An inexplicable pleasure that the first of the month falls tomorrow on a Monday! As the year spills over the hill of its mid-point, there is a powerful sense of growth and abundance. These long light nights seem to let more in to our hearts and minds. I am still brimming with my time in Scotland, particularly pleased to have been able to visit Benmore Botanic Garden, one of Edinburgh’s regional outposts – its first in fact, established as such in 1929.
It’s in a glorious setting at the foot of Loch Eck on the Cowal Peninsula, seven miles north of Dunoon. Although there were many wonderful flowers and shrubs in bloom (including my favourites, Himalayan poppies), it was the trees that really made an impression – from the avenue of 150 year old Giant Redwoods, grown from seed, to the astonishing larch perched on side of the highest point and then the Korean fir, with perfect purple cones – new to me.
I also appreciated the various structures planted around the garden – Puck’s Hut in honour of Benore’s visionary botanists, the Mountain Shelter at the Lookout, topped with a stone basilisk and the grand restored Victorian Fernery. If it weren’t for the midges, it would have felt like Paradise.
As I drove home, I was more convinced than ever of the importance of Botanic Gardens generally and of Moorbank in Newcastle in particular. I was sad to hear that the Freemen had refused the Friends’ request to continue with the lease. However so were a lot of other people and a petition has been set up to present to the Freemen at a meeting in the week beginning 8th July. Here is the link – if you have any love at all for plants and gardens, please add your name and circulate among interested friends.
You can find our petition at: http://you.38degrees.org.uk/p/moorbank so please share this link.
We have also had good press coverage this week via The Journal and Sky News, more on its way.
If you have not visited Moorbank before, we are having an Open Day on Sunday 21st July from 2pm to 5pm in aid of the National Gardens Scheme. More details on our website: www.moorbank.com We would love to see you there to enjoy the garden and meet our volunteers. There will be a plant sale, refreshments will be available and a tour of the garden will also take place.
Friends of Moorbank