SCOTLAND has the best public gardens in the UK with one that aims to save plant species threatened with extinction top of the pile, according to new consumer research.

A public vote has placed Logan Botanic Garden, at Port Logan near Stranraer, one of the four Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh sites which is home to some of the world's rarest plants, as a clear number one in the study.

And half of the best ten are in Scotland with Dawyck Botanic Garden at Stobo in the Scottish Borders, another of the RBGE sites and famous for some of Britain’s oldest and tallest trees coming joint second with an 89% score along with Coleton Fishacre House and Gardens in Devon.

The RGBE owned Benmore Botanic Garden near Dunoon, Argyll, whose features include the Redwood Avenue of Giant Sequoias planted in 1863, large square walled gardens, a waterfall, a fernery and ponds finished joint third. It got a score of 88% along with RHS Garden in Rosemore, Devon and Trebah Garden in Cornwall.

The online survey of over 6000 across the UK in March and April conducted by the consumer organisation Which? judged nearly 100 gardens on attractiveness, value for money, staff helpfulness, lack of crowds, level of information, food and drink, facilities and accessibility.



Logan Botanic Garden got a sweep of five stars across every category to be named the best in Britain with a 93% score.

It has been able to reopen this spring after being badly hit in February as water poured across plant beds.

The Wigtownshire garden, which dates back to 1869 and was gifted to the nation a century later, is home to 120 species that are threatened with extinction out of about 2,500 species in total.

Known as Scotland's most exotic garden, Logan is described as a tropical paradise where visitors can walk through groves of eucalyptus and palm trees or stand in the shade of awesome giant rhubarb-like Gunnera plants.

It usually enjoys an "almost subtropical climate" in the south-west tip of Scotland and is renowned for its collection of plants not normally seen growing outside so far north.

They were put at risk when the heavens opened on February 4 and it recorded some of the highest rainfall of any part of the UK.

It provoked a major repairs operation over the following weeks to prepare for the return of visitors.

Which said that much of its horticultural success of the garden on the the south-western tip of Scotland was "down to the mildness of its almost subtropical microclimate".



"Located in the middle of a narrow strip of land surrounded by sea, the garden is protected by shelter belts that allow tender plants, which wouldn’t ordinarily survive in the UK, to thrive."

The sweep of Scottish success in the top ten continued with the National Trust for Scotland's most northerly heritage garden Inverewe Garden in Wester Ross finishing joint fourth with a score of 86% along with the original 72-acre Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh.

They were joined by two Welsh gardens, Aberglasney in Carmarthenshire and Powis Castle and Garden in Powys. Created in 1862 by Osgood Mackenzie, Inverewe covers some 50 acres and is world renowned for the breadth of its collection of trees, plants and flowers.

Rory Boland, Which travel editor said: "While our survey highlights there are great gardens to be enjoyed across the UK, it speaks to Scotland's beautiful scenery that half of the UK's top 10 gardens are north of the border. Whether you want to admire plants rarely found in the UK in Logan Botanic Garden or the dramatic mountainous landscape of Benmore, Scotland's gardens are sure to leave a lasting impression."



After spending so much time at home recently, many of us will be looking for places to enjoy the great outdoors, especially as temperatures rise over the summer months.

"A trip to a garden could be the perfect escape then, providing an opportunity to soak up some nature and surround yourself with beautiful landscapes and exotic plants and flowers for a few hours."

The ten

Logan Botanic Garden, Dumfries and Galloway
Coleton Fishacre House and Gardens, Devon
Dawyck Botanic Garden, Scottish Borders.
Benmore Botanic Garden, Argyll and Bute
RHS Garden Rosemoor, Devon
Trebah Garden, Cornwall
Aberglasney Gardens, Camarthernshire
nverewe Garden, Highlands
Powis Castle and Garden, Powys
Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh