Summer is almost here and it has never been more welcome. Spring finally arrived in a rush, bringing with it a blizzard of blossom as rhododendrons, camellias and magnolias burst gloriously into flower.

In this issue of Scottish Gardener, plant hunter and nurseryman Kenneth Cox offers advice from his new book on woodland gardening about how best to grow these spectacular plants.

Soon it will be June and the first of the roses will start to open. If you only visit one garden this year, then make it Carolside near Earlston, the astonishingly romantic garden created by Rose Foyle, who has a passion for heritage roses.

At Carolside, roses grow up pillars and along swags of rope. They scramble up walls and tumble off them in festoons. Their heady scent fills the air in the walled garden like the finest French perfume, overwhelming even the bees that fly drunkenly from bloom to bloom.

But it would a shame to travel to the Borders without taking in some of the other gardens that flourish here, so we've compiled a guide to the best of them for you to visit.

Also in this issue we profile Gardening Scotland 2018, which opens on Friday, 1 June at the Royal Highland Centre in Edinburgh, offering gardeners the best in plants and expert advice. As always the Show Gardens will be packed with inspirational ideas and only the very best flowers will be on sale in the Floral Pavilion.

After 40 years of selling plants, Dougal Philip and Lesley Watson of New Hopetoun Gardens have celebrated the anniversary of their garden centre by compiling for us a list of their top 40 plants.

These are the tried-and-tested flowers, shrubs and trees that can be guaranteed to perform, so whether you are starting a garden from scratch or adding to an existing one, these are all worth considering.

And of course we bring you all the usual features, including Alison Swanson's allotment advice, news about community gardens and wildlife and our popular gardeners' crossword as well as getting a sneak peak into garden designer Lynn Hill's own patch in 'Me & My Garden.'

Enjoy the summer.

Agnes Stevenson,
Scottish Gardener Editor

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