Benmore Botanic Garden
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April to September: 10.00am - 6.00pm
Benmore, United Kingdom
Benmore Botanic Garden in its majestic mountain setting is a vital link to disappearing wilderness.
Visitors enter the Garden through the great Redwood Avenue planted in 1863 by Piers Patrick, a wealthy American who had bought the estate the year before.
Another popular feature of the Garden is Puck’s Hut which celebrates the memory of Isaac Bayley Balfour. He was Regius Keeper of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh from 1888 to 1922 and it was he who first thought of creating a west coast botanic garden. The wooden hut designed by Robert Lorimer and tiled in red cedar can be found at the head of the Formal Garden.
A much photographed feature is the bronze statue ‘A boy with two dolphins’ which dates back to 1875 and is a legacy of James Duncan, a Greenock sugar refiner, who took over the house in 1870. He made numerous changes to Benmore House and to the estate. He was responsible for the Fernery which is in Glen Massan, about 30 metres above the valley floor. This steep area of hillside has been developed to create plantings to represent the different flora of Bhutan, Chile, Japan and Tasmania.
The cast iron footbridge over the River Eachaig was opened in August 1999 and was the replacement for a bridge which collapsed in February 1998 after ten days of torrential rain.
The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh was established in 1670 and during the 20th century acquired three Regional Gardens – the mountainous Benmore in Argyll; Dawyck in the wooded hills of the Scottish Borders and Logan on the Gulf Stream-warmed southern peninsula of Dumfries & Galloway.
Together they represent one of the world’s largest living collections of plants.