Visitors can explore the walled garden using the wide gravel paths and broad lawns to enjoy a garden full of plants both familiar and unusual. The sloping site means that there are a number of different micro-climates throughout the garden and these are reflected within the planting. The jewel in the walled garden has to be the range of 19 century glasshouses. These are used for growing Peaches, Nectarines, Grapes and exotics such as the tropical looking Passiflora antioquiensis.
The woodland gardens are probably at their best in late spring and early summer when the Rhododendrons are matched by carpets of Bluebells and other wild flowers.
The maze is a new feature and is believed to be the first hedge maze planted in South West Scotland.
Like other contemporary gardens Dunskey was built to serve a country house. Pleasure grounds and paths radiated across the estate while the walled garden provided fruit and vegetables. And, like so many other historic gardens, Dunskey fell into disrepair.
In the late 1990's the decision was made to bring the garden back as a pleasure garden. The walled garden was ploughed up and new paths and hedges laid out. The glasshouses were renovated and brought back to life. Over the years the plant collection has been built up, and today's visitors find it hard to believe that the rejuvenated garden is only ten years old.
There are too many to choose from! In late winter the Snowdrops lighten the short days and are followed by Primulas and Rhododendrons in all their flamboyant colours. Summer belongs to the traditional herbaceous plants and scented Roses, whilst late summer and autumn brings the exotic flowers in the glasshouses and rich autumn tints on the trees and shrubs. Of particular interest at Dunskey is the collection of Clianthus and Sutherlandia. These southern hemisphere plants are at their very best in April and are forming the basis for a National Collection.
Portpatrick, Stranraer, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland, DG9 8TJ
Early April to late October. Daily. Open 10am to 5pm. Also open weekends from end January for Snowdrop Festival.