Kirklands House

Bridge Street


Fife KY12 9TS


Paradise reclaimed

When passionate gardeners, Peter and Gill Hart, moved into Kirklands House, they inherited two acres of overgrown gardens and 20 acres of woodland. At that time the gardens had suffered from long-term neglect but today, more than 40 years later the gardens have been transformed, yet the Harts are still finding steps and other hidden features beneath the tangle of exuberant growth that lies on this sloping site above the Saline Burn.

The moist soil, fed by springs running off Saline Hill, has proved ideal conditions for many different kinds of plants and those that were already growing here have been added to with improved varieties or new species until almost every inch of the formal gardens are now cultivated. In May the woodland areas are carpeted in bluebells, which add both colour and fragrance.

Close to the house is a rockery, lawns and flower beds, which are filled with tulips, followed in summer by sunflowers.

The walled garden, which was once a pony pasture, is now terraced and its raised beds provide a succession of home-grown produce, with more still being raised in a polytunnel. There are herbs too and the espaliered apple trees, which grow against the south-facing walls, include several heritage varieties. In spring these trees are covered in blossom.

Kirklands was built in 1832, but it stands on the site of an older house and so the gardens here have been cultivated for centuries. The soil continues to be improved, thanks to a major composting regime that sees prunings, grass cuttings and autumn leaves collected and turned into a rich organic material that is returned to the garden.


Damp delights

The Bog Garden is filled with lush planting, including colourful Candelabra primulas and a huge collection of Hostas, ranging in size from ‘Mouse Ears’, which is just a few centimetres tall, to ‘Jade Cascade’, which reaches a metre in height.

Pulmonarias, yellow and white varieties of Marsh Marigold, Ligularias and Darmera peltata appear in succession. Meconopsis grow in abundance and their numbers multiply every year.

The bog garden at Kirklands is unusual in that it lies on a slope, but it is constantly damp thanks to the springs that run beneath it providing a constant source of moisture for marginal plants.


Ancient woodland

The woodlands at Kirklands date back 10,000 years and they  are naturally regenerating, filled with the same oak, ash, birch and holly that has always grown here. Wildflowers appear beneath the trees before the canopy closes over and part of the path through the woods runs alongside an old mill lade.

In the woodland garden closer to the house, a collection of 80 different ferns flourishes.


Charity opening 

Kirlands has been opening its gates for charity as part of Scotland’s Gardens Scheme for 30 years and this year’s opening will take place on Sunday 21 May. Some of the proceeds from ticket sales will help to fund an archaeological dig taking place at Saline Old Graveyard, which lies at the bottom of the garden.


Plant sales

Every year Peter and Gill propagate hundreds of new plants from amongst the meconopsis, trilliums, primulas and other species that grow in the garden and these are available from the plant sales area.



The gardens are open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 2pm until 4.30pm

Tickets £5

Saline lies on the B913. Parking at Kirklands is limited, so visitors should park in the centre of the village and walk the 200 metres to the house.

Tel: 07557 094498


In association with