Scotland has some amazing gardens and some amazing wildflowers. In the last 2 weeks I have been outdoors in the wild walking through an ancient oak forest, carpeted with wild bluebells and unfurling green ferns. Darroch (Gaelic for oak) Woods in Blairgowrie, about 30 minutes north of Dundee is a special place to take a walk in the spring.
The perfume from the bluebells would catch you as the wind blew....
The bluebells were amazing.....Scottish, native bluebells, as opposed to the Spanish bluebells seen in many gardens and now too in the wild. Scottish bluebells have their flowers mostly on one side of the stem and the petals of the flowers themselves curl all the way back. They are also a much darker shed of blue.
The forest is also home to many ferns which were slowly unfurling, their fronds just opening ensuring that they are a beautiful fresh green colour.
This weekend we went to Branklyn Gardens in Perth. The garden is owned by the National Trust for Scotland and is described as one of the finest private gardens in Scotland. It was started in the 1920s by the original owners the Rentons, a 2-acre garden surrounding a arts and craft style house. It is predominantly a collection of plants from the Himalayas and China, some collected by the original owners and others by the famous plant-collectors Ludlow and Sheriff.
Whilst it is not a large garden it is home to many plants and national collections, including primula and rhododendron, the national collection of meconopsis (Himalayan Poppies), which are currently at their peak and some beautiful peonies and acers.
Acer and rhododendron
A few weeks ago when I was at Hill of Tarvit with the National Trust I managed to get a few free plants, leftover plants from last year. One of them was a trillium. My plant has grown well in my garden and I have been excited by its few flowers (maybe 4 altogether). I wonder just how old the trillium below is....
Today I went for a run with friends in Tentsmuir, the beach/forest close to Dundee, which I have posted about before. It is lovely to be able to run along the beach, with the sea on one side and the forest on the other. The forest is full of ancient pine trees and carpeted with ferns, bluebells, wild viola etc. As I am running I often expect to see some sort of dinosaur wandering the forest....it is primordial!