Argyll blooms in Scottish Rhododendron Festival

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Sixteen gardens, estates and woodlands across Argyll and the Isles will be taking part in the Scottish Rhododendron Festival.

The festival is geared up to be vibrant from day one, as many of these wonderful plants are already in bloom because of the recent warmer temperatures.

Taking place from now until May 31, the festival comprises more than 50 events across Scotland. This includes many activities and guided walks throughout Argyll and the Isles as gardens, estates and woodlands open to showcase their displays.

Returning for its fifth year, the annual festival is organised by national garden tourism group Discover Scottish Gardens and supported by VisitScotland. It aims to encourage local audiences and tourists to enjoy the wonders of Scottish gardens during the rhododendron flowering period and highlight the diversity of collections that can be found in Scotland.

Linn Botanic Gardens, in Cove near Helensburgh, a garden where visitors can enjoy flowering rhododendrons throughout the festival, will be participating and has an open day on May 6. The gardens boast the greatest diversity of plants per acre in Scotland, and visitors can also view bamboos and magnolias.

Benmore Botanic Garden in Dunoon, a four-star VisitScotland attraction with a world-leading collection of rhododendrons, will also be taking part. Guided walks will take place every Tuesday and Sunday and visitors can also enjoy the garden’s rhododendron collection onboard the Benmore Explorer on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

The gardens of Inveraray Castle, also a four-star attraction, hold an interesting selection of rhododendrons, as well as azaleas, maples and magnolias. Visitors can also enjoy woodland walks and the wide variety of wildlife, including red squirrels.

David Adams McGilp, VisitScotland regional director, said: ‘We are approaching that time of year when Scotland’s rhododendrons begin to flower. This festival began in Argyll and Bute and visitors to the area will have a huge selection of places to see this beautiful plant.’

The full list of venues in Argyll and the Isles taking part in the Scottish Rhododendron Festival are as follows: Achamore Garden, Isle of Gigha; An Cala, Isle of Seil; Angus Garden, Barguillean, Taynuilt; Ardkinglas Estate Ladies Garden, Cairndow; Ardmaddy Castle Gardens, by Oban; Ardtornish Garden, Morvern; Arduaine Garden, Arduaine, Oban; Ascog Hall Garden and Fernery, Ascog Hall, Ascog, Isle of Bute; Crarae Garden, Crarae, near Inveraray; Glenarn, Rhu; Geilston Garden, Cardross; Kinlochlaich Octagonal Walled Garden and Woodland Walk, Mount Stuart Trust, Isle of Bute.

For more information and events listings, visit: https://www.visitscotland.com/blog/scotland/rhododendron-festival/