On one of my road trips, almost by accident, I came across the Benmore Botanic Gardens in Dunoon, Scotland. Dunoon is located in the Cowal peninsula of Scotland which is a part of Argyll. This is an absolutely jaw-dropping portion of the Scottish mainland.
This was an area I had been wanting to explore as it is known for its beautiful forests and lochs. I had been particularly interested in Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park (another blog). I had my heart set on visiting a hiking spot called Pucks Glen but was disappointed when I found it completely blocked off and closed due to fallen trees.
Unsure of what to do next, I was following my list of places to explore and though I had seen the gardens advertised, I hadn’t given it much more than a glance. However, as I drove past it, not knowing what else to do, I thought- Why not?
I am so glad I did!
I was doing this bit of exploring in mid-October. Benmore Botanic Gardens in the autumn is a must for any naturalist. The rich and vibrant colours are absolutely stunning. Each colour stands out bold and crisp. My senses came alive with an abundance of robust vitality and vibrance.
Exploring the Gardens
Upon entering the park, I was first greeted by rows of 150-year-old giant redwood trees! I had been wanting to visit the Redwood forests in northern California but had not been expecting to see these magnificent trees here in Scotland.
From the Redwood Avenue, the park sections off into separate gardens.
There are specific collections native to various locations around the world including:
- HimalayaNorth America
- South America
- Bhutanese Glade
- Chilean Glade
- Japanese Valley
- Tasmanian Ridge
- as well as a Victorian Fernery
- and a few amazingly manicured courtyards.
As you weaving through the several collections of natural beauty, you are also surrounded by amazing mountain scenery which you can also enjoy from within.
At one point, I found myself settled 450 feet up and sitting upon a bench, scanning the surrounding mountains and Holy Loch.
I loved the fact that I had so many different avenues to take and was still able to do the hiking I had planned within the park.
I couldn’t help stopping every couple of feet, however, to take pictures. Everything was just so beautiful.
I found myself enthralled with the smallest of details noticing each unique leaf, blade of grass, patch of moss, and bright red berry.
It is a wonder! The magnificence of nature around me made me appreciate Mother Nature all the more.
Despite my disappointment for not being able to hike Puck’s Glen (I know I will be back another day, hopefully in summer), I was extremely pleased with my visit to the gardens.
I surely won’t mind a second stop in the future.
If you would like any more specific details be sure to check out the government website and learn more at https://www.rbge.org.uk/visit/benmore-botanic-garden/
Thanks for reading!
With an attitude of gratitude,