Benmore Gardens, Argyll

I first visited this garden 2 years ago and have always wanted to go back. I went back today and I had it confirmed that this garden is a gem.

Benmore is a mountainside garden and is owned by the Royal Botanical Gardens Edinburgh. The planting was started by James Duncan in the 1860’s and boasts a Giant Redwood Avenue, a large collection of flowering trees including 300 different species of Rhodedendroms,, a Chilean Glade, Japanese Valley and a Tasmanian Ridge. Parts of the garden makes you think you are in the foothills of the Himalayas.

Unfortunately I could only spend 2 hours here today but that gives me an excuse to come back again and again. The weather was overcast but I have managed to get a few decent photo’s.

A few Rhododendrons are in flower but the vast majority of them are just starting to bud. Give it 3 weeks and this place will look fantastic. It really makes you wonder how drab parts of this country would look without all the 19th century plant hunters…

Here is a brief selection of pictures

Redwood Avenue

These trees were planted 150 years ago and they now stand 50 metres high. It makes you want to go to the West Coast of America and see just how big the Redwoods are there. It is demoralising when you see all the pictures of the Lumberjacks standing beside red wood trees on the late 19th century and the circumferences of the trees makes you look in awe at these truly inspiing trees, some of which have been around for 3000 years. We really have destroyed great suaves of wilderness ovrr the centuries but no one knew differently then, they did ot to exist. We do now and we really do need to look after our wild places amd imcrease them.


There are vast patches of Gunnera on site and when you look at them just starting to sprout you can imagine that you have travelled back to prehistoric times. Glad to say however that there were no midges the size of blackbirds flying around. These plants do give you a good insight into how the world must have looked on the past. All that was needed was Laura Dern, Sam Niel and Jeff Goldbl to drive past in a Suzuki Jimny.


A fantastic collection of Rhododendrons on site could only manage a select few photo’s due to the light but you get a scale of how wonderful this place must be when the plants are in full bloom.

Python Branch

This branch just caught my eye when I walked past. Had to take a double take as it just looked like som serpent crawling up a tree on India or Burma. Very Jungle Book I am sure you would agree. The tree is a Lawson Cypress and is native to Oregon and North West California

Unfortunately that is all from today’s visit. Will definitely be back to this place soon and hopefully the light will be better.

Thanks for reading.

One Comment Add yours

  1. tonytomeo says:

    Goodness! That Redwood Avenue really is impressive! It is more impressive than anything I have seen here. We do not plant much of anything in formal rows. Coastal redwoods are sometimes planted in rows, but they just look like a very tall hedge. Giant redwoods do not do very well here. There are only a few in our region, and we happen to have a young one at work.


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