Main stop today was Inverewe Gardens, a mere stone’s throw (if you were superhuman) from our campsite with its wonderful view (above). I have been there twice before, both in the 70s and recall nothing other than the general ambience and trying to shake off a young accountant in the Monty Python era on my first visit. The Golfer’s company was far more amenable though and we spent a good couple of hours in this almost subtropical garden, warmed by the Gulf Stream and invariably frost free.
The inevitable very limited wifi access in this far northern corner of Scotland means I am posting as and when I can, keeping posts brief and uploading photos when opportunities arise. Likewise, comments are read when possible but it is unlikely I will be able to reply to most of them – but please do keep them coming!
Please enjoy some of Inverewe’s highlights:
Prince Charles and Camilla visited Attadale Gardens, Wester Ross, earlier this year but there was no special welcome or red carpet for us when we visited today on our trip around the Far North. Created in the late 19th century it is very much a woodland garden but was transformed after the 1980 storms into a ‘painter’s garden’, designed to frame the views of Skye and the surrounding hills. Streams, waterfalls and pools add movement and although we missed the meconopsis, candelabra primula and rhododendrons there was still much to enjoy, especially the overriding smell of damp greenery and pine needles.
I have taken the easy option on our travels and treated you to another of Mum’s vases, one of the certainties of our visits being the presence of a vase in the guest bedroom. This vase, from nearby Argyll Pottery, contains local stalwarts montbretia (crocosmia), hebe, rowan (mountain ash), Michaelmas Daisy and berberis foliage, the blooms all choosing their own time to flower, regardless of supposed seasonal norms. As always, the pretty effect of the vase is doubled by the mirror which always stands behind it, although both had to be relocated in an effort to keep the reflection of the rest of the room and the photographer out of any photograph!
I may not be able to catch up with all your comments and vases this week but rest assured they will all be read and relished even if I have not been able to respond, so please do post links to your vases as usual so we can all enjoy them – and have a good week!
A couple of years ago I decided the enough was enough, that the ‘tree lily’ in one of the main borders was far too big for it boots and its current spot, and indeed that there were NO suitable spots anywhere for this unnaturally larger-than-life lily. Disposing of it humanely (that is, giving it away) was on the cards, but a fellow blogger suggested it may not grow as tall in a pot. Readers, it did – perhaps 8 feet instead of its previous 6 feet, thus looking even more incongruous squeezed into the pot. Relegated to the back of the woodland edge border last autumn where it was both out of sight and out of mind would surely beat it into submission? Readers, it did not, and it now has a temporary reprieve with its head of huge pink trumpets 11 feet (yes, 11 feet!) in the clouds and the apple tree… sigh…
It won’t be obvious to you, looking at this picture, that I repainted the sitooterie this afternoon – but to me it is, especially as the numerous patches of white where the pink pigment for some reason had been washed out are no more, and neither are the green algae patches on the back or right hand side where it gets more shade. It definitely has a more spick and span look about it and, having taken a mere hour or so of painting time, was infinitesimally more manageable than repainting the house itself, which also needs doing but involves long ladders and scaffolding – and a new supply of Dulux Weathershield Waterlily Blush 4. And there is exterior woodwork too…sigh… Why are new projects always easier to get on with and more fun than basic maintenance tasks…?
At least the Rock Wall project seems to be complete, apart from planting that is, with the laying of three rolls of turf yesterday afternoon, sweat pouring off me in the dry sweltering heat as I cut it to fit, adding more topsoil where needed to level out the joins. The turf was not in 100% fresh condition, not surprising given the recent weather, but with regular watering and a bit of rain it should perk up. The current forecast is for almost non-stop rain tomorrow and Saturday, which would be most welcome but I will believe when I see it. Our weather monitor tells us we had 38mm of rain in July and there has been none at all to speak of in August. All nine water butts are empty and I have turned the pumps for the stream and other water features as ther is no rainwater to top them up…
The obelisks too are complete and ‘placed’ in situ; from this angle you can’t tell they are not vertical as the ground is too hard to adjust where the legs are placed, but our neighbours might perhaps question how sober I was when I put them in the border! They will await the planting of roses and clematis in due course and in the meantime the Golfer will knock up a mini dovecot on a single post to mirror the style of the obelisks and balance the border on the left hand side where it is too narrow for an obelisk.
Oh, while I remember, does anyone want any apples…?