Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Logan Botanic Garden, Port Logan, Scotland

Back in March I spent a few days over in Scotland and finally, after many years of trying had finally managed to arrange my time to allow long enough to spare a few hours to visit Logan botanic garden before getting the ferry back to Ireland.
It's a bit out of the way, being situated near the west coast in Dumfries and Galloway, south of Stranraer. Its positioning means that it is washed by the warmth of the gulf stream, a warm current of waters that originates on the opposite side of the Atlantic off the coast of Florida. It's due to the Gulf stream that the northerly latitudes of Europe have much more moderate winter temperatures than would be expected for an area as far north as southern Alaska and means we can grow many unexpected exotics.
Originally part of the next door Logan estate, Logan botanic garden became a regional garden of the Royal Botanic gardens of Edinburgh back in 1969, one of three satellite gardens in Scotland that they have taken over responsibility for.

I love the architecture in this area, small whitewashed stone cottages, similar to what we'd have at home.

Fatsia polycarpa,  matt leaves which much more deeply indented than F japonica.

 Shefflera taiwaniana, I wonder if these have been pinched/pruned every so often to encourage branching.

I was intrigued by these boxes, sheltering something from the winter weather, but despite trying to peak through I was unable to work out what exactly they were protecting.

I really liked this urn built from pieces of slate, perhaps something to attempt at some point in the future.

Turning around and looking in the other direction there was a large cord tree Carmichaelia/Chordospartium stevensonii

This New Zealand native is quite rare in the wild due to habitat loss, I'd like to see it covered in its mauve flowers some time.

 In a protected corner near the cafe (yes, I partook in cake) Aechmea distichanthia seems to be doing relatively well.

and a Protea was thinking about blooming as well, though it's a bit of a wonky grower.

I've a bit of a thing for Eucalyptus trees, just don't ask me to attempt to identify them.

Especially ones with long slim Willowy leaves.

 In contrast this Ilex had very large exotic leathery leaves.

Wollemia nobilis has established well and is shooting for the sky. I was actually surprised at just how slim it was.

I'm mad for Cordyline indivisa, the broader the leaves the better, but it's tricky in many parts. Not too warm, and not too cold, not too dry and not too wet, as a consequence it is very prone to dying. They do well in mild wet areas of Britain and Ireland.

Polyelpsis australis native to South America and reputedly is the worlds highest altitudinal (is that a word?) woody plant. It's a member of Rosaceae and has lovely rufus coloured shaggy bark, this one needed a bit of propping to stop it form keeling over.

I can't quite make up my mind about Restios. I like them, but they can look quite untidy at times.

Saying that, the colours of  the base of the shoots is stunning

Rhododendron sinogrande was thinking about doing its thing.

Any ideas what this silvery shrub is???

Hakea epiglottis was giving me a serious case of the lusts.

Winter wrapping was still in place, protectively swaddling the Cyathea dregei plants.

Brahea armata looked good,still  snuggled down but getting ready to wake up for spring.

I've haven't managed to overwinter Fascicularia bicolor subsp bicolor, but then my attempt did coincide with pretty low winter temperatures a few years back.

The Dicksonia antarticas were on a primordial scale, with a mass underplanting of Blechnum chilense.

The leaning trunks looked great.

As did the props.

Tetrapanax aren't rare in exotic gardening circles any more, but I still love coming across them. The new growth looking like golden hands as they expand-to monsterous proportions.

Despite the relatively windswept position the Trachycarpus fortunei looked surprisingly good.

As you can see it's very open to westerly winds blowing in from the Irish sea in the distance.

I couldn't get a decent picture of Drachophyllum arboreum, but trust me, it's one hot plant.

Lagarostrobus frankliniim, a conifer with cool flailing branches going off in all directions.

 I want to get my hands on Pyrrosia eleagnifolia!

Its rhizomes snaking over the surface of a Dicksonia antartica whose trunk it is blanketing.

 Sophora tetraptera, the pea flowers are a harsh yellow but it's amazing to have such exotic, waxy blooms this early in the year.

More treeferns

A triple trunker, something you don't see to often.

Hairy Magnolia buds

Purple peeping through

  and bursting out all over. Magnolia campbellii subsp. mollicomata 'Lanarth'

We've many venerable old Cordylines like this in coastal areas of Ireland, but you still have to stand in awe when you see them.

and then we're back at the entrance with another mass planting of Trachycarpus.

Despite it being so early in the year there was still plenty to see, now I just have to try to get over in summer some time soon.