Friday, June 29, 2018

The gardens of Benmore

On our recent trip round the sea lochs, we happened by a unknown treasure.
Benmore Botannical Gardens.
They are part of the Edinburgh Botannical Gardens, first founded in the 1600's. From there, mostly during the Victorian era,  another three gardens were acquired and now  they boast one of the largest plant collections in the world.
Benmore is on the Cowal penisular, the gardens wrap round the lower slopes of... you've guessed it, Ben More.
I had been looking around for  some famous Scottish trees for the next Anderson and Costello book. I was looking for big famous trees. We have some that are a thousand year old, loads that Scottish kings and princes have hidden up or fallen out of.
One of the most famous is actually at the end of my garden. I've walked past it twice a day for twenty years and never noticed the thing. 
More about that later.

But  on the internet, I did notice a few pictures of  Scotland's giant Redwoods at Benmore.
Yip- we have one of the highest Redwoods in Europe. 

We went in for a quick look and stayed for four hours.

I got the message here but who is squatting and..errr why?

120 acres, the top part is a hike up the mountain.

Me, trying to capture the magnificence of the Redwood walk.

The bridge over the river Eachaig, looking onto the Redwood walk.
It is quite magnificent.

The Golden gates

An indecisive tree, growing this way, then that!

The gate to the Japanese garden. It was closed to fungus.

In the Bhudda garden, little pillars of stones.

And then we found some bones!
What more could a crime writer ask for?

High on the Ben looking down.

Chile may be a land of extremes...

But the trees take time to grow. This wee guy was four feet high.

Deep in Chile!

A scientific experiment to trace the evil fungus

The walled garden has been devastated by fungus, all that is left are the trees on the border.  

Fungus is dangerous and transferable. 
We had to wash the soles of our shoes on leaving.

Lichen versus fungus. Lichen is winning.

The walled garden looks a little sad.

One of the many ponds.

Me trying to photograph the reflection.

More pond and more reflection


And ponds....

The Redwood walk.

There are 25 on each side, most of them 30 metres plus high.
All except one.
He fell down  in the great storm of 1968 ( as the blogateers will know) and was immediately replaced by a wee shorty who is growing  fast to try to catch up. He's still toatie.
He is the most photographed tree in the entire garden!

I was amazed by how soft their bark was.
Lovely things.
Big trees.

Caro Ramsay 29 06 2018


  1. Wow! Caro. What a beautiful place. I hope the fungus problem gets solved. Lichens winning is a hopeful sign. BTW, the squatting human is supposed to be a reminder to pick up your dogs poop. But I am sure your dog is too polite to poop on public.

  2. It is indeed a beautiful place, and we were lucky to be there on a quiet day and we had the place almost to ourselves.

  3. All those photos of evergreens and ponds have me missing my farm. The part about the fungus also makes me sad--even sadder than I am at still not getting notice of new posts and comments. :(. Sadder, because that same sort of fungus has decimated my Christmas tree farm. It's a horrid blight. And even though lichen still takes "root"--a sign of particularly clean air--that fungus continues to flourish. If you ever hear of a remedy, please let me know.