Walled Garden



Sanctuary of a protective environment

Welcome to the Walled Garden, and its immediate surrounds – over ten years in the restoration and continually being developed. Designed on themes of Art & Science, Backhouse Rossie is one of only nine private gardens in Scotland to be awarded Partner Garden Status by The Royal Horticultural Society. Housing part of the National Collection of Backhouse Narcissus a unique collection of many rare daffodils bred over three generations of our forbears the Backhouse family between the mid 1800’s and the mid 1900’s.

Spring brings – the Spring bulbs including Galanthus, Narcissus and Tulip, Fruit tree blossoms, Auricula and Iris. Backhouse introduced Erica carnea, heaths and heathers, Scree and Rock garden Alpine plants.

Explore through the Seasons


See the stately ‘Emperor’ and ‘Empress’ daffodils bred by William Backhouse the first of the daffodil raising dynasty, Mrs RO Backhouse his daughter in law always remembered for her namesake daffodil the most widely known and widely grown pink daffodil for over 90 years ‘Mrs RO Backhouse’ her husband RO Backhouse raised the showy double ‘Glowing Phoenix’ and their son William Ormston Backhouse the first division 1 red trumpet. Lovely sparkling white ‘Niveth’ was raised by Henry Backhouse, RO Backhouse’s brother. All these beautiful heritage daffodils grow in the garden here at the Backhouse Centre in Rossie Estate and are much loved and we admit it, occasionally talked to! We hope you like them too.


Herbaceous borders, colourful perennials, rarities, and grasses. Potager with cut flowers, soft fruit herbs and vegetables. Scented roses scramble over archways above the DNA Pathway alongside Lilium and Dianthus, new Allium plantings surround a grass Labyrinth, Water feature, Glass house, Shade borders. Shrubbery walk, Summer flowering heaths and heathers.


Hardy and half hardy Nerines, Autumn crocus, Dahlia’s, Herbaceous borders, Crocosmia and late flowering perennials, Monastery walk (shrubs), Changing leaf colours, conkers, Soft fruits and Apple harvest, Grass labyrinth, Water feature, Glass House.

“few people have worked so hard on their garden as you have especially in terms of introducing so much variety”

Garden Features

The Walled Garden occupies a 1.25 acre site complete with original, now restored working glasshouses. You’ll also find other interesting artifacts and areas including:
  • Restored working cold frames with lights
  • Creation of hard surface cobble lined pathways around the perimeter
  • Restored wrought iron gate
  • Reclaimed stone slabs and cobbles
  • A characterful original potting shed
  • Repaired stone walls and coping stones
  • New support wires for fruit trees and climbing roses

The Walled garden entrance with its marriage stone lintel and Latin inscription on reverse can be seen above the, the now aged and silvered replacement, oak door.

Our Walled Garden is divided into a classical four quarter design, divided by long, yew backed herbaceous boarders planted north to south with colourful plantings, grasses and rarities, running east to west is the longest interrupted rose archway in Scotland with roses scrambling over arches above the DNA pathway (double helix design) to a centromere sculpture where the border and pathways intersect.

  • N.E quarter – A medieval style grass labyrinth, surrounded by allium plantings (May/June flowering).
  • S.E. quarter – A Formal Pond with biodynamic flow form, rill and old pump water feature.
  • N.W. quarter – Parterre with herbs, vegetables, cut flower borders and Backhouse plants.
  • S. W quarter – A replanted orchard with many historic apple varieties growing against the walls.
Micro Weddings

Around the walls there are mature fruit trees including:-

  • Apples: – Laxton’s Superb, Bramleys’ Seedling, Charles Ross, Warner’s King, Edward V11, Lane’s Prince Albert, Laton’s Fortune, Norfolk Royal, Robston Pippin, Pott’s Seedling, James Grieve, Elstare.
  • Pears:- Conference, Beurre Hardy, Williams Bon Chretiain, Pitmaston Duchess, Noveau Poiteau.

Extensive work has also been done to all the paths, external walls and potting sheds.

Outside the Walled Garden

  • North Face: Fern & Hosta Boarder
  • South Face: Greengages against the south facing wall with mint garden.
  • East Face: Woodland walk including Cardiocrinum Giganticum
  • West Face: Monastery walk with shrubbery and late flowering Nerines

“Walled gardens became increasingly popular in the 19th century, and would have supplied the household with fruit, vegetables and flowers. The walls created a good micro-climate for growing fruit and vegetables. Many walled gardens also boasted glasshouses against south facing walls, which were ideal for growing soft fruits and vines”.


Backhouse Rossie

Book tickets for the gardens & grounds and special events, or a tour of The Flower Barn our weddings and events venue. There is always something to see or do whenever you visit, in our open season. The Backhouse Kitchen (no garden ticket required), offers seasonal food and drinks and welcomes well behaved dogs on the patio. Free visitor car parking when open.






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