It wasn't until after we visited this beautiful garden that I decoded the pronunciation of the name. We learned that "Inver" means "at the mouth of." The garden is at the mouth of the Ewe river. So instead of being pronounced something like "in-ver-ary," it is pronounced "inver-ewe." By any name it would be lovely. To find out more about it, check the National Trust of Scotland web site. You will need to "Select a Property" to get to the description of the garden. It has pictures in other seasons. I recommend the video.



Zodiac landing

Our visit to the garden was our last, and the longest, Zodiac expedition. Although we had been told to expect a "wet" landing here, there was a dock where we could alight without wading.

Inverewe Readers of Dr. Johnson's Tour of the Hebrides may recall his constant complaint about the lack of trees. (He presumably didn't know or care that very many of Scotland's trees were cut to make masts for English ships.) Nevertheless there is still a lack of trees on the coasts of Scotland.

The garden's creator, Osgood Mackenzie, a youngest son, was given the estate by his mother in the mid-19th century and it was pretty bare at the time. (His father's estates were inherited by his older brothers.) Reasoning that the first priority was to create windbreaks, he planted a selection of tenacious trees and then waited for twenty years or so. A man of great patience! While he waited for the trees to grow, he concentrated on building the walled garden that we will see later.

Once the trees were established he could begin to introduce other plants. As at Heligan, rhododendrons were planted early and have now grown into huge plants.

The climate here is similar to Heligan even though it is much further north because of the influence of the warm Gulf Stream current. The latitude of this garden is about the same as Hudson Bay.
Inverewe pond

There were many sections of the garden devoted to various kinds of habitats and plantings. Our favorite had the whimsical name of Bambooselem! The area pictured here was a succession of ponds with water-loving plantings. We were too early in the season for water lilies, however.

Here again we heard the plaint about the late spring and how it had delayed the flowering of many plants. Since the garden had been planned to have a succession of beauty, however, this wasn't tragic.

I almost decided to move to Scotland for a year so that I could visit every week or two to see the change in the gardens.

Hunting Mr. Mackenzie was an avid hunter and one of his goals for the garden was to attract wildlife. This deer sculpture of withies was indicative of this. There was a similar sculpture of Osgood lurking behind a tree with his rifle.
Inverewe garden trails

Varieties of plantings lined the paths.

Since we came in from the sea and most visitors come through the main gates we went "backwards" through the gardens. At every turning our Inverewe guides explained how we could get back to the jetty.

Our expedition leaders didn't want to lose anyone and weren't leaving anything to chance however. When it came time to leave there were people posted at every intersection!

Inverewe Walled Garden

The walled garden was the first place that Mr. Mackenzie developed as it was sheltered from the weather.

Since we were visiting so early in the spring there was little growing in this area yet. There was a picture of this garden on the ship that must have been taken in mid-summer. The paths were almost blocked with the profusion of flowers.

The loch isn't visible in this picture, but it is just out of the frame to the right.


Loch Ewe was visible, however, from many of the overlooks in the garden.

Since the season was so delayed, the foliage let in more light than would otherwise be the case in late May.

Returning to ship

After our morning at Inverewe, we took the long Zodiac ride back to the ship for lunch. We then had lunch and proceeded to Loch Torridon, which is said to have some of the most dramatic mountain scenery in the British Isles.

You may elect to move on directly, or check out the various flower pictures.