About the garden
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 collection, fern walk, 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 it 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.