Arduaine, Scotland

It has been said that "Arduaine is a green and peaceful place, and must remain so." This describes the character and objective of the Arduaine Gardens. The gardens are located on a rocky promontory beside the Sound of Jura on the mainland of Western Scotland. The tiny hamlet of Arduaine with its small stone pier provides access to the adjacent gardens. Arduaine has a Scottish Gaelic pronunciation which requires practice and tongue dexterity. For authenticity, it is best to ask a local Scot to pronounce it.

The climate of this region of Scotland is moderated by the warm water of the North Atlantic Drift. This allows plants to thrive which find more inland areas too cold. But it is still Scotland, where any temperature differences are relative. The garden has extra protection from the weather, with planted wind breaks and spreading Japanese Larch. The result is an oasis of mild temperate growing conditions in the middle of a Scottish landscape.

The gardens were established in 1898 by James Arthur Campbell and became the responsibility of the National Trust in 1992. In the 19th century, natural history was all the rage and gardeners collected and grew exotic plant species from around the world. The Arduaine collection includes species from South America and East Asia, with magnificent Rhododendrons, glorious Blue Tibetan Poppies and giant Himalayan Lilies. One plant, a long way from its home east of the New Zealand main islands, is the Chatham Island Forget-me-not—a flower to remember.

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