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Author Topic: Achamore Gardens on Gigha  (Read 3607 times)

TC

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Achamore Gardens on Gigha
« on: May 22, 2007, 11:43:27 PM »
Managed to belatedly get my act together.  We went here on the 29 April as the optimum time for the bulk of the rhododendrons in flower - especially the most tender and scented varieties.  We were not disappointed although the garden starts flowering in February.  For those that dont know, the garden was famous for its planting of rhododendrons by James Horlicks. After his death, the collection was bequeathed to the National Trust for Scotland and many of the choicer plants removed to Brodick.  The gardens then went into a gentle decline but I am pleased to say that the are now in a process of rejuvenation.  Gigha lies off the west coast of Kintyre and is easily reached by a regular ferry service which takes about 20 minutes.  There are a few shops and a hotel which serves meals but no transport.  The walk to the gardens is about 40 minutes each way and it takes between 2/4 hours to see everything. If you want food or drink at the gardens it has to be taken with you.  Thankfully there are toilets in the grounds and at the ferry slipway.
It is one of these gardens you want to visit time and again.
As usual, I had trouble with names as some of the labels are unreadable.  Because of the extent of hybrydisation, it is unwise to guess at anything.  There was one surprise, a double flowered rhododendron.  I did not know they existed. 
It was difficult to know what to show as general views need to be seen on a screen about 6 feet across or they begin to look a bit like coloured dots.  Anyway, here is a selection.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2007, 11:52:03 PM by TC »
Tom Cameron
Ayr, West of Scotland

TC

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Re: Achamore Gardens on Gigha
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2007, 12:21:42 AM »
Problem posting. Here goes again.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2007, 12:24:27 AM by TC »
Tom Cameron
Ayr, West of Scotland

TC

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Re: Achamore Gardens on Gigha
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2007, 12:31:04 AM »
Success.  Now some more

Should be Rh. supranubium
« Last Edit: May 23, 2007, 12:20:05 PM by TC »
Tom Cameron
Ayr, West of Scotland

TC

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Re: Achamore Gardens on Gigha
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2007, 12:33:45 AM »
Yet more
Tom Cameron
Ayr, West of Scotland

Lesley Cox

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Re: Achamore Gardens on Gigha
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2007, 02:11:06 AM »
Thanks for this little tour Tom. A lovely place. The Sophora microphylla (South Island Kowhai) is obviously very happy in the middle of the Gulf stream.

There are numerous double rhodos nowadays, apart from your double johnstoneanum. An old one is R. fastuosum `Plenum,' a good reliable purple and I used to have `Creamy Chiffon' which was gorgeous, a sort of frothy meringue thing. And there are a lot of double azaleas as well. A lot of these were bred in NZ in the first place but are no doubt around the world by now. 'Pavlova' is a stunning pure white.
Lesley Cox - near Dunedin, lower east coast, South Island of New Zealand - Zone 9

TC

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Re: Achamore Gardens on Gigha
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2007, 11:11:58 AM »
Thanks for your info. on double flowering rhoddies.  This is the first time I have seen them.  Although the flowers are attractive, the plant is rather leggy and twiggy.  Yes, the Kowhai is happy and growing well.
Some more pictures.  These are random and do not follow our walk round the garden.  It's because I find it easier to lift them from photoshop which scrambles them from the order taken.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2007, 11:18:22 AM by TC »
Tom Cameron
Ayr, West of Scotland

TC

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Re: Achamore Gardens on Gigha
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2007, 11:30:35 AM »
This is the last of the pictures.  I have included the notice board on the island's history- omitting the gaelic version.
The last picture shows how neatly we judged our timing as we made the ferry by 10 minutes after being on our feet for approx. 5 1/2 hours since arrival.  I must lose some weight !!!
Tom Cameron
Ayr, West of Scotland

Maggi Young

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Re: Achamore Gardens on Gigha
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2007, 12:01:41 PM »
Tom, so far I have only had a chance to glance down the thumbnails... rest assured I will return for the full show later! Thanks of this trip... some beautiful rhoddies... I'm not crazy about doubles and I wouldn't want to see an explosion of double rhodos, but the R. johnstonianum double is only a semi-double really, so I'm prepared to thole it! I bet it smelled good, too? 
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

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TC

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Re: Achamore Gardens on Gigha
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2007, 12:40:59 PM »
Yes Maggi, it was highly scented.  The most scented variety was no. 2593 ( picture in the first section ).  This one looked rather like a dalhousiae type and the perfume was a cross between a lily and orange blossom
  I have been in contact with the gardeners who are trying to find names for the numbered specimens.  The Spring Bank walk had groves of scented varieties.  With the warm sunshine, colours and perfumes, I could have stayed all day but there was too much more to see.  However, after 5 1/2 hours on my feet I was not sorry to have a seat, albeit in my car for the three hour drive home.  The smart move would have been to stay the night and take it at a leisurely pace.
The problem being that you cannot take the chance of going over with nowhere booked to stay as accommodation is limited.
Tom Cameron
Ayr, West of Scotland

 


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