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.
Abbotsford's gardens and estate are dog friendly and we welcome dogs of all shapes and sizes throughout the year. Take your furry friend for a walk along Scott's network of paths and then relax in the café.
The house might be closed but the estate is teeming with the first signs of spring outside the formal gardens. Spot swathes of snowdrops along the woodland walks and see them slowly claiming the banks of the Tweed.