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Private Garden in Scotland

Surrounded by colossal mountains, peaty moorland, and the dark waters of the North Atlantic this garden on the southern shore of a Loch in the north west Highlands of Scotland, is not what you might expect.


GAP Photos/Carole Drake

Feature No:   4626 

Qty of Images:    86 


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Through the summer this magnificent landscape frames a display of brilliantly coloured plants from South Africa, Chile and New Zealand that seem remarkably at home here. After building their house on the highest point of the croft, the owners began shaping the garden, creating terraces around the house, and using stone on site to build walls and raised beds. 'Drainage is very important as we have nearly two metres of rain a year, so we installed lots of stone lined ditches to channel excess water down towards the loch. A lot of our South African plants are in a long raised bed that runs along the side of the house which we backfilled with rubble and poor soil so the drainage is excellent. No compost was added and we use sand to top-dress the bed so it stays very low in nutrients too.' In this way plants are discouraged from making the soft, sappy growth that is vulnerable to wind damage. In June and July this bed flashes with colour as flame red Gladiolus cardinalis, carmine dieramas, orange watsonias and sulphurous Kniphofia 'Sunningdale Yellow' flower amongst tussocky clumps of grass-like restios including Elegia tectorum. Some of the dieramas are hybrids that the owner bred herself while at Inverewe. Commonly known as angel's fishing rods, their delicate, arching stems dance in the wind. Below the house two curving herbaceous borders lead down the garden, packed with herbaceous plants and grasses including Stipa gigantea, Chionochloa conspicua, stachys, heleniums and prickly blue eryngiums. They frame the lawn and meadows dotted with wild flowers and nodding pink dieramas. Adjacent are orderly raised beds and polytunnels for growing vegetables, a small orchard and a pond. In this brilliant fusion of north and south not a single square inch is wasted.



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