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Ardtornish
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Ardtornish

Visitors come to Ardtornish to enjoy the beauty of an outstanding natural landscape, with the contrast between long vistas across sea loch and open hill and closer views of wooded glen, river and waterfall. The original planting of the site in the late nineteenth century was intended to be
enjoyed by approach from the sea, with the towers of Ardtornish House springing from a semi-circle of trees, mainly evergreen. The plantings were designed to showcase the colour, form and architecture of a range of exotic species in a manner that complimented the natural features and flora of the coastal and hill terrain.

The hill garden stretches over 25 acres and is a mixture of formal and
informal plantings that bear testament to a family tradition in gardening and an 'enthusiasm for the exotic' of a bygone era. The garden supports a particularly fine collection of rhododendrons that can be found in the Rhododendron Glen and Cinnabarinum Glen, together with yellow and orange
azaleas, the latter of which are part of the original nineteenth century planting.

Ardtornish Seasons
In Spring and Summer, the gardens are a riot of colour, heralded in by the yellows of primroses, daffodils and celandines, as well as the striking inflorescence of the marginal aquatic, Lysichiton americanus (skunk cabbage), and punctuated by purples of Crocus tommasinianus. These are soon succeeded by the whites, blues and pinks of lilies, daisies, spireas, hellebores, bluebells, primulas (including P. denticulata and P. japonica), crocosmias, hostas, poppies and frillaries, to mention but a few, as the season progresses. The herbaceous flora is supplemented early on by the lovely white flowers of wild cherries (Prunus avium ) and guelder rose (Viburnum opulus). Other notables include Embothrium coccineum (the Chilean firebush, with its vibrant scarlet tubular flowers), Escallonia (with its masses of white, pink or crimson flowers) and climbing and rambling, sweet scented blossoms of roses (including Rosa rugosa, R. setipoda and R. pimpinellifolia) and clematis.

May and early June are excellent months to explore the Rhododendron Glen, studded with the purples, pinks, reds, white, yellow and orange flowers of these stunning and hardy exotics.

A procession of red, yellows and oranges heralds the approach of Autumn in the garden, with species of Enkianthus, Cotoneaster, Aronia, Cercidiphyllum and Oxydendrum providing spectacular autumn foliage and fruit colour; whilst Prunus x subhirtella 'Autumnalis' and Eucryphia provide floral interest. This is a lovely time to visit the garden, burning bright in the autumnal
sun.

Our Victorian Kitchen Garden has been resurrected and the journey of developing a thriving business to serve tourists and the local community is well underway.
The design idea is to create a network of paths to get around the garden using bricks reclaimed from the original Victorian garden wall. This will provide a practical working environment which will be softened by creating new flower beds, plantings and a fragrant lawn.
The watering system within the garden has been reconfigured and repaired, providing much needed and welcomed hydration for the produce.
We have been busy constructing a large fruit cage, using locally sourced Larch, which now provides the much sought after protection for our fruit bushes.
Planting and production is well under way and we all look forward to enjoying a wide variety of vegetables including: French & Broad Beans, Courgettes, Spinach, Aubergine, Squash and the standard Potatoes, Onions and Cabbages. We even have a herb bed, so you can convert the everyday meal into a more exotic and flavoursome offering.
Come and see the progress for yourselves and fill a box with seasonal fresh fruit and vegetables. Small - £10, Medium - £15 and Large - £20

Self-catering flats and cottages are available all year round.
The garden is open year round and there is a small admission charge payable at the Estate Office £4.00pp

Further information about the history of the garden, including garden map and virtual tour can be found on Ardtornish Estate website.

Faith Raven has also produced a book, Artornish Gardens that provides a short history and celebration of the garden available to buy for £10.00

Getting there: From A82 via Corran Ferry to A861, turning left before Strontian onto A884, signposted Lochaline. Entrance to estate two miles before Lochaline village. Entrance to garden from Estate Yard.

Facilities available: Partial wheelchair access, Toilets, Dogs on leads
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Contact Information
Opening Dates:
1st January - 31st December
Opening Times:
9.00 am - 6.00 pm or dark if earlier
Contact: Estate Office
Tel: 01967 421288
Email: stay@ardtornish.co.uk
Web: www.ardtornishgardens.co.uk
Address: Morvern by Argyll PA80 5UZ
   
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