The Hon. Secretary, Tony Burton, has arranged a trip  for members in June and we are looking for expressions of interest at this stage. The number of places available will be around 30.

If you are interested in this trip please email and let us know.

Price £125 and includes an executive coach, garden entry fees and a two-course lunch.

This trip is not suitable to persons who have walking difficulties. The trip includes quite a lot of walking, sometimes with a chance of mud underfoot so it is recommended that members have sturdy walking shoes. At Little Sparta there is a walk of nearly half a mile from the car park to the garden on a stony farm track. There is also sometimes a muddy walk up to the Garden of Cosmic Speculation.

From the Pentlands to Portrack – a Summer visit to two Magical Gardens

Tuesday 4 June 2024

8.30 am Join the coach at Cowcaddens Road, opposite Buchanan Bus Station

10 am Little Sparta, Dunsyre, South Lanarkshire

Set in the Pentland Hills, Little Sparta is Ian Hamilton Finlay’s greatest work of art. Finlay moved to the farm of Stonypath in 1966 and, in partnership with his wife Sue Finlay, began to create what would become an internationally acclaimed garden across seven acres of wild and exposed moorland site.

The 5-acre  Arcadian garden includes concrete poetry in sculptural form, polemic, and philosophical aphorisms, together with sculptures and two temples. Altogether it includes over 275 artworks by the artist, created in collaboration with numerous craftsmen and women.

12 am Leave Little Sparta

1 pm   Lunch at the Black Bull, Moffat

The Black Bull Inn, Moffat is an independently owned Scottish inn, established in 1568 and the oldest hostelry in the area. It has connections with the history and literature of southern Scotland: being a centre for government troops during the time of the Covenanters; and a visiting place for Robert Burns when an Excise Officer.  We will have a two-course lunch here with tea and coffee.

2.30 pm The Garden of Cosmic Speculation, Portrack House, Holywood, Dumfries.

Designed by Charles Jenks the garden covers thirty acres with gardens, bridges, landforms, sculpture, terraces, fences, and architectural works. Portrack is one and half miles off the A76, five miles north of Dumfries.

A water cascade of steps recounts the story of the universe; a terrace shows the distortion of space and time caused by a black hole; a “Quark Walk” takes the visitor on a journey to the smallest building blocks of matter and a series of landforms and lakes recall fractal geometry.

The garden is private and normally open to the public on only one day a year. We have special permission for this visit and in thanks we will donate £20 a head to Maggie’s Centres.

5 pm   Leave for Glasgow probably stopping at Annadale Water for a tea break. We plan to arrive back in central Glasgow by 7 pm.

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