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PGG AGM 2022

September 24, 2022September 25, 2022

Kingsknowes Hotel, GalashielsAbbotsford exterior with flowersMertoun walled garden
Kingsknowes Hotel, Galashiels (left), Abbotsford [Photo: Abbotsford Trust] (centre), Mertoun walled garden [Photo: Rupert Norris] (right)
Book Online or send payment by cheque made payable to ‘The Professional Gardeners’ Guild’ to Colin Carmichael, Selma, Old Crieff Road, Aberfeldy, Perthshire, PH15 2DH

The committee are pleased to announce that this year the Annual General Meeting will be held on Saturday the 24th of September. At the Kingsknowes Hotel, Galashiels in the Scottish Borders.

The 2022 AGM

Located off the A7, between Galashiels, Melrose and Selkirk, the Kingsknowes Hotel is situated in five acres of carefully tended gardens above the banks of the river Tweed. The view from the Hotel across the river takes in Abbotsford House, home to the 19th century novelist Sir Walter Scott, with a backdrop of the Eildon Hills. Only a 15 minute walk from Galashiels town centre.

Tour of the gardens at Abbotsford

After the AGM there will be a tour of the gardens at Abbotsford. The garden was designed by Sir Walter Scott with advice from artists, architects and friends. It is a rare surviving example of a Regency garden layout – and completely different from the English Landscape Garden which ‘Capability’ Brown made his own in the previous decades. Abbotsford’s garden aims to provide a harmonious transition between the luxury and comfort of the interiors of the house with wonders of nature in the wider estate through a series of secluded, richly detailed and sheltered ‘rooms’. It would have showcased the latest plants discovered from around the globe, both in its borders and ‘stove houses’, and was tended by William Bogie, a Frenchman trained by one of the most celebrated gardeners of the day.

AGM Dinner

In the evening there will be AGM dinner followed by the Ron Nettle memorial lecture.

Sunday – Mertoun Gardens, St Boswells

On Sunday morning we will visit Mertoun Gardens, St Boswells. Mertoun House was designed by Sir William Bruce for Sir William Scott of Harden and was built in 1703-05. It occupies an outstanding situation on a high bank overlooking the River Tweed and ornamental parkland beyond.
Little is known of the early history of the gardens, but it is assumed from the great age of many of the specimen trees that they were laid out at the time the mansion was built. It is possible that at least part of the gardens existed prior to that date, since the former mansion house, known as Old Mertoun House – now the head gardener’s house in the walled garden – dates from 1677 and nearby is a well preserved, circular dovecot dated 1567, thought to be the oldest in the county.

The gardens have been run since 1984 by a Charity called Mertoun Gardens Trust and lie to the north and east of Mertoun House extending to about 26 acres.

The soil is a medium loam, slightly acid, overlying sandstone and, since the gardens are well screened by mature trees in all directions – particularly from the cold, easterly winds a great variety of species have been established and now flourish.

To the north-east of the house is a wide expanse of sweeping lawn, bounded to the east by the tree-covered bank of the Tweed and to the north by borders of herbaceous plants, shrub roses and azaleas. Beyond is an arboretum, established over the last 40 years, with a great variety of both conifers and hardwoods. Paths and grass walks provide access to all parts of the garden and its surrounding woodland, as well as forming several most attractive circular walks, with views over the River. Bridges cross the Maidenhall Burn which runs through the garden into the Tweed.

To the north is the Walled Garden of about three acres, in which is situated Old Mertoun House, 1677. On a south-facing slope, it contains a great variety of fruit trees, vegetables and flowers and is immaculately maintained. There is a range of heated greenhouses, and cold frames. Visitors are asked to respect the privacy of Old Mertoun House, and not to enter the greenhouses.
Booking and further details will be on the website and in the July Journal.


Saturday 24th September

Meet at 10.00am at the Kingsknowes Hotel, tea, coffee and biscuits on arrival.
10.30am AGM
1.00pm Lunch
2.30pm Visit to Abbotsford
6.45pm Pre dinner drinks reception
7.15pm Dinner followed by the Ron Nettles Memorial Lecture.

Sunday 25th September

11.30am Visit Mertoun Gardens guided tour with the head gardener.
2.30pm Head for home afterwards.


There are four options:

The Full McCoy, £70.00 per head. This includes tea/coffee and biscuits on arrival before the AGM, a sandwich buffet lunch, self guided tour of the house and gardens at Abbotsford. A three course dinner with wine and tea/coffees served afterwards. Ron Nettles Memorial Lecture. A guided tour with the head gardener at Mertoun Gardens on Sunday morning. This does not include accommodation, although we have some double rooms booked at the hotel if you are interested get in touch with Colin Carmichael at scotland@pgg.org.uk.

The Half McCoy, £62.00 per head AGM day only with buffet lunch and visit to Abbotsford and the AGM dinner.

The Wee McCoy, £18.65 per head AGM day only with buffet lunch and visit to Abbotsford.

The Local McCoy, There is no charge to attend the AGM and leave afterwards before lunch. Tea/coffee with biscuits on arrival. Please let me know if you are choosing this option for numbers.


Kingsknowes Hotel, Selkirk Road, Galashiels Scottish Borders TD1 3HY
Located off the A7, between Galashiels, Melrose and Selkirk.

Abbotsford is located a little over a mile from the hotel, in Melrose, Roxburghshire, TD6 9BQ

Mertoun Gardens can be found by the B6404, 2 miles north-east of St Boswells.


Book Online or send payment by cheque made payable to ‘The Professional Gardeners’ Guild’ to Colin Carmichael, Selma, Old Crieff Road, Aberfeldy, Perthshire, PH15 2DH


September 24, 2022
September 25, 2022
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Colin Carmichael


Kingsknowes Hotel
Selkirk Road
Galashiels, Scottish Borders TD1 3HY United Kingdom
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