Ardkinglas House Garden Calendar
January: Drifts of Snowdrops emerge in many areas of the Garden and in the wider Estate. Goldeneye, an attractive duck wintering in the area, can often be seen on the waters of Loch Fyne in front of Ardkinglas House.
February: The curious crimson flowers appear on the Persian Ironwood, Parrotia persica. The Cornelian Dogwood, Cornus mas, produces a magnificent display of pale yellow flowers on its bare branches.
March: Daffodils are now in flower, creating a colourful approach to Ardkinglas House. The old pear trees, fan-trained either side of the house entrance, are in blossom. Mallard and Moorhen begin their breeding season on the Caspian.
April The vigorous Clematis montana scrambling up Ardkinglas House is a mass of gentle pink flowers. The Star Magnolia, Magnolia stellata, in the Ladies' Garden produces a profusion of white flowers. The large specimen of Magnolia x soulangeana bears its tulip-shaped white and rose-purple flowers.
May: The Ghent and Exbury hybrid deciduous azaleas are at their peak in the Ladies' Garden. Their flowers produce a riot of colour and the air is filled with their perfume. Bluebells are in flower beneath the Azaleas in the Ladies' Garden and in many other areas of the Garden and Estate.
June: Grey Herons noisily return to their roosting and nesting sites around the Caspian after long days patiently fishing on the shores of Loch Fyne. On the Caspian, Water Lilies produce their showy blooms. Magnolia sinensis produces its nodding, strongly lemon-scented, white flowers.
July: Roses, in many areas of the garden, are now at their best. The shelter of the perimeter of the Wall Garden allows a fine Stuartia to produce its delicate creamy-white flowers.
August: The Flame Creeper, Tropaeolum speciosum, bears its orange-red flowers as it scrambles through the yew hedges on the approach to Ardkinglas House. A number of fine plants of Eucryphia are in flower. Their white blooms are distinctively fragrant.
September: The locally rare Kingfisher is regularly seen fishing on the Caspian or may be glimpsed flying rapidly along the shores of Loch Fyne. Fine specimens of Hydrangea paniculata flower into the early autumn months.
October: A group of mature Japanese Maples are displaying their vivid autumn colours.
November: Over-wintering flocks of birds, in particular Redwing and Fieldfare, are spotted feeding noisily around the Estate.
December: In the Ladies' Garden the Prunus serrula (Thibetan Cherry) exhibits its spectacular shiny, mahogany textured bark. Bramblings, an often overlooked member of the Finch family, may be seen mixed with feeding flocks of Chaffinchs.