John and Dorothy Renton began creating Branklyn Garden in 1922. On a west facing slope in the valley of the River Tay, with acid soil, they built up a wonderful collection of appropriate plants – smaller rhododendrons, maples, daphnes, magnolias and many alpine plants such as meconopsis, primulas and saxifrages. Their aim was to provide ‘a home from home for plants’ but they also made a memorably original garden in which narrow paths of turf wind along the contours of the land, bringing the visitor nose-to-nose with countless plants of distinction, beautifully grown. The combination of woody plants underplanted with spring bulbs and later herbaceous plants is executed with brilliant aplomb.
The sloping scree garden, containing many alpine plants, and the excellent examples of peat-wall gardening are of particular interest.
Dorothy Renton was awarded The Veitch Memorial Medal by the Royal Horticultural Society in 1954 and the Scottish Horticultural Medal by the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society in 1960. The property was bequeathed to the National Trust of Scotland on the death of the Rentons and became a Trust property in 1968.