Achamore House

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Garden Category: North Scotland Gardens

Related Listing
  • The Clan McNeill became the undisputed Lairds in 1590 after a fierce power struggle between the MacDonalds and the McNeills. At the end of the 19th century Captain William Scarlett, the 3rd Lord Abinger purchased the estate and built the listed B Achamore House in 1884 to the design of John Honeyman. The main areas of woodland to the north and south of the house were planted by William Scarlett to provide shelter from the strong winds and salt spray and game cover. When Sir James Horlick acquired the estate in 1944 he wished to establish a garden to grow his more tender Rhododendrons. He managed this by cutting small clearings in the Rhododendron ponticum and trees and by 1970 the garden was full and looked magnificent. On his death he left some of his collection to the National Trust for Scotland so that rare species could be propagated and shared with other great gardens.

    On the 15th March 2002 the Island was purchased in a Historic buy-out by the inhabitants of Gigha. It is now owned and managed by the Isle of Gigha Heritage Trust.

    Achamore Gardens are accessed by a footpath from the Village Hall car park. The walk through to the visitor reception site gives an excellant flavour of the type of plantings and how quickly they grow and establish. This woodlland walk has bluebells galore in the Spring followed by the rhododendron and camellia that flower but the tree canopy develops and the heavy shade increases the expectaion when arriving at visitor reception. Notable plants along this walk include: Gunnera manicata which is the very large rhubarb-like leaf that towers over all else (Except the mature woodland trees including Fagus sylvatica, the beech tree). Probably one of the finest and elegance in maturity trees is the Katsuri tree better known as Cercidyphyllum japonicum from Japan. If you lucky to be here in the Winter this tree looks magical in its skeletal state, in other it is deciduous and looks good naked. In Spring the new foliage of greens and purples and pinks all on the new heart-shaped leaves must be seen. Finally, the Autumn colour of bright yellow is phenominal along with the scent of burnt candy-floss in the air. Read more ….

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