Monday, May 16, 2011

Scotland - Part I

Scotland - land of castles, water, mountains, rock...we just returned from a wonderful trip. There were so many wonderful things but here are the "garden" pictures.

Well not exactly garden, I was fortunate to be able to visit for a 2nd time the standing stones of Callenish on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. Thousands of years old, no one is quite sure who put them there, or why. Experts are pretty sure it is a lunar alignment, and the area is scattered with them. They fascinate and move me, quite extraordinary.

The land was ablaze in yellow for our visit. The gorse was everywhere. This was taken from the top of Dunnideer Hillfort, the site of an ancient Roman castle.

And more yellow came from the fields of rapeseed. I had a delicious rapeseed oil one night for dinner with fresh bread. Heavier and a bit nuttier than olive oil, it is flavorful and grown all over.

The Highlands are stark, rocky and breathtakingly beautiful, with gorse here in bloom again.

On the Isle of Skye, we visited the "fairy land". I can believe fairies live among these rocks and this tree that seemed to grow right up out of the rock.

A wonderful moss wall on a country road in Insch. It was a beautiful trip, I hope to visit again.

Scotland - Part II

I was all excited when I saw this herb store in Glasgow - with the plants outside and the beautiful signs. Inside was rather like a health food store here in the States, but what I really liked was the desk where you can make an appointment to consult with an herbalist. Wish it was so here!

But here are the formal garden pictures. This collection of different heathers was beautifully arranged on a slope, with rhododendron and ablaze in color.

A formal design at House for an Art Lover at Bellahouston Park in Glasgow.

Also at Bellahouston Park, what is this? It looks similiar to angelica, and obviously the same large size, but not really quite right....

And the British do love their colorful primrose, mixed here with tulips.

A treat to see horse chestnut in flower. It brought back memories for several in the group who remembered them growing up.

At the Glasgow Botanic Garden, I thought this color combination was just beautiful.

Rhododendron in bloom at the Glasgow Botanic Garden, what colors.