VISITORS to an award-winning Wester Ross attraction are being offered the opportunity to “travel the world” – without once leaving its confines.
Inverewe Garden has designed a global trail to showcase the remarkable variety of plant life from all corners of the world that can be found there.
The creator of the garden Osgood Mackenzie travelled extensively collecting plants and bringing them all the way back to Inverewe where they flourished in the mild climate, warmed by the Gulf Stream. Over 150 years later, many of these plants still survive.
Property manager Kevin Frediani said: “Covering the globe, visitors can find fascinating facts about specimens from as far afield as Japan and Tasmania, from Chile to Nepal. In the late 19th century there was a fashion for growing plants from exotic places so our visitors have chance to trek to the Himalayas and learn about the national flower of Nepal, the Rhododendron Arboreum.
“And with world famous mountaineer Doug Scott talking on July 7 at Inverewe, in aid of his charity Community Action Nepal, there will be a focus on Nepalese food and plants with a guided walk with head gardener Kevin Ball during the day. Doug Scott’s talk is entitled ‘A Crawl Down the Ogre’ and is about the first ascent with Chris Bonnington of the Ogre, a 7000m mountain in the Karakorum, when Doug broke both his legs – hence ‘crawling down the Ogre’.”
Opening to the public on Saturday, July 8 until August 10 is a brand-new exhibition in the Sawyer Art Gallery at Inverewe House entitled Treasures From the Archives: Inverewe’s Untold Stories. The exhibition offers insights into the life of Osgood Mackenzie and his daughter Mairi including stories about their travels around the globe. Inside Inverewe House there is a large map of the world showing their travels during the late 19th and early 20th century in search of plants to bring back to Wester Ross.
The “passport” can be picked up from the visitor centre and gives families the opportunity to search out fascinating facts and learn all about the Inverewe collection – from New Zealand Maori people using the flax plant for baskets and fishing, to giant pandas and their favourite meal. Also featured are the local Scottish trees planted by Osgood Mackenzie as a shelter belt to protect the garden from the strong Atlantic winds.
Descendents from some of the world’s tallest trees in California can also be seen within the 54 acres of Inverewe Garden.