Hot on the heels of the Chelsea Flower Show, the East Lothian Garden Trail is back for its second year with 12 glorious and inspirational gardens to visit throughout East Lothian.

The 4pm bell has been rung signalling the end of the Chelsea Flower Show, gardening gloves have come off and battles fought to bag bargain begonias and cut price campanula. Known for pushing design boundaries, the world-famous flower show also inspires the home gardener. The gates at Chelsea might be closed, but you can still pick up ideas for your humble plot by visiting some of the many gardens throwing open their gates to the public during 2017, under the Scotland’s Gardens banner.

Scotland’s Gardens Open Scheme have organised an East Lothian Garden Trail which will take place from 28 June to 2 July. The Trail features 12 of the best gardens in East Lothian, most of which are not generally open to the public, providing a rare opportunity to visit them. Six gardens have featured in the previous Trail two years ago, new gardens have been added and new ground broken with the addition of the Musselburgh Allotments. You’ll also find sculpture and artwork from some of Scotland’s leading artists exhibited in one of the gardens.

The trail aims to raise cash for charity with 60% of the proceeds going to Scotland’s Gardens’ beneficiary charities and the remainder shared equally between Trellis and MND Scotland.

On the Trail you’ll see splendid planting in a mix of settings, some many generations old, some relatively recent; both coastal and inland; both rugged and manicured. Crammed full of unusual plants and inspiring planting combinations the gardens are a plantaholic’s dream, full of ideas and inspiration. And, with those who created the gardens on hand, you’ll get a chance to find out just what inspired their plentiful plots.

Picking the brains of the owner, or custodian – for many of these gardens are held in custody for the next generation – must surely be one of the highlights of wandering around the fruits of someone else’s labour. Definitely worth taking the gardening gloves off for!

EAST LOTHIAN GARDEN TRAIL | 28 June to 2 July 2017 | Tickets £25 | For further information and tickets: