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Blooming Marvellous!

Press Release   •   Dec 14, 2016 10:51 GMT

(l-r) Paula Bushell, Head of Marketing and Communication, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh; Neil Cummings, Scotland Regional Business Manager at the Horticultural Trade Association; Liz Stewart, Development Manager at the Royal Horticultural Society.

Scotland’s £240 million* garden tourism industry is set to bloom further after a £30,000 funding boost from VisitScotland.

National garden tourism body Discover Scottish Gardens, which officially launched in 2015 with the help of VisitScotland’s Growth Fund, has received a second round of funding to help develop plans to exhibit at the prestigious RHS Chelsea Flower Show in May 2017 and to embark on an innovative digital campaign. 

Since its inception, Discover Scottish Gardens has attracted 130 members, including gardens, nurseries and related businesses nationwide, working together to showcase the country’s outstanding horticulture.

Created out of an industry demand to work collectively to raise the profile of Scottish gardens both nationally and internationally, the tourism group secured £30,000 in its first year, which contributed towards a launch campaign aimed at visitors to Scotland.

Discover Scottish Gardens has ambitious plans with its ‘Nurturing Growth’ campaign, with the further funding enabling members to take important next steps to raise the importance of garden tourism. Funding will contribute to 12 months of activity, which will include video creation utilising state-of-the-art techniques as the basis of a dynamic digital advertising campaign and attendance at RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

Catherine Erskine, Chair of Discover Scottish Gardens, said: “We are delighted to be working with VisitScotland again to boost garden tourism. In our first year, we made great strides in encouraging visitors to enjoy our country’s amazing gardens and nurseries. We hope that this new campaign will raise our profile even further and entice garden lovers at Chelsea as well as Londoners and those living in the South East of England to visit Scotland. As part of our exhibition creative idea, we will quite literally be putting gardens on a giant map of Scotland.”

Discover Scottish Gardens members include the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, National Trust for Scotland, Horticultural Trade Association, Scotland’s Gardens, Attadale Gardens and Cambo Estate.

Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said: “Scotland boasts beautiful gardens the length and breadth of the country and this award from the VisitScotland Growth Fund will help provide these attractions with an exciting new marketing platform. The Growth Fund is all about encouraging Scottish tourism businesses to work together to promote sectors or destinations, so we are delighted to help the national network with a campaign I am sure will provide a major boost for horticultural tourism in this country.”

On average gardens in Scotland have welcomed 658,000 visitors each year since 2013*. Average annual total spend has been £240 million since 2013*.

For more information on the VisitScotland Growth Fund, go to

For more about Discover Scottish Gardens, visit

- ENDS -

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      2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design

  • 2016 will shine a spotlight on Scotland’s achievements in innovation, architecture and design through a wide-ranging, variety of new and existing activity.
  • The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design started on 1 January 2016 and will end on 31 December 2016.It will build on the momentum generated by the 2015 Year of Food and Drink as well as previous years including Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Year of Creative and the Year of Natural.
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