The Carolina Gardener trip to Scotland (--and possibly beyond).
Talk about having a great time while traveling! Nothing
quite compares with trotting over and around the crags, mountains, and
moors of Scotland with ten or so Carolina gardeners in tow plus magazine
editor L.A. Jackson, travel maven Jack "Cactus Sands" Bonner, and your's
truly. And let's not forget "The Man Brody" who drove the bus with
precision and daring. Finally there were the gardens, the folks, the
bountiful climate, and the gracious weather of Scotland. Above is a view
looking north just off of Highway A832 (about 60 miles from Edinburgh),
and on the way to Poolewe. Note the clear (and clean) air. If we had air
like that in Western North Carolina, the coughing would stop and the trees
grow even taller. But in America, un-controlled progress and unbridled
profit come before health and beauty.
At left, marvel at one of the charming new chrysanthemum cultivars seen at the Edinburgh Botanic Gardens, known as Leucanthemum 'Phyllis Smith'. On the right is a stunning example of Scottish garden flora, in this case ligularias (Ligularia 'Desdimona') blooming in late June at the wondrous botanical gardens of Inverewe, just 600 miles south of the Arctic Circle.
And guess what? We're going back in the summer of 2002 to
see more gardens from Western Scotland, then crossing the Irish Sea
(probably by hover craft), we'll check out the best gardens that Northern
Ireland has to offer. Don't forget to contact Carolina Gardener
magazine for more information.
. . . and here's more about the 2001 Carolina Gardener Scottish Garden Tour:
Along the way, we travelled to a host of marvelous gardens where
flowers bloomed in profusion and crags were topped with mist, but always
the light (17 hours out of 24), was kind to both gardens and plants. The
gardens were Glamis Castle (great borders), Balmoral (the home of the
Queen Mother), Crathes (unforgettable!), Haddo House (delphiniums,
galore), Dunnottar Castle (if ruins be dreams), Pittmeden (the Scotch
interpretation of a French formal garden), Ballindalloch (small but
choice), Inverewe (one of the great botanic gardens), Leith Hall (what a
Moon Gate!), Dunrobbin (just a little garden by the sea), Blair Castle
(the misty moors), Edinburgh Botanic Garden (world class!), Drummond
Castle (not only unforgettable but unbelievable, too), Kinross (absolutely
charming), and finally to St. Andrews (the future home of Prince Charles),
where we toured the St. Andrews Botanic Garden.