Portrack House

Portrack House, just north of the town of Dumfries, has an open day once a year, and we drove down to it last May. Despite the wet weather, it was well worth it, because it’s home to one of the most extraordinary gardens in the country, designed by Charles Jencks and his late wife Maggie (it was her family home). Jencks is well-known in Edinburgh for his fantastic Landform Ueda in the grounds of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. Portrack’s Garden of Cosmic Speculation is like that writ even larger. This gallery doesn’t include all of the small and intriguing details of the place, because it would have grown too large itself, but it’s enough to give a flavour of one of the future stars—with any luck—of the National Trust.

19 January 2009 · Travel