Follow Leitholm’s green elephant trail

Elephant in Antons Hill, near Leitholm, Coldstream.
Elephant in Antons Hill, near Leitholm, Coldstream.

If you go down to the woods today you’re sure of a big surprise - a green elephant or two at Anton’s Hill, Leitholm!

The ‘green elephant trail’ on the woodland walk is one of Berwickshire’s hidden gems and the garden is one of several in the Borders opening to the public on Sunday, May 22, between 2-5pm, to raise money for Scotland’s Gardens.

The unique green elepant trails is a topiary family of elephants carved out of yew – an idea that germinated in 1999 when Cilla and Freddie Wills took over the garden and were looking for ideas to keep their grandchildren entertained. But elephants aren’t all there is to see, there are more than 20 different varieties of oak, azaleas and rhododendrons, primroses and bluebells under the beech trees, a stumpery, self-seeding campions, hellebores and forget-me-nots leading up to beautifully planted up ponds.

Anton’s Hill is one of 13 gardens in Berwickshire, Ettrick & Lauderdale and Roxburghshire opening their gates for charity. Two of them - Kames, near Greenlaw and Easter Weens at Bonchester Bridge - are opening for the first time.

Three large Borders’ gardens, Bughtrig, near Coldstream, Floors Castle at Kelso and Monteviot near Jedburgh, open regularly throughout the season and make donations to Scotland’s Gardens beneficiaries.

Full details of local garden openings, i admission charges, opening hours, maps etc can be found at www.scotlandsgardens.org