Car parking is at the end of Glenarn Road where it widens, beside the wall opposite the gate to the garden. There is a small gathering place a few yards up the drive on the left, with garden leaflets (including a map) in a box on a post. This is the start of the network of footpaths that wind through the garden.
The first feature is the Pond. Created by widening the burn in the 1860s, the pond had silted up. Re-forming it was one of our first garden restoration projects. Beyond the Pond is the start of the Glen, planted its entire length with a huge variety of rhododendrons, particularly the big leaf species and hybrids, that give a distinctly Himalayan feel.
Granny’s Hens, so called as it was once a hen run (and the only flat area in the whole garden), is surrounded by tree magnolias which in early spring shine like huge bonfires of light. We are planting here for protection from the north west gales and to re-create the past excitement and colour.
A bench at almost the highest point of the garden is our Silent Space with views across the garden to the Gareloch beyond. Below is Germany, a more open part where two prisoners of war in WW2 helped to clear the ground.
Behind the former carriage house and stables, and the Round Tower with its conical roof, is the Vegetable Patch, overlooked by the greenhouse and shade house. Dividing it from the old drying green is a huge crinodendron hedge to which the bees fly from their hives in May for its flowers.
Above the house, on the Helensburgh side, lies the Rock Garden entered through gates in a fence to protect it from the roe deer. It is a garden within a garden, a clamjamfry of plants to give all year- round interest.
Finally, is the House itself, looking down the main lawn to the tall ‘Wellingtonia’ that acts like a navigation mark in the garden. The honesty box is on the round stone table in front of the house where sometimes there are plants for sale.