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Open Wed–Sun, 10am–4pm, 1 Apr–27 Sep. Daffodil Festival 11 & 12 Apr with RHS Bulb Committee.

BACKHOUSE AT ROSSIE ESTATE

Partner Garden
Free access for RHS members at selected times

Collessie
Ladybank
Fife
KY15 7UZ

2 acres

Tel
0844 414 5803

Visit website

Admission

Non-member adult £5.50.

RHS members

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

National Gardening Scheme dates

Please see NGS website.

Facilities

  • access
  • 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
  • Glasshouse (open to public)
  • Herbaceous border
  • National Plant Collections
  • Rock garden
  • Sculpture
  • Wildlife planting and features

About the garden

Owned by
Andrew & Caroline Thomson

Backhouse at Rossie Estate is now closed until further notice


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 one of 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 yew-backed herbaceous borders filled with wispy grasses and 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, vegetables, 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 when in season.

The family have restored the garden over the past 14 years. The Backhouse Education & Exhibition 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 Rossie Estate in Fife. The family's National Collection of Narcissus 'Backhouse' cultivars bloom in spring and is the catalyst for Scotland’s Daffodil Festival held in mid-April each year.

Plants of special interest

  • Agapanthus
  • Alliums
  • Alpines
  • Autumn bulbs
  • Begonias
  • Bluebells
  • Daffodils
  • Dahlias
  • Delphiniums
  • Ferns
  • Fruit blossom
  • Fruit bushes/trees
  • Grasses
  • Heathers
  • Herbs
  • Hostas
  • Irises
  • Magnolias
  • Maple
  • Roses
  • Shade-loving plants
  • Spring bulbs

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.