May 11 2012 by Kaiya Marjoribanks, Stirling Observer Friday
THE Duke and Duchess of Montrose are opening their gardens near Drymen to the public on Sunday.
The gardens at Auchmar will be open from 2-5pm as part of Scotland’s Gardens Scheme programme, benefiting SGS charities and the Preshal Trust.
The gardens were designed by the late Mary, Duchess of Montrose, in 1935. The five-and-a-half acres have bluebells, azaleas and rhododendrons among mature specimen trees.
There is also a deep glen and waterfall with woodland walks, renovated walled garden with shrubs and herbaceous borders and a recent bridge extension to a new area of the garden.
Visitors will also be able to enjoy a spectacular view of Loch Lomond.
The Duchess said: “We are hoping for a nice day and, of course, for it to be dry and people will be able to enjoy the homemade teas.
“I would say there are two main features of the garden: the spectacular view of Loch Lomond and the other is the glen which you can wander down towards a bridge.
“It really is lovely and it is such a privilege to be able to enjoy it every day. The garden is very interesting and has a slightly wild feel to it, which I like.
“We feel it is nice to be able to share it with other people in this way while also making some money for a very worthwhile charity.
“The Preshal Trust is currently fundraising for a £650,000 building programme and it is almost there but there is another £100,000 to go. It will be a fit-for-purpose building for people with difficulties such as drug and alcohol problems.
“The trust has a very dynamic leader in May Nicholson, who usually comes to the garden opening but this weekend is opening a shop for the trust. However, she will be sending her son and his wife and her daughter to help in her place.”
The duchess is president of the Preshal Trust.
Preshal is the Gaelic for “precious” and the trust is a Christian charity which tackles social exclusion in the Linthouse area of Glasgow.
Admission to the garden opening on Sunday is £4, children free. Dogs are welcome on a lead and there will be a plant stall and home-made teas.
Auchmar is 2½ miles from Drymen on the B837.