A COLLECTION of rare plants from around the world are being cared for at a historic Highland garden – and their chances of survival are set to improve with £530,000 plans to build a mega glasshouse.
The modern facilities will provide the space and specifications needed to care for some of Inverewe Garden’s outstanding plant collection.
The garden, run by the National Trust for Scotland, features specimens from across the globe.
These include the rare Wollemi pines from Australia, New Zealand daisy bush (Olearia), Tasmanian Eucalypts, and Rhododendrons from China, Nepal and the Indian subcontinent - not forgetting the Himalayan Blue poppy (Meconopsis) and Primula collections.
Inverewe Garden is a lush oasis perched on a peninsula at the edge of Loch Ewe amid the rugged landscape of Wester Ross.
This world-famous historic garden is one of Scotland’s most popular botanical attractions.
Inverewe’s diverse plants flourish here, despite the northerly latitude, thanks to the warm currents of the Gulf Stream and the foresight of its founder, Osgood Mackenzie, who planted over 100 acres of woodland to shelter the garden.
Head gardener, Kevin Ball, said: “This is fantastic news for the garden, for our plant collection and for the team here who are dedicated to ensuring that this fantastic places flourishes for years to come.”
Glasshouses are essential at Inverewe Garden because of its founder, Osgood Mackenzie’s, pioneering approach to plant collecting, which included importing many tropical and half-hardy species which need the right conditions to propagate.
The new facilities will ensure that future generations will be able to enjoy these rare and exotic plants.
Kevin added: “The current glasshouses are beyond economic repair and also completely unsuitable for the needs of modern gardening.
“When the new facilities are ready, we will be well-equipped to maintain the plant collection for decades to come and we may even have the opportunity to follow the founder’s pioneering spirit and push our planting boundaries even further.”
Work on the new facilities begins in the Spring.
The £530,000 project is the latest investment from the National Trust for Scotland on site.
The charity is also in the midst of a conservation and restoration project at Inverewe House. The £1.5 million project will see the house open to visitors for the first time in Spring 2016 providing a significant improvement to the interpretation and visitors’ experience of this unique garden.