A sneaky peek inside Scot­land’s Gar­dens

The Oban Times - - LEISURE -

FROM grand coun­try houses to ru­ral vil­lage back gar­dens and the rich di­ver­sity in be­tween, Scot­land’s Gar­dens gives us a win­dow into a pri­vate world – a glimpse into a pre­cious and very per­sonal pur­suit. It is a unique op­por­tu­nity and it is fas­ci­nat­ing.

Ev­ery year, more gar­den own­ers are cul­ti­vat­ing, cre­at­ing and open­ing their gates for char­ity. The gar­dens don’t have to be grand – what’s im­por­tant is that they have some hor­ti­cul­tural in­ter­est and are of a cer­tain aes­thetic stan­dard.

What draws you into a gar­den? The wild beauty of the High­land bog gar­den, wood­land paths, colour­ful drifts of wild flow­ers, fea­tures in stone, wa­ter and me­tal? Or rare plant species, blousey shrubs and sym­me­try, eco ini­tia­tives or a mag­nif­i­cent view? Are you mostly cu­ri­ous about how it might re­flect the per­son­al­ity of its keeper and crea- tor? What­ever in­spires you, it is all there to see and en­joy.

Whether you want a sneaky peek or a lan­guid look, there are gar­dens which will charm the knowl­edge­able, the spir­i­tual and the hum­ble en­thu­si­ast. Plan­ning your visit couldn’t be eas­ier. Look out for Scot­land’s Gar­dens' Yel­low book with pho­tos, di­rec­tions and all the de­tails you need about gar­den open­ings. For the com­puter savvy – try www.scot­lands- gar­dens.org. Some gar­dens are open con­tin­u­ously, oth­ers by ar­range­ment. If teas and home-bak­ing are pro­vided, they are usu­ally di­vine. So don your sturdy shoes, make a day of it and visit a few. Whether you need ‘you time’ or fun for all the fam­ily, it’s a great day out.

On Sat/Sun, May 6/ 7, from 1.305pm you can visit Kames Bay, Kilmelford PA34 4XA, nearby Ar­d­u­aine and Ard­maddy Cas­tle Gar­dens are also open. Wild flow­ers and wood­land, aza­leas, rhodies and stun­ning views.

Sat/Sun, May 13/14, 1pm- 6pm Dal­nashean, Port Ap­pin PA38 4DE. Camellias, rhodies and mag­no­lias, views to Lis­more and Loch Linnhe, ponds and aza­leas. Travel on to nearby Druim­neil and Kin­lochlaich.

Sat/Sun, May 13/14, 1.30-5pm Knock Cot­tage, Lochgair PA31 8RZ. Spec­i­men, rhodies and shrubs, wood­land, wa­ter­fall and lochan. Crarae and In­ver­aray Gar­dens are also close by.

We’re on the look­out for more gar­den open­ings in Scot­land. If you have a se­cret paradise which you’d en­joy shar­ing with other gar­den en­thu­si­asts, or know some­one who does, please con­tact us: info@ scot­lands­gar­dens.org (head of­fice) or minette@ard­maddy.com (lo­cal). It’s fun, it’s ap­pre­ci­ated and it is free.

Knock Cot­tage.

Kames Bay.

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