Perchance it was the journey to Scotland took us out of the wilds into the tamed acreage of Inverewe gardens. I was captivated by a jungle-like area, full of mature trees and plants we’d only be ever able to witness within the confines of a glass house at Kew.
Only meters from the seashore, this seemed an impossible feat, yet it was thriving. We enjoyed its humid warmth, protected from the seaborne elements outside of its shelter.
As we explored, the reason for the existence of the Scottish jungle was a carefully planned shelterbelt which protected the inner sanctum of gardens from stormy seas. This is aptly portrayed in James Parker’s sculpture, “Sheltered Existence”.
The gardens are subdivided according to the country from which the plants originated. In addition to rainforest, we visited the Americas, Japan and the Alps. These specimens give evidence of the quality of plants on display:
We admired the vegetable garden and the more unusual species of edibles on display. The lack of bug and slug eaten vegetation seemed astounding and given the number of visiting pollinators, I daren’t ask how they managed to keep their plants uneaten. My partner suggested that perhaps it was due to the interactions between the various elements of the ecosystem. Fungal growth lent weight to his theory, although I remained sceptical.
Swarms of midges, the usual companion during a Scottish walk failed to dampen our spirits and the rain remained a threat only in an overcast sky. It was a pleasant and informative stroll. Still, I couldn’t finish the day without the call of the wilds. Isn’t this lichen amazing?
And sometimes the hills lifted their cloudy hats so that we could see their face.