Malleny Garden

Balerno, Edinburgh, EH14 7AF

Tucked away in a tranquil space to the south west of Edinburgh, the Four Evangelists stand silently watching over their garden. Fine old yews, they have stood proudly for over 400 years, surveying the everchanging landscape, their other eight siblings sadly now gone.

The story goes that twelve yew trees known as ‘The Twelve Apostles’ were planted in Malleny Garden in the early 17th century to commemorate the union of the crowns of Scotland and England. These magnificent Taxus baccata yews were neatly clipped into fine specimens. Today, only four of these yews – the ‘Four Evangelists’ – remain.

The current formal structure of the garden was laid out in the mid to late 19th century. The modern planting within the borders is a riot of colourful herbaceous plants. Flowering shrubs and roses spill out over the paths, encouraging visitors to take a meandering walk amongst the foliage. Wooden benches and stone seats are dotted throughout the garden for guests to rest and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.

Roses are a highlight of Malleny Garden. Visitors can see an impressive 150 varieties of rose specially chosen to grow in Scotland’s cooler weather, with around 50 of them encompassing a National Collection of 19th century shrub roses. Climbing and rambling roses cover the walls and scramble through the trees. Come June, the garden is filled with the amazing perfume of these many old roses. A mixture of large Philadelphus (Mock orange), Geraniums and various herbs all add to the heady summer fragrance of the garden.

The two old Victorian glasshouses display a lovely range of tender plants chosen to provide colourful displays throughout the year, and in Autumn the grape vine provides an abundance of tasty grapes.

But still they stand, silently watching for the centuries to come, the Four Evangelists waiting to be joined by their offspring so they can be twelve fine old yews watching over their garden once again.


Telephone: 0131 665 1546

Opening times: Open all year, 10.00-17.00 (or dusk if earlier)

Admission costs: Free to NTS members, Adults £3.50, Concessions £2.50, Family £9.00