The Garden of Cosmic Speculation – Date for your diaries – May 5th 2013 (and 2015)

Update: If you are looking for information about 2015 opening times please see this article The Garden of Cosmic Speculation Opening Times for 2015.

Photo: Simon Robinson

Photo: Simon Robinson

This is just a quick note to let you know that this year The Garden of Cosmic Speculation will be open on May 5th – 12.00 – 5.00. Entrance is £6 and you simply pay as you enter.

For those of who do not know the garden, it is the creation of architect Charles Jencks, and is one of the most important gardens to have been created in Europe in the last few decades. It is the result of years of work, based on many conversations with some of the world’s most brilliant scientists and thinkers from cosmology, biology, chemistry, complexity science, chaos theory and quantum physics. The garden is set in the grounds of the home of Jencks, and as such it is only open to the public for five hours every year. The day is run by volunteers, and the money goes towards the cancer charity set in the name of Charlse’s late wife Maggie.

Photo: Simon Robinson

Photo: Simon Robinson

A small blog like this can not do justice to the grand scale of the vision of the gardens, with their fractal bridges and paths, strange attractor landscaping, the quantum sculptures, DNA garden, puzzling paths, spiral hedges, woodlands walks with nonsense buildings, bamboozling mirrors and many many other mind-blowing creations. You will just need to visit yourselves, and now you know when it is open this year.


Holywood 1½ miles off A76, five miles north of Dumfries. Portack House is signposted from the A76. There is ample temporary car parking in one of the fields by the entrance to the gardens.

Photo: Simon Robinson

Photo: Simon Robinson

Photo: Simon Robinson

Photo: Simon Robinson

Photo: Simon Robinson

Photo: Simon Robinson

Photo: Simon Robinson

Photo: Simon Robinson

Photo: Simon Robinson

Photo: Simon Robinson

19 responses to “The Garden of Cosmic Speculation – Date for your diaries – May 5th 2013 (and 2015)

  1. Pingback: Developing smart cities, smart regions and smart technology in Florianopolis, Brazil | The Transition of Consciousness·

    • Hi Aura, the garden is only open for one day a year as it is operated by a charity, and the charity does not have the resources to open the garden more often. You do not need to make a reservation for the open day.

  2. The article says it is open on Sunday 4th May but then goes on to say that “this year it will be open on May 5th” Is that correct?

  3. To any readers stumbling across this article who might be hesitating: GO. My wife and I re-routed our honeymoon itinerary when we realized we were within 500 miles in the proper week, and it was worth every moment and penny to make it happen. Go. It is transformative.

    • That will have been a really special honeymoon John. So many people in other countries don’t have the same opportunity to go as we natives, and 500 miles is not so much given that this is one of the most important gardens to have been created in the last 20 years or so. Having said that, I did meet a couple who had come from the US just to visit!

    • Hi Susan, the Garden is always open on the first Sunday of May, which is May 3rd. However, please do check nearer the time just in case. However, this has been the date for the last few years and you should be able to plan for this day.

  4. In her latest novel Louise Penny mentions the garden so I googled the name and found it really exists. My wife and I have visited gardens throughout Europe and we are now making plans to spend the first week of May 2015 in Scotland. Thanks Simon for all information. Bill S New Jersey USA

    • Thanks for letting me know about Penny’s book. Have you read Charles Jencks’ book “The Garden of Cosmic Speculation”? It is amazing and well worth a read either before or after your trip.

      • I didn’t know about the book thanks. I just purchased it on Amazon. I am now going to search for a good airfare to Aberdeen. Thanks again

    • Hi Bill, the best two airports are Glasgow and Edinburgh. Manchester is another option too although it is a little further. The garden is just outside of Dumfries so please take a look at it on a map to ensure your journey is to the best airport.

      • Simon Again Thank You I have been researching the gardens of Scotland and found too many to visit on one trip. My wife and I will spend eight to ten days driving to various gardens but should I plan to arrive in Dumfries one or two days ahead of the opening date May 3 to insure my entry to the garden. Bill

    • I am reading Penny’s The Long Way Home right now and am amazed to find that the Garden of Cosmic Speculation really exists. I love Penny’s mystery series and always learn delightful things while loving her Québécois characters. I too am now considering a visit to Dumfries this May and want to read Jencks’ book!

      • Hello Mr. Tomkins I hope you are enjoying Ms. Penny’s new novel. I have read all her works and look forward to her next. Jencks’ book is a must read even if you have no plans to visit his garden. I have completed my travel plans and will be in Dumfries on May 1 for the May 3 opening. I will be the old guy with white hair and white beard hanging on to a very attractive young women( my wife of 40 years),

  5. Pingback: A Mesmerising, Magical Tour of the Greatest British Art, Architecture, Media and Culture Throughout the Ages | Transition Consciousness·

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