Seasons in the Garden

Little is known about the Kelburn gardens before the 1700’s.  The garden and grounds have evolved over time and show the horticultural interests of the various Earls and Countesses of Glasgow.

There is colour in this garden almost all year round with stunning rhododendrons, an assortment of shrubs and herbaceous plants, magnificent magnolias and cherry blossom to delight. A wonderful spot to relax and unwind with a book, a picnic or just in comfortable silence.

Some Rhododendrons flower in winter. The earliest, Nobeanum, begins in November and continues into the New Year, when Christmas Cheer with its pink flowers takes over. In February and March, Moupinense, Cipinense and Thomsonii with sea green leaves and blood red flowers continue to brighten the winter months.

By late January, the banks of the burn at Sanhams Bridge are a sea of snow drops. And by the end of March, the early wild daffodils begin to dominate the landscape and are followed or joined by the aromatic leaves of Wild Garlic with its unmistakable scent which shortly produces a mass of strong white flowers spreading all over the garden.

Especially attractive are Rhododendrun Loderi, Fragrantissimum, with strongly perfumed white flowers , a wonderful 12 foot high Pieris with scarlet bracts, and white wax-like Lily of the Valley flowers.

Particularly striking too are the Embothrium (Chilean Fire Bush) with its brilliant scarlet flowers and Crinodendron Hookerianum with glowing crimson lanterns, hanging thickly along its branches.

July, August and September bring the herbaceous borders in the Plaisance into full flower. Many fascinating plants blooms throughout the period, like the wonderful Eucryphia Glutinosa, white flowers with conspicious stamens, and Hoheria Glabrata with masses of fragrant, almost translucent white flowers.

Weinmannia Trichosperma is a very attractive South American shrub with pinnate, fern like leaves. The white flowers are produced in the dense raceme, but the real delight are the small, copper-red seed vessels that follow the flowering.