Caroline and Andrew Thomson formed The Backhouse Heritage Exhibition and Education Centre at Rossie Estate in Fife in 2005 to preserve and care for their families horticultural history and associated ephemera in a focused collection.
The resource has been sited in PhD thesis, academic articles, books, TV programme makers and photographers work. The Backhouse Heritage, Exhibition and Education Centre is happily forming links with fellow Heritage based organisations.
“We are a family business”, Andrew comments, “run by Caroline, myself and our son Hamish, with help from the people who work here we have restored the walled garden and grounds now with Cafe and gifts and an on-line presence for people who would like to enjoy some country goodness but are not able to visit.
“It was the garden, albeit run down and needing a lot of work which captured our hearts. When we came here, the south wall of the walled garden was falling down, a pheasant rearing cage dominated and compacted the ground and the waist high weeds took over 5 years to control.”
Now known for its rare heritage daffodils and themes of art and science, the garden now holds our families’ award winning daffodils in the National Collection for Narcissus Backhouse cultivars awarded by Plant Heritage. The Backhouse Rossie Estate is an RHS Partner Garden and open under Scotland’s Garden Scheme, Discover Scottish Gardens, Gardener’s World and features in Ken Cox’s book ‘Scotland for Gardeners’.
“Through her mother’s line Caroline is a direct descendant of the Backhouse family, well known horticulturalists and daffodil breeders. It is this connection which led to the formation of the Backhouse Heritage Daffodil Collection and associated family exhibition. Caroline and Andrew are seeking to locate named Backhouse Daffodil Cultivars or accurate photographs of missing cultivars, to help preserve these lovely, historically important daffodils for future generations”.
Work continues on The Backhouse Heritage Exhibition and Education Centre and visitors are welcomed into the unfolding story of many generations of one family, the remarkable Quaker Backhouse’s Botanists and Bankers.
As the 6th generation we are bringing our forebears award winning, ground breaking horticultural work which caused such amazement in it’s day back to life, for you to enjoy in the garden, the cafe and the Backhouse Heritage Exhibition and Education Centre.