Shetland is home to an array of plants and wild flowers which flourish in spite of its winds and dry soil, and there are a surprising number of beautiful and unusual gardens in which you can admire them.
Two of the finest Shetland gardens can be found on the unspoilt West Mainland. Visit the wonderful kitchen garden at Burrastow House near the village of Walls and marvel at the abundant Lea Garden on Tresta, created from what was originally just a derelict croft, 25 years ago.
To the north of Scalloway Haa, you’ll find another crumbling ruin around which a beautiful garden has been cultivated. Admire the delicate wild flowers that surround the remains of Mary Russland’s Cottage, the top of which is adorned with a metal sculpture.
One of Shetland’s most impressive horticultural offerings is Da Gairdins i Sand in the west side which extends some 7 acres. See rare, indigenous plants alongside exotic specimens from as far afield as New Zealand, and follow concealed paths and gullies which lead to spectacular coastal views.
Perhaps one of the most unusual gardens to be found in Shetland is on a quiet roadside near Busta in Sandness. Vatnagerd is constructed around a bubbling burn in the centre of a Faroese village which has the surprising addition of miniature buildings including a church, post office, school and many others.
Make sure you pay a visit to King George’s Field, a park and playground situated in the centre of Lerwick. Take a stroll down the footpaths alongside spacious lawns and beautifully maintained flower beds during a warm summer’s day.