This weekend's great garden to visit: Backhouse Rossie, Auchtermuchty
Backhouse Rossie Estate
Fife KY15 7UZ
Why We Should Visit
The beautiful and fertile county of Fife has many fine estates and historic houses, but few are quite so interesting as Backhouse Rossie, which not only looks beautiful but is also horticulturally important. It is home to the National and Scientific Collection of Backhouse Rossie Narcissi, a unique group of many rare daffodils.
Story of the Garden
The 110-acre estate dates from the 11th century and for a time it was a royal hunting ground. The first record of a house was in 1488 and the present mansion house has an 18th century facade, a Georgian wing and a Victorian conservatory.
Since they moved to Backhouse Rossie almost 20 years ago, owners Caroline and Andrew Thomson have carried out an extensive restoration and development of the gardens, filling them with flowers for seasonal interest throughout the year.
Caroline Thomson is a descendant of the Backhouse family, who over many generations carried out pioneering work on the development of modern daffodils. The Backhouse Centre on the estate holds a large collective of these cultivars, which are in flower throughout April. These grow alongside a large number of spring flowers, including tulips, blossom trees and alpine plants.
The walled garden at the heart of the estate is filled not just with bulbs, but also with summer perennials and shrubs and trees that provide autumn colour. There is a glasshouse, fruit trees around the walls, a shade border, shrubbery walk and a potager, which in summer is filled with cut flowers, making it a favourite spot for weddings.
Anything Else to Look Out For
Beyond the walls there is a fern and hosta border and woodland walks, all of which are continually being developed. And when visitors have worked up an appetite, they can find refreshments in the Backhouse Kitchen, where many of the ingredients used by the chefs are grown on the estate or by local producers.
Best Time to Visit
On Saturday, 8 and Sunday, 9 April the estate will be holding the annual Scotland’s Daffodil Festival 2023 when not only will the daffodils be at their very best, but there will also be stalls serving food, snacks and drinks as well as leading nurseries, including specialist daffodil growers ‘R & A Scamp’ and Chelsea gold medal-winning Binny Plants.
Any Recommendations in the Area
The coastline of north Fife has historic villages, world-class golf courses and some of the best beaches in Scotland. Nearby Loch Leven is an important site for waterfowl and a path has been developed around its entire perimeter. Over the years many archaeological finds dating back to the Bronze Age have been unearthed around the loch.
Backhouse Rossie Estate is located off the A91, 1.2 miles east of Auchtermuchty
Open Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday 10am - 4pm
Tickets: £6/£5.50/£3.50/under-5s free
Tel: 0844 414 5803
In association with Discover Scottish Gardens.
The village of Culross on the north bank of the River Forth is famous for its twisting wynds and historic buildings, which have been used as locations for many film and TV productions, including Outlander.
Towering above the streets is Culross Palace, a medieval merchant’s house and behind its ochre-coloured walls is a recreation of the 17th century garden that once flourished here.
The plants grown here are those that would have been familiar at that time, including herbs with culinary and medicinal properties and heritage fruit trees.
Old-fashioned flowers, willow hurdle dividers, paths made from crushed shells and the geometric lay-out of the beds all add the authentic feel of the garden, which in summer is filled with the scent of old roses.
Culross Palace and Gardens
Fife KY12 8JH