Lazy West Coast day.


April often brings amazing weather to the Scottish Highlands and the West Coast in particular. Good Friday and a break from the usual to make one of our regular trips west to Poolewe and the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) garden at Inverewe, 6 miles north east of Gairloch. Sarah has particular connections with, and childhood memories of this garden because her Uncle James Gibson and Aunt Annette were closely involved with the NTS and Inverewe Garden in particular. A trip out to this far flung north west corner of Britain would be a considered undertaking for many, even real garden enthusiasts. Fortunately for us, it’s a two-hour drive.


Spring brings new hope and lots of seedlings! The glass houses at Inverewe are stuffed with new plants for the gardens which suffered like many in the UK after a period of prolonged and particularly harsh cold weather last December; the second in less than 12 months. Normally, conditions in this part of the world can be very mild, hence the unusual and tender plants that can be grown at Inverewe.

Palm trees in northern Scotland! You see, we do not live in a perpetual zone of permafrost as some in southern Britain might think!

Plant supports in the walled garden with a difference! Sarah weaves willow and we have a dedicated weaving material bed in our own garden which has various plants that produce material suitable for weaving, including willow. This is something we might have a go at next year!

One of the prime reasons for visiting Inverewe is the abundance of Rhododendrons originating from the Himalayas; eucalyptus from Tasmania, which have done well to survive the cold when so many eucalyptus trees are now sadly dead in Scottish gardens, and one of the world’s rarest plants, the Wollemi pines (‘Wollemia Nobilis’), planted in 2009 and doing well.

The garden extends over 22ha, so it takes a good few hours to walk round it, look at the various plants, take lots of pictures and to learn new things for the development of our own small 2 acre woodland garden. The one thing we lack is the acidic soil that enables Inverewe to grow its riot of beautiful and exotic plants. Nonetheless, there’s always something to learn and I love looking at hard landscaping and garden structure, and it’s those things that can be inspirational. I will close my blog today with a shot of the walled garden which is a prompt that I must start on the kitchen garden in the next couple of weeks as there are vegetable and salad seed to sow!

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