A group of staff and volunteers from The Knowe in Auchinleck visited the Walled Garden at Dumfries House in October 2017. We enjoyed an informative tour from Brian Corr, Head of Gardens. This was followed by an engaging talk from Chris Jones, the education gardener.

The team were given an insight into the garden’s history and how it is run. Highlights of the tour included the 350-year-old tree within the walled garden, the vegetable plots and floral boarders.

Many of The Knowe’s employees are employed via Community Jobs Scotland, a scheme which offers jobs to unemployed vulnerable young people.


Following the tour enjoyed by The Knowe’s staff and volunteers in October, one of our young gardening assistants was invited back to Dumfries House’s Walled Garden to start a one-day-per-week placement there.

Following the team’s visit to Dumfries House, one of our team received some good news. Ian Ridsdale was delighted when Brian Corr, Dumfries House’s Head of Gardens, invited him for an interview and offered the placement to him. Brian singled Ian out of The Knowe’s team of young gardeners due to his passion and knowledge. Ian has a particular interest in learning about herbaceous and perennial plants. He is also looking forward to learning more about growing vegetables.

It is hoped that this positive outcome is the start of a fruitful partnership between The Knowe and Dumfries House. Their beautiful gardens were a great inspiration to us on our visit.

We wish Ian the best and hope he picks up some useful insights during his time working in The Queen Elizabeth Walled Garden.