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PGG AGM weekend 28–30 September 2018

September 28, 2018September 30, 2018

Dumfries House, CumnockDrumlanrig Castle GardensDabton Garden, Thornhill
Left: Dumfries House Estate, Centre: Drumlanrig Castle Gardens, Right: Dabton House Garden
Book Online
Or send payment by cheque made payable to ‘The Professional Gardeners’ Guild’ to Tony Arnold, 119 Campkin Road, Cambridge CB4 2NP. For more information contact Tony Arnold – Tel: 01223 571952 Email: chairman@pgg.org.uk.

The 2018 Professional Gardeners’ Guild AGM

The 2018 AGM long weekend starts on Friday 28th September with a visit to Drumlanrig Castle Gardens and then Dabton Garden, Thornhill. On Saturday 29th we meet at Dumfries House in Ayrshire for the AGM followed by tour of the gardens with the Head Gardener in the afternoon. Saturday evening will feature the Ron Nettle Memorial Dinner and Lecture. Sunday 30th details will follow shortly.

Friday 28th September – Drumlanrig Castle Gardens and Dabton Garden

The lovingly tended 40 acres offer both inspiration and relaxation to everyone, the garden’s colourful heritage and rich diversity are almost as inspiring as the sights and smells of the plants themselves. And as we approach the end of summer, this is the time of year to visit the gardens and see the remarkable Agapanthus ‘Peter Pan’ “African Lily”.

A new path and double border have recently been created by the gardens team to enhance the old tennis court area and open up views on to the existing gardens. The lawns and new mixed shrub and herbaceous borders now provide a scenic location. The new double border is planted with contrasting foliage and flowering shrubs and climbers to give structure, colour and scent as well as seasonal interest. The shrubs and trees are under planted with a variety of perennials and spring bulbs extend the colour and interest further.

As you stroll through the formal gardens you can’t help but admire the 183m Long Terrace Walk – along a magnificent stone balustrade that’s famous for growing tender climbing plants. You can marvel at the restored Victorian glasshouses and the distinctive Heather Houses. Modern additions to the gardens have included a rambling Woodland Garden and magnificent Rhododendron collection.

Dabton House
Just a few minutes from Drumlanrig Castle are the beautiful gardens at Dabton House, the private residence of the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch. Dabton is a stunning 19th century house built of pink sandstone surrounded by almost two acres of garden. You’ll find an extensive Walled Garden, herbaceous borders 95 yards long, roses, island beds, shrubs and a natural stream running through it. There are also ponds with azaleas and primulas, a vegetable garden, greenhouse and woodland walk for you to enjoy.

Dabton Garden, ThornhillDrumlanrig Castle GardensDrumlanrig Castle Gardens

Saturday 29th September – AGM, tour of Dumfries House Estate gardens, Ron Nettle Memorial Dinner & Lecture

The AGM and the Ron Nettle memorial lecture will take place in the stylish Woodlands Restaurant nestled in a beautiful woodland setting at Dumfries House. In the afternoon there will be a tour of the gardens with the Head of Gardens at Dumfries House, Brian Corr.

The Queen Elizabeth Walled Gardens, in many ways the flagship project of the Dumfries House Estate restoration is one of the biggest in Scotland and features a unique 12-metre drop from north to south.

The past two years has seen this garden being transformed from a derelict dumping site to a magnificently restored garden with a mixture of terraces, new greenhouses, formal areas and a one and a half acre Education Garden. The Walled Garden is open year-round, there are various other gardens across the estate, including The Rothesay Garden, The Woodland Garden, The Education Garden (vegetable) and the newly redesigned Front Garden at the main House.

Our newly created woodland walks mean that moving around the estate will always involve a wander through our magnificent, mature policy woodlands. We have constructed a number of new bridges that ensure visitors can cross the Estate Burn at regular opportunities. We have also restored the magnificent Category A listed Avenue Bridge which connects the House with the new Arboretum and Walled Garden.

Linking the 18th Century Robert Adam designed Avenue Bridge and the Walled Garden is our brand new Arboretum. Until recently the site was a boggy, untidy and dense mass of non-native trees and scrub. Now, our magnificent collection of trees hosts more than 500 specimens and a range of shrubs and woodland flowers. To the east of the site are two newly created lochans, which will be a haven for a wide range of wildlife. At the centre of the Arboretum sits the woodland shelter, a magnificent structure created by the students of the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community.

The Chinese Bridge – a breath of fresh air with its delicate curves, tranquil, central pagoda and traditional materials of stone and timber. An alternative to the 18th-century Adam Bridge as a way across the Lugar Water, the bridge’s design was taken from an original drawing submitted by Scottish architect Robert Weir Schultz in 1899. Weir Schultz and the 3rd Marquis, who once collaborated on a revival of an 18th-century Chiswick garden together, were great friends when the idea was hatched.

Lose yourself at Dumfries House in a whole new way – by surrendering to the yew hedges of the bespoke maze that opened in Summer 2016. Almost 2000 6ft-high trees were planted during its construction and were mature enough to get lost inside straight away. Over time, the hedges will develop to enhance the labyrinth even more.

Dumfries House, CumnockDumfries House, CumnockDumfries House, Cumnock

Left: Dumfries House; Centre: The Walled Garden; Right: Brian Corr, Head Gardener (photo: Sophie Gerard)

Sunday 30th September – Details coming soon!


Friday 28th September

Drumlanrig Castle Gardens & Dabton House
10.00am – Arrive. Tea/coffee refreshments
10.30am – Tour of Gardens with Head Gardener Robbie Black
12.45pm – Lunch at Drumlanrig (self-pay)
2.00pm – Visit to Dabton Garden
4.00pm – Tea & cakes
4.30pm – Depart for overnight accommodation

Saturday 29th September

AGM and Dumfries House Estate gardens
10.00am – Tea/coffee biscuits on arrival
10.30am – AGM
12.30pm – Lunch
2.00pm – Tour of Gardens with the Head of Gardens at Dumfries House, Brian Corr
4.00pm – Tea/coffee and cake
4.30pm – Depart

Annual Dinner and Ron Nettle Memorial Lecture
Dumfries House Estate
6.45pm Lecture by Martin Towsey, Estates Garden Manager, Woburn Abbey
Smart dress

Sunday 30th September

Details coming soon!

Directions to Drumlanrig Castle

Drumlanrig Castle might be tucked away in the heart of beautiful, rural Dumfriesshire, but you can find and visit us easily. Drumlanrig Castle and the Queensberry Estate is situated just off the A76 (Dumfries to Kilmarnock), 4 miles north of Thornhill, 17 miles north of Dumfries, and is signposted from the M74 (J14 southbound) and A702 at Abington and Elvanfoot. Address: Thornhill, Dumfries & Galloway DG3 4AQ

Directions to Dabton House

You’ll find the entrance off the A76 between Thornhill and Carronbridge. Address: Dabton, Thornhill, Dumfries & Galloway, DG3 5AR.

Directions to Dumfries House

Dumfries House is in East Ayrshire, south west Scotland. Access is from the A70 whether travelling westwards or eastwards. There are two entrances – one clearly marked ‘coaches only’ and the other ‘cars only’. Address: Dumfries House, Cumnock KA18 2NJ


Friday 28th September
Drumlanrig Castle Gardens & Dabton House – £15.00 (lunch is extra if required)

Saturday 29th September
AGM and Dumfries House Estate gardens – £12.50
Annual Dinner and Ron Nettle Memorial Lecture – £36.00

Sunday 30th September
Details coming soon!


Book Online
Or send payment by cheque made payable to ‘The Professional Gardeners’ Guild’ to Tony Arnold, 119 Campkin Road, Cambridge CB4 2NP. For more information contact Tony Arnold – Tel: 01223 571952 Email: chairman@pgg.org.uk.


September 28, 2018
September 30, 2018
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Tony Arnold
(h):01223 571952


Dumfries House
Cumnock, East Ayrshire KA18 2NJ United Kingdom + Google Map