Glendoick's Gardens and Garden Centre, along with its award-winning café, and gardens open in April and May, offer the perfect day out.
The year 2023 marked the 50th anniversary of Glendoick Garden Centre.
The gardens showcase a unique collection of plants gathered over three generations of Cox plant-hunting expeditions. Visitors can delight in one of the most exquisite assortments of rhododendrons, azaleas, magnolias, and other acid-loving plants in the woodland garden and the areas surrounding the house. Many of these rhododendron and azalea species and hybrids have either been introduced from the wild or meticulously bred by the Cox family.
The early history of the Coxes at Glendoick
The story starts in Dundee, a port on the east coast of Scotland, which until recently was known for three things: Jute, Jam and Journalism. The Cox family were integral to the jute story in the 19th and early 20th centuries: the family firm, Cox Brothers built up their jute business, importing the fibres from the Hoogli river near Calcutta The firm of Cox Brothers was established by the four brothers James, William, Thomas and George in 1841 and became a limited company in 1893. In 1849 the original site at Foggyley became too small and the firm moved to Camperdown Works which was said to be the world's largest factory. Products included jute and hemp yarns, ropes and twines, bags and sacks, hessian, striped beddings, tickings, horse clothing and tarpaulins.
Alfred Cox bought Glendoick House and estate in 1899. Glendoick House was built around 1747 for Robert Craigie, Lord Advocate of Scotland in the style of William Adam; unfortunately the architectural records of the house were destroyed in a fire. Alfred and Helen Cox's only child Euan was born in 1893 and educated at Rugby and Cambridge. It was expected that Euan would in time return to Dundee to take over the running of the jute business in Dundee, but this did not attract him: he was more content living in London, mixing with the glitterati and literati of the time. Euan Cox was invalided out of First World War and avoided going on a troop ship which was sunk just outside Southampton. During the war, he worked as John Buchan's secretary at the Foreign Office.
Euan went plant hunting with Reginald Farrer in Burma in 1919. And this led to Glendoick becoming the centre of rhododendron growing and expertise over 3 generations.
A History of Glendoick (Garden Centre)
1747 Glendoick House Built
1893 Euan Cox born
1899 Glendoick purchased by Alfred Cox
1919 Euan Cox in Burma plant hunting with Reginald Farrer
1953 Euan and Peter Cox found the rhododendron nursery at Glendoick
1962 Rhododendron ‘Chikor’ first Glendoick bird hybrid.
1963 Peter & Patricia Cox married.
1965 Arunachal Pradesh Expedition, Peter & Patricia and Peter Hutchison
1973 Peter & Patricia Cox found Glendoick Garden Centre.
1973 Peter Cox book Dwarf Rhododendrons published.
1981 Peter Cox SBEC expedition, the re opening of China.
1987 Queen Mother visits Glendoick and choses a rhododendron to be named in her honour.
1988 Peter & Kenneth Cox publish Encyclopaedia of Rhododendron Hybrids
1991 Major Glendoick Garden Centre extension.
1996 Glendoick Café opens
1994 Glendoick Garden Centre Pagoda Garden opens, designed by Patricia Cox
1992 Peter Cox awarded V.M.H. highest honour from Royal Horticultural Society.
1995 Kenneth Cox leads first Tsangpo Gorges, Tibet expedition.
1997 Encyclopedia of Rhododendron Species by Peter and Kenneth Cox published.
2001 Jane Cox joins the company and runs the expanding catering and food side of Glendoick’s business.
2006, 2008, 2010 Glendoick’s Cafe wins U.K. Garden Centre Café of the year.
2008 Cafe and Kitchen Extension
2008 Seeds of Adventure Peter Cox and Peter Hutchison Wins the Garden Media Guild 'Inspirational Book of the Year'
2009 Glendoick wins UK Garden Centre of the Year.
2009 Scotland for Gardeners by Kenneth Cox wins Garden Reference Book of the Year (Garden Media Guild).
2011 November 11th New Garden Centre shop extension (Algo) opened by John Swinney MSP.
2012 Fruit and Vegetables for Scotland published and wins UK Practical Gardening Book of the Year (GMG)
2013 Peter & Patricia Cox Golden Wedding
2016, 2017 Voted Best Scottish Garden Centre café and giftshop
2018 New Café extension opens
2019 Glendoick wins Retail Business of the year in the SME Business Awards.
2022 Glendoick wins Scottish Rural Business of the Year.
2023 Glendoick Garden Centre celebrates 50 years
Glendoick Garden Centre Awards won
UK Garden Centre of the Year 2009, 2013
Best UK Garden Centre Café 2006, 2008, 2010, 2013
UK Garden Centre Plant Area of the Year 2013
UK Garden Centre Sales Team of the Year 2016
UK Garden Centre Community Event of the Year 2016
GCA Best Garden Centre & Gift Shop in Scotland 2015, 2016, 2017
GCA Best Garden Centre Café in Scotland 2016, 2017
GCA UK Garden Centre Gift Shop of the Year (runner up) 2016
GCA Best Indoor Lifestyle Departments in Scotland 2019
Kenneth Cox ARS Gold Medal 2006.
ASB Community Commitment Award 2017
ASB Best Performing Team of the Year Award 2016
Scottish SME Business Awards Retail Business of the Year 2019
Caley Medal John Mitton 2020
Glendoick Gardens SGS 50 years of garden opening 2022
The Herald Scottish Family Business Awards Rural Family Business of the year 2022
Silver (second place) UK Garden Centre Christmas Team of the Year 2023.