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Scotland's Gardens Scheme (Portrack - The Garden of Cosmic Speculation)

Whimsical, surreal and spectacular landscape designed to educate and entertain.

  • 4.4

  • from 108 Google reviews

A large green landscape with a body of water
A large green landscape with a body of water

1 of 9

About the garden

Open to the public only once a year, this is one of the UK’s most whimsical and ambitious landscaping projects. The Garden of Cosmic Speculation takes everything you think you knew about gardens and puts it in a blender with a generous splash of science.

Discover enormous geometric landforms, mind-bending distorted architectural follies and absurdist bridges which appear to have been pulled straight from the pages of Alice in Wonderland. The story of quarks, the universe and black holes are elegantly told through the lenses of waterfalls, lakes and elaborate paths.

Everything about this garden is designed to challenge your visual senses and make you think, but it is achieved with a real sense of style, and, crucially, a sense of humour.

How long is a typical visit?

The average visitor spends 2 - 4 hours (Half Day) at Portrack, The Garden of Cosmic Speculation.

Open Day 2022 Details

Opening in aid of charities: Maggie’s Centres and Scotland’s Gardens Scheme’s beneficiaries.

Please note the following:

  1. Visitors may only enter with a pre-booked ticket, including a car parking ticket. There are 2 x 3 hour time slots available. Please do not turn up without booking, as parking is very limited due to the time of year and we would hate to turn you away.

  2. There are two time slots available: 10am-1pm and 2pm-5pm. We ask that you only come in the time slot that you booked.

  3. Please be aware that the garden is undergoing major remedial and renovation work and some parts of it are inaccessible. We apologise in advance and ask you to be aware of this so that you are not disappointed. There are also new areas of planting and design details to enjoy.

  4. There will be no refreshments sold within the garden this year so please feel free to bring picnics with you.

  5. As previous years, toilets will be available in the car parking field, not in the garden


  1. The Upper Nithsdale Youth Pipe Band will be performing at 12.15pm and 2.30pm, weather permitting, and the charity Maggie’s will have a stall to tell you more about their work and links to the garden.

  2. The usual Covid regulations must be respected.

Booking details:

There is an optional donation which allows Scotland's Gardens Scheme to claim Gift Aid of 25% on the whole ticket price. If you would prefer not to donate, you can set your preferences by selecting the appropriate option further down the page

Booking details: We are so pleased to be opening our gates again and we hope you will enjoy your day. We are intending to open again next year, should you miss the opportunity this time round.

Opening times

2022 Event: Saturday 28 May & Sunday 29 May 10AM - 5PM Time slot tickets, pre-booking required.

Useful details

Garden area

30 Acres

Dog walking

Yes - Dogs on leads.

Cafe or restaurant

No cafe or restaurant on site


Yes - Children of all ages.

Wheelchair access

Completely inaccessible.



Dumfries and Galloway, DG2 0RW

Check local coronavirus guidance before you visit

Weather forecast


Find the garden

Scotland's Gardens Scheme (Portrack - The Garden of Cosmic Speculation)
Dumfries and Galloway
Sat Nav Postcode
Postcode for parking: DG2 0RL
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Things to see

No features yet for this season

Google reviews

  • 4.4

  • from 108 Google reviews

Grahame Latto

8 months ago


Perhaps my expectations were too high but I came away a bit under whelmed with the garden. There was no Wow moment. If you've visited Jupiter Artland then this is a water downed version. It was well organised. Volunteers kept you right with parking etc. I liked the live music. Would like to give it more stars but its just okay.

chris rankin

3 years ago


** Only open one day a year for 5 hours ** - brilliant sculptured landscapes - Must stick to paths to preserve the structures of mounds (plenty of people to tell you off if you don't) - Worth going to see but wouldn't return on a yearly basis.

Fawzia Garnett

4 years ago


Busy but not crowded. Ample parking and helpful very friendly staff. The grounds were impressive on a large scale. Interactive, fun and thought provoking. Best suited to the more mobile as a lot of areas are without paths.

Liz Cole

4 years ago


This is a truly wonderful garden on a grand scale. It's only open to the public on one day every year.

A. Gregory Wallace

4 years ago


Absolutely spectacular, well worth a visit on its open days

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