Get snap happy at Scotland’s first Chelsea Fringe venue

  • Three categories
  • My favourite gardener
  • A view of Drum garden
  • All that grows

The National Trust for Scotland’s Drum Castle near Aberdeen has launched a garden photography competition to celebrate being selected as the first ever Scottish venue for the Chelsea Fringe.

The Chelsea Fringe runs from May 16 until June 7, while the Chelsea Flower Show is underway in London. It started in 2012 and is a new festival for everyone who’s interested in gardens and gardening. The Fringe has an increasing international participation, but, till now, had not found its way to Scotland.

However, the National Trust for Scotland’s Drum Castle has joined the gardening ‘avant garde’ and have become the first Scottish venue to be included in the official programme.

Drum’s Head Gardener Diana Robertson said: “Chelsea is the world’s most prestigious flower show. The Chelsea Fringe is a way in which communities can celebrate the beauty and art of gardening locally, whilst still being part of the amazing energy of the main festival. We might not be able to travel the 544 miles to Chelsea, but we can still take part and be proud that we are the most Northern and first Scottish venue.”

To mark the occasion, Drum is running a Garden Photography competition. The team are looking for shots in three categories: 1) My favourite gardener – (this could include garden ‘helpers’, like hedgehogs who helps keep slugs under control, as well as human subjects), 2) A view of Drum Garden, 3) All that grows – (this is a close-up of a plant, flower, tree or similar).

Entries are welcome in three age groups – adults, senior pupils and primary pupils, before May 18. For more details, to register, and terms and conditions, please email Please note that entries must be submitted in printed form.

Spring is a really important time to celebrate gardens.

Diana Robertson

The competition entries will be judged by three noted professional photographers and gardeners, including the Trust’s Head of Photographic Images, Marcin Klimek, Head of Gardens, Robert Grant, and Simon Hall, who has his own professional photography business.

Being the Head Gardener of the stunning gardens and grounds of Drum Castle, Diana Robertson is hugely knowledgeable and considers the springtime festival as incredibly important. She said:“Spring is a really important time to celebrate gardens. Everything is bursting in to life, and getting out into the gardens, listening to the birds sing for their territory, watching the first bees come back to the hives saturated with cherry and lime blossom, anticipating the beauty of summer flowers and the bounty of the autumn harvest, gives you a real feel good factor. It just makes you happy!”

The winning entries from the photography competition will be displayed in the castle during its ‘4 Ps in our garden’ which runs on Saturday 30 and Sunday 31 May.

Diana continued: “Our event involves photography, poetry, people focused workshops and planting. We will be celebrating the magic of trees with a special tree walk; marvelling at the beauty of moths with the Aberdeenshire Moth Group; creating Chelsea Bonnets using natural materials, planting a door step herb garden in a bag for life, and the Lemon Tree Writers Group have composed a new poetry collection for the inaugural Scottish Chelsea Fringe. There will also be a wishing tree for visitors to hang their own thoughts, willow weaving workshops, and stories being ‘woven’ around the garden.”

Entry cost £4 for adults, £2 for children, £10 for a family. For more info call 01330 700334.