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Akong Rinpoche 1,000 Bulb Memorial

To commemorate the life of Akong Rinpoche we hope to plant 1,000 bulbs in the garden every year. This time we’ve selected some spring bulbs to bring colour to all of our lives just when the winter seems to be overstaying its welcome. White daffodils and snowdrops have been planted along the front edge of the half-moon bed up by the courtyard, and across the path dwarf tete-a-tete yellow daffodils have been scattered over the terracing and around the Sundial Garden. In the Peach House there’ll be pots of crocuses, hyacinths, cyclamens, alliums and oxalis all looking out into the nursery where in the middle the stone well-head has been filled up with golden winter aconites. Rinpoche was a regular visitor to the garden and came down most days to see how we were getting on. He often recommended that people would be better off digging the garden. Hopefully some of the bulbs will become established and build up great colonies for the future.

Welcome To The Samye Ling Garden

The Samye Ling Tibetan Centre is set among the rolling hills of the Scottish borders. It was established in 1967 and is administered by the Rokpa Trust.  The Garden comprises some two acres of land within the extensive grounds of the Monastery nestling in between the log cabins along the riverbank and the guesthouse. It is comparable to an old fashioned Victorian kitchen garden typically found at a country house or even the stately home of Lord and Lady Esk? Throughout this time it has continued to provide mountains of fresh organic produce for the kitchens, the local community and visitors.

The garden is only thirty years old and is really still in its infancy, yet solid foundations have been laid for the future. There has been the gradual transition from an open agricultural plot to a block of allotments and now finally to a traditional kitchen garden. It is completely enclosed by thick hedgerows  and footpaths wind their way through a number of smaller gardens comprising vegetable plots, herbs, and mixed borders of fruits and flowers. There are walled gardens, workshops and potting sheds, greenhouses and cold frames, a shop, a library and an information centre. The garden has an undeniable rough and ready feel to it; the hedgerows can be rather unruly and the weeds seem to take hold very quickly, but visitors comment it does have an austere charm with a degree of magnificence perhaps in harmony with the bleak surroundings.

The project funds itself with the sales of fresh produce and potted plants, delivering horticultural training courses, applying for grants and the grateful receipt of donations. This has been accomplished by a small team of dedicated volunteers. Over the years hundreds of people have joined in and contributed to bringing pleasure to the thousands of visitors. At 700 feet above sea level and under generally grey skies this remote area is more suited to woodland gardening but with some local knowledge and a bit of luck it’s surprising what is possible. 

New Organic Gardening Courses & Volunteering - 2016

For information concerning the Samye Ling Organic Gardening Courses and opportunities for volunteering in the garden, please click here for the Courses pages.

Spring Clean & Website Updating - 2016

We appear to be immersed in a very long wet and windy autumn. Battling down the track on the old bike only to find deep puddles everywhere and the place strewn with mud and leaves isn’t too mouth watering. Maybe it’s time for a well earned rest. But there are a few things to be getting on with indoors. The Back Shed flue needs rigging up and then when it’s nice and warm we‘ll seal the roof insulation with foam and panel the ceiling. The Oakhouse lighting has never really been that great so this needs thinking out before we get the shop up and running, and then we really should bring some order to the library as the books aren’t in any particular order at all. A few more desks would be handy as well. So there’s plenty to keep us going before it’s time to start plan for the next campaign.

This year we’ve tried to flesh out more detail and add a little more background. Over January this website will receive new images, so please pop back soon to explore the updates. We hope you enjoy it.