Inverewe Garden was started by Osgood Mackenzie, born in 1842, the son of Sir Francis Mackenzie, laird of Gairloch. On his father's death Osgood's brothers inherited the Gairloch Estate, and so, with his mother's help the 12,000 acre Inverewe and Kernsary Estate was bought for him. It was 1862 and Osgood was 20 years old.
Osgood chose a site for his new house; a barren and rocky promontory in Loch Ewe, and by 1870 was well on the way to completing his Scottish Baronial Style mansion and its accompanying garden.
Inverewe is very far north (latitude 57.8 degrees), about the same latitude as Hudson's Bay in Canada, but because of warm Atlantic currents from the Caribbean is far warmer in winter (coldest winter temperature measured was 14 degrees F (-12C) in 1986) Due to its latitude temperatures are rarely very hot in summer; the highest temperature recorded was 84F (29C) in June 1978.
Osgood's daughter, Mairi, took over the garden on her father's death in 1922. The present Inverewe House was built by her second husband in 1935 the original having been destroyed by a fire. Mairi continued to care for the garden, opening it to the public for the first time during World war II. Before she died in 1953 she made arrangements for the National Trust for Scotland to take over responsibility for the garden and care for it in perpetuity
A closer view of the gardens in front of the house.
The west Coast of Scotland is susceptible to strong winds and salt spray, so one of the first things Osgood did was establish shelter belts of Native and Scandinavian pines (both Pinus Sylvestris). He concentrated on the walled garden, reclaiming seashore with good soil reputed to have been bought from Ireland. Around about he created woodland walks amongst which he planted a variety of species collected from around the world. By the end of the century he had established one of the finest collections in Scotland of temperate plants from both Northern and Southern hemispheres
As we emerged through the forest, on one of the walks, in the distance were 5 or 6 herons at the water's edge.
I apologize for the lack of quality. We stood and watched for awhile, but there was no way to get closer to that area of the park.
As we were watching the heron, an English robin popped out of the woods and posed for us.
Flowering azaleas were in abundance throughout!
Not sure what kind of butterfly, but I was chasing him through the woods, till he finally landed...
As we were walking, noticed that part of the path had been repaired.
Upon closer inspection, this is the ingenious method for holding back the bank!
Finally found the terraced gardens.
They were amazing. Everything perfect - no weeds!!!
Look at the variety of lettuce - all in straight lines (our garden has never looked this good)!
A gorgeous path lined with roses and lavender.
A closer look at the lavender leading up to the garden bench.
A different view of the gardens.
As we were travelling back on the A832, there were 2 or 3 stags grazing along the side of the road.
Across the road, was a female deer with her fawn.
Location: One mile from Polewe, north of Gairloch in Wester Ross on the North West coast of Scotland.Inverewe Garden
Rosshire IV22 8XA
Tel: 01445 781200
Fax: 01445 781497
Open: March to 31 Oct, daily 9.30am-9pm; 1 Nov to 14 March, daily 9.30-5pm.
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