Geilston Garden was founded in 1797, combining several features (traditional walled garden, kitchen garden, wooded area). The walled garden has a dominating 100-foot Wellingtonia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) in the centre of the lawn. The Geilston burn wends its way through the north of the estate towards the River Clyde in Cardross. The origins of the garden were most likely a result of the 1770 Montgomery Act, which saw the land around the house enclosed and planting undertaken.

Geilston was opened to the public with the death of the last resident, Margaret Bell, who was a friend of Elizabeth Hendry, the owner of Geilston who bequeathed the house to the National trust for Scotland and gave her friend life rent of the house. The Hendrys moved into Geilston as tenants but the family bought the house from the Geils in 1922. The garden as it appears today was mostly laid out by Elizabeth Hendry and Margaret Bell. A canon within the garden is said to have been a trophy from the Battle of Corunna brought to the Garden by Major General Geils, a previous owner of Geilston.

The kitchen garden is the most labour-intensive area. It springs to life in April with the first sowings of carrots, parsnips and beetroot closely followed by transplanted brassicas. Visitors can buy in-season produce from a small stand at the garden's entrance.

The walled garden is the focus of spring colour with azaleas, heathers and unusual shrubs such as Cornus kousa 'Satomi'. Summer colour is provided by the spectacularly vigorous species in the long herbaceous border –Thalictrum, Filipendula, Eupatorium, Helenium, Phlox and Sidalcea dominate the display.

The garden is open from March to October annually. The adjacent Geilston House is not open to the public.

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    Founded: 1797
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    User Reviews

    Saurabh Baliyan (6 months ago)
    Nice garden, it is owned by national trust there are some nice sections, like vegetable garden and old tree. There is plenty of space to park, at the moment there is no coffee shop or anything which is a slight disappointment.
    Alan McClean (6 months ago)
    Friendly staff and nice place to spend a few hours walking around. Will definitely be going back in the summer to see it come to life with lots of different plant life. The NTS owned property is beautiful. Sadly two neighbours adjoining the property have taken it to throw their rubbish over their back fences and cause an eyesore. Would like to think the council will force them to pay to clean it up as it ruins the view at that side of the riverbank.
    Cam Simpson (7 months ago)
    We visited at probably the best time of year to go as the Rhododendrons were in full flower and were spectacular. The garden is essentially a woodland area with a walled garden and pretty flower beds. No cafe, just hot drinks at entrance and loos
    John Rundell (7 months ago)
    The car park is a good size. The member of staff work in a small hut but are very happy and helpful. There is only one toilet which is kept clean and tidy. Geilston house is unfortunately closed but you can see from a plaque outside how it would have looked when the family lived here. They grow there own fruit and vegetable in the kitchen garden that you can buy during certain time of the year. There's a few paths that are easy to follow but tree roots/grass cover a large part of the paths and it makes it a bit uneven and slippy in the wet. There's a small play area made of wood and there's a few picnic tables dotted about as well. The walled gardens are very well looked after and there a few benches about to enjoy the quiet. There is no cafe but you can get tea/coffee/ice cream/crisps from staff at the hut.
    David Leslie (8 months ago)
    Beautiful and relaxing. Worth a visit anytime. The spring bulbs and other flowers, with with hedges and trees still awakening give great views all around the estate. Clear signage gives a brief detail of the use of the buildings and ruins. Woodland trails allow a peaceful walk beside the gentle river.
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