Gardens of Shetland
by Helen Smith -
Gardening in Shetland takes skill and perseverence, but there are some inspirational gardens for you to visit in the isles. The flower park in Lerwick offers a sheltered spot to have a picnic - you can also have a game of outdoor bowls when you're there; Michael's Wood in Aith is ever growing and a great place to take the kids - there's little hidden spots for them to play with cars or have a teddy bears picnic. Heading further west, is the Gairdens of Sand, which is great for a daytrip if you're setting off from town - there are great picnic spots and plenty of room for kids to run around and enjoy themselves. There's upper and lower gardens, the lower one has ponds teaming with frogs spawn at the moment and a sign warns that there's crocodiles (I haven't actually seen any!) and the upper garden has trees to explore and a delightful shed made from an upturned boat.
As part of the Gardens of Scotland scheme eight private gardens in Shetland are open to the public. These offer you the opportunity to see some truly unique and inspiring gardens; you'll get to chat with the gardeners and maybe pick up a few tips along the way.
- Frakkafield, Gott
- Lea Gardens, Tresta (featured recently on Alan Titmarsh's Best Back Gardens TV programme.
- 15 Linkshouse, Yell
- Holmlea, Mid Yell
- Nonavaar (again, featured on Alan Titmarsh's Best Back Gardens TV programme and look out for an article on the garden and its owner Jim Thomason in the Summer edition of 60 North)
- Cruisdale, Sandness
- Lindaal, Tingwall
- Keldaberg, Cunningsburgh
Why not combine a road trip to some of these gardens with visits to craft makers on the craft trail?