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Open Thur–Mon, 10am–4pm, 1 Apr–27 Sep. Please see website for additional opening times.

BACKHOUSE ROSSIE ESTATE

Partner Garden
Free access for RHS members at selected times

Collessie
Ladybank
Fife
KY15 7UZ

5 acres

Tel
0844 414 5803

Visit website

Admission

Non-member adult £5.50.

RHS members

Free access (Member 1 only) - Fri when open.

Facilities

  • Baby changing facilities
  • Café
  • Children's activities
  • facilities
  • Free carer entry
  • Gift shop
  • Group rates
  • Guide dogs only
  • Parking
  • Plants for sale
  • Restaurant
  • Toilets

Features

  • Champion trees
  • Cottage planting
  • Glasshouse (open to public)
  • Herbaceous border
  • National Plant Collections
  • Pond or lake
  • Rock garden
  • Wildlife planting and features
  • Woodland

About the garden

Owned by
Andrew & Caroline Thomson

The historic Walled Garden, with themes of art and science, offers the opportunity to take a step back and relax among the changing seasonal plantings, enjoy the longest scented rose archway in Scotland over a ‘DNA’ pathway that includes a central flower bed constructed from the cathedral stone of a rose window.   

Discover auricula and spring bulbs, later yew-backed herbaceous borders filled with wispy grasses, colourful perennials, rare plants, hosta and fern collections, interesting shrubs and champion trees. A mesmeric water feature, rill and formal pond function as a reservoir which supports the garden’s watering requirements. Culinary and medicinal herbs, soft fruit and cut flowers fill the potager with old espaliered fruit trees trained on the stone walls and Victorian glasshouses.   

Find out about the historic Loch that disappeared, see the Covenanter’s ruined Woodland tomb, discover the family’s links to Mary Queen of Scots and horticultural links to Charles Darwin. For the young at heart, scamper along the delightful Bear Walk, with carved animals under the dappled shade of native trees, nine-hole family putting and grass labyrinth. The Garden Café uses produce from the estate, when possible, on the seasonal freshly cooked menu that includes the estate’s own pressed apples for a refreshing drink. Special pre-ordered afternoon tea is also offered in season.

The family have restored the garden over the past 14 years. The Backhouse Heritage and Education Centre tells the story of their forebears, the famous Quaker Backhouse family of botanists and bankers, whose ground-breaking achievements are being brought back to life by this sixth generation. Their forebears first dreamed of establishing the Backhouse Nursery in Scotland and is now being realised at Backhouse Rossie in Fife. The family's National Collection of Narcissus 'Backhouse' cultivars bloom in spring and is the catalyst for Scotland’s National Daffodil Festival held in mid-April each year.

Plants of special interest

  • Alliums
  • Alpines
  • Begonias
  • Bluebells
  • Cacti & succulents
  • Conifers
  • Cut flowers
  • Daffodils
  • Dahlias
  • Ferns
  • Fruit blossom
  • Fruit bushes/trees
  • Heathers
  • Herbs
  • Hostas
  • Irises
  • Lilies
  • Roses
  • Shade-loving plants
  • Spring bulbs
  • Sweet peas
  • Topiary

Get involved

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.