Friday, 23 September 2011

The glorious gardens of Argyll and Bute

 The ancient kingdom of Argyll is a special area with dramatic landscapes and a rocky indented coastline. Within this fastness lie the Glorious Gardens of Argyll and Bute, a group of nineteen gardens who work collaboratively, sharing ideas and standards and providing attractive and peaceful places to visit.

The sea and the mild currents of the Gulf Stream influence the special nature of the gardens on the west coast of Scotland. The resulting equitable climate with the generally acid soil provides ideal growing conditions for a wide range of plants from other countries, including some which would have to be grown under glass elsewhere. The nineteenth and twentieth centuries saw a vast influx of material into Scotland from plant collectors – conifers such as Sequoiadendron giganteum from North America, rhododendrons and magnolias from the Himalayas, crinodendrons and embothriums from Chile and myrtles, eucalypts and olearias from Australasia. This has continued to the present day.

The Glorious Gardens represent excellence in many spheres: world-renowned plant collections, historic walled gardens with greenhouses and formal spaces round castles and country houses, two rare Victorian ferneries, examples of period landscaped gardens and modern, newly-developed areas of prairie and gravel planting.

Gardens are precious and their continuing existence is often taken for granted. In a world of uncertainty, gardens provide peace and continuity. We support each other, sharing our ideas and initiatives – and we look forward to your visit when we can share our gardens with you.

Details of each garden are on our website www.gardens-of-argyll.co.uk

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