This weekend there is another opportunity to see The Gardens of Blackcraig near Newton Stewart.
 
On Sunday two gardens, Herouncroft and Path Cottage, are open to the public this time to raise money for another children’s charity, this time it is ‘Mary’s Meals’.
 
The boardwalk at Herouncroft takes you through a woodland wonderland of gunnera, rhododendrons and tree ferns, and in the lower section, greenhouses are filled with Ian’s prize winning flowers and vegetables. The herbaceous borders have filled in considerably since the last open day four years ago and are at their best at this time of the year. The additional planting of a new gravel garden enhances the lawn in front of the house.
 
Path Cottage rhododendrons and azaleas continue to grow; the warm, wet summer has really suited them this year. A new set of stone steps makes it easier to access the top level of the woodland area where the Himalayan lily (cardiocrinum) has just finished flowering.
 
Hedgehogs still visit the garden but disappointingly none have taken up residence in the special wickerwork hedgehog house. Bumble bees were in their beehive underneath the red oak until recently but have decided to relocate and can still be seen buzzing round the flowers. New pest control operatives, kittens Jasper and Trudi, will need to grow a bit more before they can tackle the less welcome visitors, the cheeky rabbits.
 
Refreshments will be provided under cover at Herouncroft with the usual array of home baking. For a modest donation, you can also have second or third helping if you wish as there will be plenty to eat. A well stocked plant stall can be found at Path Cottage, feel free to bring along donations to the stall as well as purchasing.
 
Whatever the weather, enjoy your visit and support a very worthy cause at the same time. The gardens can be found approximately one mile east of Newton Stewart off the A75. Just follow the signs.