The future of the Arduaine Garden near Oban on the west coast of Scotland is secure, thanks to a campaign that saw the National Trust for Scotland raise more than £2 million. Having being threatened with closure in 2009, supporters stepped in to reprieve the garden as the Trust and stakeholders- including the nearby Loch Melfort Hotel-developed a plan to cut Arduaine’s annual losses and start fundraising for its future.

‘Just two years ago, there was dismay at the possibility that this beautiful place would close to the public forever,’ says Trust chairman Sir Kenneth Calman. ‘In that short time, we have turned the fortunes of the secret garden around. We have cut its losses by thousands and raised enough money to ensure it is well on the way to becoming self-sufficient. This success demonstrates our new strategy well we are not out to sell off our heritage gems, we’re searching for new ways to make them work.’

Located at the head of the Sound of Jura, the south-facing garden-which is open daily from 9.30am until sunset-benefits from the warming North Atlantic Drift, which allows temperate plants such as blue Tibetan poppies, giant Himalayan lilies and Chatham Island forget-me-nots to thrive.

* Country Life makes the perfect present. Treat yourself or a friend this Christmas and save up to 40%.