1. The Garden of Cosmic Speculation (above)

With a name like that you expect to see something pretty special. And you will. Open only once a year sadly so book well in advance. But it’s worth planning your whole year around this event. Discover nature through nature at this 30-acre sculpture garden – using all your senses including your sense of joy and wonder. All sorts of ingenious shapes and designs will delight and fire up your imagination. It was created by landscape gardener Charles Jencks, who also designed the Crawick Multiverse in Sanquhar, an astonishing space of land art depicting science and cosmology – well worth a visit too and open all year.
Holywood, Dumfries DG2 0RW

2. Craigieburn Garden & Nursery

Find a piece of Himalayan paradise here in Moffat. It’s not just fascinating plants and flowers you’ll be marvelling at although they are marvellous. Created by a Sherpa, this garden is a picturesque sanctuary with Tibetan prayer flags, statues, waterfalls, a mini Sherpa house and the odd bench dotted about to park yourself while you take it all in. A truly special place and one of our favourites.
Selkirk Road, Moffat DG10 9LF

3. Moat Brae

JM Barrie was inspired to create Peter Pan here and no wonder. One of the ‘World’s 50 Coolest Places’, Moat Brae and its garden are set on the River Nith. And this is no standard garden and it’s not just for children. In fact it’s for the child in all of us. Here you’ll be enchanted by talking ‘plants’, a gang plank, pirate ship, mermaids, stone crocodiles, trees that tower over you and vibrant flowerbeds. There’s a cute cafe too with a lovely outlook. What more could you want?
George Street, Dumfries, DG1 1EA

4. The Crichton Gardens

A popular spot for wedding photographs as a beautiful backdrop, the manicured Crichton Gardens sit on a significant historic site. There is much to appreciate and linger over here: magnificent rose gardens, impressive arboretum, rock garden with specimen species, a waterfall, ornamental pond… Join the tree trail to find out more about the Critchton’s 100 years of heritage. Free to enter.
Grierson House, Bankend Road, Dumfries DG1 4ZE

5. Dawyck Botanic Garden

Sixty-five acres of gardens which have one of the finest tree collections you’ll ever see including the oldest and tallest in Britain and species from all around the world including Nepal, China, Japan, North America and Chile. Many plants here were the first examples brought to Scotland. Join a themed trail or woodland walk and discover all about the famous plant explorers. This lush green idyll will keep you occupied for hours.
Stobo, near Peebles EH45 9JU

6. Threave Garden & Estate

Looked after by the National Trust for Scotland, this popular attraction has an impressive collection of not just flora and fauna but wildlife too. A truly biodiverse nature reserve, ‘garden rooms’ each celebrating a different style and scheme, a secret garden, rockery, walled garden, Scotland’s only bat reserve… You may even spot a peregrine falcon. And the view of the Galloway Hills comes as part of the package. Prepare to be wowed.
Castle Douglas, DG7 1RX

Discover the best spots in Southwest Scotland that should be included in everyone’s itinerary – fantastic places that most visitors miss. Download your free guide HERE.

Alternatively call us on 01683 478341 or email us at stay@queensberryhouse.com.

Photograph: courtesy of Jon Haydon