The garden is compact, fragrant, colourful and detailed. It is contained within high walls, with the facades of the house setting a scene which could be straight out of one of Scott’s historical romances. You can look up to Scott’s ‘Juliette’ balcony sited at his bedroom window, see across to a ‘Rapunzel’ tower which overlooks the river, and explore the gothic staircase leading to the meadow beyond. Find Scott’s greenhouse based on a medieval jousting tent, and spot the heritage vegetables and fruit growing in the kitchen garden. Sit back and enjoy the heady scents of the herbaceous borders, or take a stroll to the river.
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.
We regularly have Regency Garden tours, on Mondays and Fridays, which explore Scott's design and aims, highlighting the features which make the gardens unique. Check if there is a tour on the day you're planning to visit, by calling 01896 752043, and join our expert guides for an exploration of Scott's vision and the hidden meanings in his Romantic landscape.