Scotland’s Gardens Scheme was founded in 1931 to raise money for the Queen’s Nursing Institute Scotland. The Institute has been generously supported by garden owners and visitors in Scotland’s communities ever since. Today QNIS is one of four beneficiaries of the scheme, receiving a share of the funds raised by the scheme each year. QNIS uses this funding to directly support Scotland’s community nurses and midwives so they can be agents for health improvement and catalysts for social changes.
Together, we can drive positive action. Charities working together to make Scotland’s communities Healthier, Kinder, Fairer, and Greener.
If you have a garden in your workplace or one you would like to open for charity, Scotland’s Gardens Scheme would love to hear about it – send a picture and story to email@example.com
Visit the Scotland’s Gardens Scheme website for details of the full array of gardens on offer in 2023: https://scotlandsgardens.org/
A message from Scotland’s Gardens Scheme Chief Executive, Liz Stewart:
In years gone by, gardening was a skill that many – at least those fortunate enough to have access to a garden – gained at the knees of their parents, along with cooking. My grandfather, raised as a highland crofter then moved as a young man to a Paisley tenement, fed his family from his shared backgreen, and my earliest memory of him and of gardening is cutting giant cabbages from his plot for dinner. These past memories influence present behaviour but if you haven’t grown up with access to gardens, visiting private gardens through Scotland’s Gardens Scheme is a wonderful way to gain inspiration from real gardens and real gardeners.
The act of gardening
The act of gardening itself can be an antidote to the stress and pressures of daily life, while the benefits of getting moving and keeping fit through gardening tasks are all now well documented. It’s official, gardening is good for you! But gardens and gardening are worth so much more than just the physical benefits when it comes to wellbeing.
Through our garden opening season, we ask our volunteers, garden owners, and visitors what they like about sharing and visiting gardens and the answers come back quite consistently; it’s as much about the people they meet and the connections they make, as about the gardens. Volunteers and visitors alike tell us they enjoy the feeling of community, of meeting lovely, like-minded people, catching up with old friends, and meeting new ones. The infectious enthusiasm of the passionate gardener is often a highlight as is the opportunity to share gardening tips. A visit to a first-time open garden in Conon Bridge this year was a great example of this. Enticed by the promise of delphiniums grown north of Inverness, I was impressed not only by the quality of the blooms but also by the wealth of gardening tips generously shared by the owner, a retired professional grower. A relative newcomer to the area, the open day was not just a chance to share the garden and raise funds for charity but also an opportunity to get to know the neighbours. A garden open day can create a sense of belonging and of being part of a family, and there is no doubt that there is something special about being invited into a private garden, being welcomed and looked after – often with tea and cakes! One garden has regularly welcomed a returning daughter and her mother with dementia, who value a quiet space to be safe and spend time together. There is also that sense of giving something back, by raising valuable funds for charity but also by bringing such enjoyment to others – and what could be nicer than doing that through gardens?