Shetland on Britain's Best Back Gardens

Shetland will be appearing on a new short series by Alan Titchmarsh called Britain's Best Back Garden's on ITV on January 6th 2015 at 8pm.

Scotland's Gardens contacted Mary Leask at VisitScotland who co-ordinates the Scotland's Gardens Scheme in Shetland in the spring and she recommended Rosa Steppanova's Lea Gardens in Tresta as an ideal location for this show. The show focuses on the difficult plots where people have created beautiful gardens and Mary's suggestion of Lea Gardens was backed up by Scotland's Gardens Scheme who also suggested this garden to the producers as an excellent location for filming.

The film crews arrived in the summer of 2014 and did some very secretive filming with Rosa at Lea Gardens. VisitScotland spoke with Rosa earlier today when news was released that Shetland would be featuring on the show and though very honoured to have her garden featured and proclaimed one of Britain's best gardens she felt this was really a celebration of all Shetland gardens, she had this to say:

"I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have helped to make the garden what it is today.

"When I arrived in Shetland, it was the place where nothing could grow because of the harsh climate. Nothing could be further from the truth, as three decades later wonderful gardens have sprung up everywhere and I'm sure some of them are as deserving of this accolade as Lea Gardens, if not more so.

"The inclusion of a Shetland garden on this list is important because it not only puts Lea Gardens, but Shetland horticulture as
a whole on the national map, and with it the efforts and achievement of all Shetland gardeners. That surely is cause for celebration."

 Scotland's Gardens Scheme is a charity organisation which encourages keen gardeners to open their own gardens to the public taking a small fee which goes towards charity. Last year 10 gardens in Shetland from Scatness to Mid Yell and Scalloway to Sandness took part in the scheme offering locals and visitors the opportunity to see the beautiful gardens which can be created in our difficult gardening environment. Shetland's gardens have been so loved by Scotland's Gardens Scheme that last year they organised a bus tour to Shetland to visit the gardens and are hoping to be able to do this again in the future. To find out more about the scheme and gardens you can visit please see their webpage 
To find out more about Lea Gardens visit Rosa's blog at 

Grubs Up: 2015 Year of Food & Drink

As the year that "ScotlandPony Welcomes the World" begins to come to a close now that all of the major events have finished, the Scottish Government in partnership with EventScotland & VisitScotland will return to the "Year of..." marketing & development campaigns.

2015 will be the Year of Food & Drink and will see Scotland Food & Drink joining the partnership to place a spotlight on the nations industry. VisitScotland and EventScotland will of course be focusing on the tourism opportunities and they will be celebrating food & drink as part of Scottish cultural identity and heritage in promoting Scotland as a holiday destination. This is not without good reason, research has shown that visitors to Scotland want to try local food and two-thirds of visitors have identified quality food as an important factor in deciding where they want to holiday.

VisitScotland have recently released their Year of Food & Drink toolkit, which you can find here or by clicking on the banner below, this provides a range of information about what the Year of Food & Drink is about, research, has logos and digital banners available for use as well as ideas for monthly food themes and information about local suppliers.

As well as promoting Scotland through Food & Drink there is also a special growth fund specifically aimed at development in this area available.

Demand is likely to be high on the applications to this fund so act fast on this, you can find out more about this special Growth Fund here.

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