'Unprecedented' numbers attend garden open day

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Organisers of this year's Garden of Cosmic Speculation say they have had an unprecedented number of visitors.

Thousands of people packed into the garden at Portrack, near Holywood, on the outskirts of Dumfries.

The garden was created by local landscape artist and architect Charles Jencks, who takes inspiration from the universe.

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The garden is divided into 40 different areas featuring mounds, water features and installations.

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The huge number of visitors meant there were some long delays for people trying to exit and enter the car parks. Police Scotland asked people to avoid the main A76 route due to the volume of traffic backed up onto the main road.

Organiser's said they were sorry for any delays and thanked the public for their continued support.

"Yesterday's open day raised tens of thousands of pounds for Scotland's Gardens and Maggie's and we are tremendously grateful to all those who came along to support these wonderful causes.

"Perhaps due to the superb bank holiday weather the turnout was far higher than in previous years and there were delays getting to and from the garden during some parts of the day.

"We very much apologise for the inconvenience and would like to thank people for their support and patience."

– Organising committee, Garden of Cosmic Speculation
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Funds raised from the open day are donated to Maggie's Cancer Caring Centres- the charity set-up in memory of Jencks' late wife.

"What's so nice is that the garden spreads people out and they always find things to do here.

"You wouldn't know there were going to be about 5,000 or 10,000 people here because they'll all be looking at small things, very intimate things, as well as the big cosmos. It's delightful seeing all of these people enjoying my garden"

– Charles Jencks, Landscape artist and architect
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The futuristic garden attracted people from as far away as New Zealand and Canada.

Plans are already underway for next year's event, with details published by Scotland's Gardens at the end of 2017.

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