I hesitate to recommend this garden – not because it wasn’t lovely or worth a visit but because I very much doubt many of you will be passing within 100 miles of it soon !
Attadale Gardens has to be the most northerly garden I have ever visited, although it was only 20 mins away from where we spent our summer holidays every year.
It’s over 629 miles from London and still 225 miles or 4 hours drive from Glasgow.
It is on a similar latitude to the southern tip of Greenland !
This all makes for an interesting climate! The garden is at sea level , on the banks of Loch Carron and enjoys a relatively warm and temperate climate. The Gulf Stream keeps the frost and snow at bay most winters. The summers are not quite as warm as further south, and the rainfall is approximately 70% higher than the UK average
Unsurprisingly the first impression you get on entering this garden, is just how lush everything is. Plants that I was familiar with were almost twice the size as they’d grow down south and there was no sign of the parched slow down that gardens often have in August.
The clean, damp climate has led to some amazing lichen growing on trees.
Attadale Gardens was first established in the elate 19th century by a Baron Schroeder ( of the banking family ) and still consists of 20 acres of conifers and rhododendrons. It was substantially replanted after 1980 storms and now includes pools, bridges, sculpture and beautiful views of Skye and the Applecross hills.
Obviously the best time to visit this garden must be late May for the rhododendrons but even in August there was plenty to see.
The woodland areas were lush with ferns, and the martagon lilies were fabulous, nodding above the undergrowth.
Some of the rhododendrons were still attracting attention even without flowers – the bark of this Rhododendron rex arizelum were fabulous with the sunlight glancing off them.
The vegetable garden was really quite demoralising ! The size of the cabbages !
And a hedge of broad beans !
The house is tucked in away from strong winter winds and because of that probably doesn’t have much of a view sadly but you only have to explore a few paths to admire the views across the loch.
There are plenty of craggy rocks covered in mosses and fabulous roots twisting themselves to find a little thin soil.
Overall, this garden has plenty of interest throughout the year and after the endless, wild splendour of heather covered mountains that we’d been exploring locally, it was a pleasant adventure into a more cultivated landscape.
ps. Apologies for the silence over the last month but I’ve been having issues uploading posts from my ipad, where I always store my photos and write my posts, on to WordPress. I’ve contacted WordPress without much joy but have heard other people have similar problems. If anybody knows how to overcome this bug please let me know !