Strolling in Strathcarron

A few days ago we beetled off to look around Atterdale Gardens at Strathcarron ( A visit to some “bloody garden” was not, it has to be admitted, at the top of Lachlan’s holiday fun activities list. However, he manfully resolved to endure it stoically after several hours of committed moaning and many proffered alternatives bore no fruit. The gardens are quite varied, with a large woodland areabacked by quite tall stone outcrops. Amidst areas of naturalistic planting, with ferns and lilies (doing much better in the misst shade here than they did in our garden this year where the poor things baked) there were artful nooks devoted to fern collections in a Japanese style. which quite took the bold boy’s fancy. The use of persicaria campanulate en masse as edging under the trees was a bit of a revelation and I think this might. be something I try out at home on shadier banks. We’re a lot drier, so I think I might need to up the ante on the mulching.

Borders and beds were largely planted in large blocks of plants, with linked pools filled with waterlilies forming an unusual edge to the pathway. In a sunny, sunken area in front of the house a sundial is surrounded by a profession of herbs and rock plants spilling out over the paving and out of low shingled beds. The rather pretty pink dotty plant below was something I’d not seen before. After a lot of googling I think I have it down to polygonum capitulata, but do shout out if you think it’s something else. The hostas were particularly impressive and I now find myself wondering about scope for a large hosta bed at home under the plum trees on the back lawn. The snowdrops there are lovely in early spring but after they have died back it’s very much waste space. the branches grow so low that mowing under them is well nigh impossible, the grass is sparse and weedy with self sown sorrel. (In the next tab I already am already searching for mixed hosts seeds. This is definitely a runner..).

Behind the little cafe (excellent sarnies btw) there was a greenhouse filled to bursting with the most enormous passionflower, huge brugmansia (or maybe datura) and a lovely collection of streptocarpus. One in a delicate lilac and cream called Charlotte was the popular favourite. I have tried and failed to grow these from seed so I think I may just have to bite the bullet and track down a nursery (another tab magically opens..).

All in all, it was a lovely garden to stroll around. As things turned out, even Lachlan enjoyed the day and has grudgingly admitted that, provided someone else pays for it, a garden tour of Japan might be bearable.

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