turfs. The concept was taken up by the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh in the 1930s but, instead of using turf, with its inherent creeping grass problem, peat blocks were used and this new method of gardening developed in parallel at Branklyn. The peat-wall areas are a historic component in both gardens and remain a feature, displaying many unusual, acid-loving plants. Alterations and new developments and, above all, new plant introductions continued through the Rentons' lifetime.
Branklyn Garden contains a spectacular rock garden and scree beds, narrow winding paths and stunning groups of rhododendrons, birches, maples and dwarf conifers giving the feel of a Himalayan hillside. The peat walls with rhododendrons, Nomocharis, Notholirion and Cassiope (of which Branklyn holds the National Collection), Meconopsis, Primula, Trillium, Phyllodoce, Kalmia, Vaccinium and Gaultheria. The garden is at its best from April through to July and again in the autumn for the spectacular autumn colour.
Branklyn Garden was the creation of two people: Dorothy & John Renton. In 1922 they bought a small area of orchard in Perth and built the house in which they were to live for the rest of their lives. At first the garden was very srnall and extended for a short distance to the south of the house.Their initial gardening was confined to producing shelter and privacy for the house and creating a pleasant atmosphere in which to live. However, within a few years the site was enlarged to its present size of just under two acres. The extra land had also been an orchard and two of the old Carse of Gowrie varieties of pear remain and flourish.
The beginnings of the Rock garden were arduous, involving workmen with crowbars and a steam engine which lumbered down the hill bringing the largest stones one at a time from the now disused Kinnoull Hill Quarry. After this extra help in the early stages, the Rentons and their gardener did the rest of the work themselves. In the late 1940s the scree beds were made on the recommendation of the great rock gardener Reginald Farrer, and consisted of five parts Tay River gravel to one part of loam, with a surface of pure gravel chips.
Dorothy and John Renton were foremost in the cultivation of rare and exciting plants and it is now the policy of the National Trust for Scotland to continue that tradition and to keep Branklyn a plantsman's garden. Dorothy Renton died in 1966 and John the following year. He generously bequeathed the house and garden to the National Trust for Scotland, and in 1968 the Trust formally accepted the responsibility of caring for this very special garden.