Need to know
of brilliant green at the end of a dusky corridor of hillside and water.
Will and Sue met when they were both working at the botanical gardens at nearby Inverewe, where Will was walled gardener for 10 years and Sue was the propagator. Their shared passion for plants was unstoppable. They took every possible opportunity to travel and see flora in its natural habitat, visiting South Africa, New Zealand and Chile, returning inspired and armed with precious seeds to coax into tantalising new plants. At Inverewe, they helped establish and care for the UK’S first South Africa border and their private collection of plants started to multiply.
The pair was thrilled to be offered the five-acre south-east facing croft in the hamlet of Durnamuck in 2009 and the chance to provide a home for a ‘lifetime’s collection of plants’. Tree planting to provide additional shelter at the back of the garden was their first ● Size Almost half an acre of garden—raised beds, curving borders and wildflower meadows—that’s part of a five-acre croft sloping gently down to Little Loch Broom, in the far north-west of Scotland
Almost sea level
● Soil Acidic, peaty soil—being a croft, the land has been cultivated for hundreds of years, therefore soil is 1ft deep in places
● Climate Wet and mild winters (generally no lower than –5˚C). Summers are cool, ‘dry on occasion—but mostly wet’ and often windy
task and, as soon as the house was ‘more or less complete’, Will got going on the garden. As well as the permitted half-acre of ornamental garden, the pair organised the remaining land for fruit, vegetables, horses and beehives.
Building raised beds from stone found close to hand provided winter drainage to ground already in a ‘lowish position and with a high water table’ and enabled