Garden Calendar

Ardkinglas Woodland Garden Calendar

January: The curious pale-yellow, fragrant flowers of Hamamelis virginiana appear on the plant’s leafless branches. On clear, crisp days the view from the top of the garden, down Loch Fyne towards Inveraray, is spectacular.

February: The earliest of the Rhododendrons comes into flower. Rhododendron praecox bears delicate lilac-pink flowers. The first Primrose flowers appear, on the south-facing banks above the Old Mill.

March: The woodland birds begin their breeding rituals. The early-morning air is filled with their song. Osmanthus delavayi begins to produce its sweetly-scented, tubular white flowers, whilst an ever increasing number of Rhododendrons come into bloom.

April The Grey Wagtails return to nest in the bridge over the River Kinglas. The peak of colour in the garden is provided by the array of Rhododendron species and hybrids.

May: The vivid blue carpet of deliciously fragrant Bluebells is at its peak. In the damper areas, the huge yellow flowers and large leaves of Lysichiton americanus, the Skunk Cabbage, emerge. Deciduous Azaleas are in flower producing their heady perfume.

June: The air in the lower Woodland Garden is filled with the fragrance of the yellow-flowered Rhododendron luteum. The spectacularly huge leaves of the Gunnera manicata are a talking point for visitors to the Garden. The long daylight hours provide opportunities for early morning or evening visits to the garden.

July: Throughout the Woodland Garden the fresh green fronds of native ferns can be spotted. The flower spikes of the Lesser Butterfly Orchid bearing greenish-white blooms are now visible. One of the latest flowering Rhododendrons, ‘Polar Bear’ produces its large, fragrant, white blooms.

August: The cool white blooms of the Hydrangea paniculata hybrids are at their most spectacular. Dippers can be spotted feeding amongst the stones in the River Kinglas.

September: Clethra alnifolia, the Sweet Pepper Bush, bears its mass of spicily fragrant creamy-white flowers. The curious fruiting bodies of the many fungi species which have made their home in the garden begin to appear on the woodland floor and on dead wood.

October: The Sorbus collection exhibits a varied range of berry colour: white, pink, yellow and orange-red. The magnificent, ancient Beech trees in the Woodland Garden display yellow, gold and burnt-orange autumn tints.

November: Now that many of the trees have defoliated, Red Squirrels are particularly visible as they busily search out food for their winter-stores. After heavy rains, the waters of the River Kinglas thunder dramatically toward Loch Fyne.

December: On frosty mornings the outline of the spectacular Champion Trees in the Pinetum is outstanding. The large velvety leaves of the species Rhododendrons, such as Rhododendron falconeri, provide winter interest.