Amazing place! Fascinating for gardeners, literature and art enthusiasts, and photographers. Ian Hamilton Finlay's garden offers big vantage points and secret little art treasures. Very unique and worth the visit.
Experience this place, it is out of this world. Take an afternoon off and enjoy the gardens, the pond the water features, it is magical. A retreat for people who enjoy a quiet afternoon in the park. Wait for good weather and the views spoil you.
We picked a nice day in August to pay a visit , Take a good pair of shoes as the car park is a fair distance from the garden. Fee is ￡10. with no concessions and not recommended for chidren under 10.limited opening from June to September although they may be open later than that 3 days a week so check their web site or facebook site before you go . ....This place is an absolute gem from the moment you walk in the gate till you finish .It is important to have a map of the garden with all its nooks and crannys. Ian Findlay was an artist and sculptor with a prodigious output .The walk is a pleasure of poetry chiselled into stone and concrete of all shapes and sizes ,small bridges, arches,ponds a visual treat as you walk round one corner to a different landscape there are 8 or 9 gardens all showing aspect of Findlays work. We were blessed with a good day and found it very relaxing taking our time in each section allow yourself 2 hours to view and take your time . I will certainly be revisiting when it reopens next year
This was the most unexpected delight for our group. It is quite far out in the country, but absolutely worthwhile to see. Plan to spend a few hours here.......we could have spent a day and still had more to discover.What a monumental work of a lifetime for the man who developed this magical place. It is quite incredible what he has done - three dimensional poetry!! Works of art and nature combine to make this a beautiful, contemplative experience - it was more relaxing than any spa therapy I have enjoyed, and much more interesting.The garden is not open often, so check times. There is also about a half mile walk from the parking area to the garden, so plan to wear sturdy shoes. If you like gardens, this is the best!
It is not open often - check its website for details. On a nice summers day it is magical. It is difficult to describe - a fantastic garden of sculptures and a trip into a different world. Just go.
A professional gardener I know doesn't really rate this, saying that IHF was "not a plantsman". Possibly not, but what he was was a genuinely creative spirit; writer/playwright/poet/artist/thinker; and he created this enormous garden to have all sorts of little corners and copses and glimpses of water, fringed with yellow flag irises, which I personally hadn't seen in the wild since I was a small child. One thing; it's a bit of a walk in over a rough country track from a country road, so i don't really know how people with disabilities manage, and i do think the extra photography charge on top of the entry fee is a little presumptuous.overall though, it's an extremely interesting place and I would recommend going, perhaps in a group with a hired bus.
It's a great place. The most beautiful garden I have ever seen. It can be run in an hour. But I prefer to come here for the day. You can then look for the numerous quotations and poetry arranged by the owner / designer on various objects in the garden. And in good weather enjoy the long views.
Little Sparta lies near the little Scottish town of Biggar. It's a quirky garden dotted with sculptures, aqueducts and classical monuments, with paths weaving through the woodland. There's nearly 300 works of art created by the reclusive artist who founded the place and designed all the artwork within it, Ian Hamilton Finlay. It was a really memorable trip, definitely worth making if you're interested in landscape gardening or art and design. Here's a link to the Little Sparta Trust website which shows a montage of some of the features of the garden. http://www.littlesparta.org.uk/index.htmVisits to the garden are on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday afternoons, 2:30-5pm, from 1st June to 29th September. They're starting to make renovations to the temple of Apollo in the garden, turning it into a gallery of Finlay's prints and sculptures, which would be really great to see, I just hope it gets the support it needs.I'm going back again this year - the experience has really stayed with me!
It's really in the middle of nowhere, but all the more inspiring because it's so unexpected. Take a camera and a picnic - many photo opportunities and nice spots to sit on the grass and look about you.
I suppose the central issue is how much research you might do before you visit. Does some knowledge of Ian Hamilton Findlay's intentions and preoccupations enhance your pleasure in his garden?Remarkably you can enjoy it on so many levels -- unravelling the meaning and implication of the cryptic language that you come across on stones, trees and mounds and relating the message to its environment or just enjoying the eccentric layout, concealed delights and glorious views. Make of it what you will, it is an extraordinary pleasure!Mind the midges though ..... They were thriving and prolific when we were there.