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Birnam & Ardkinglas

Sonia and I are both members of Plantlife and have enjoyed working with Deborah and the team at Plantlife Scotland to create TRANSPLANTED. We decided to attach an evening concert to Plantlife Scotland Members Day held on the 25th of October at Birnam Arts Centre. It has been 25 years since Plantlife was created and so it was great to attend the day and find out more about this wonderful orginisation.

The morning consisted of speeches that focused on the year past, conservation in action and also what has been learnt over the past 25 years that will help the organistation plan for the future.

In the afternoon we had worskhops and I chose to learn about weaving with natural materials with Kate Sankey who has an organic farm at the edge of Flanders Moss. Here she breeds cattle, has yurts for holiday makers and holds basket weaving courses. She had many beautiful handmade items to show us.


I particularly liked this bit of knitting that had the flowers of the bog cotton attached to it.

We had torrential rain heading up the A83 to Arkinglas on Sunday the 26th, the road was closed the next day due to a landslide at Rest and be Thankful so in retrospect we had a lot to be thankful for! The afternoon concert at Ardkinglas House had a feel of how chamber music used to be, set in a room of this family home that has hardly been altered since it's completion in 1907. Though the house is relatively new when compared to James Oswald you could almost imagine him there in his pantaloons, silk shirt, wig and waistcoat.

Ardkinglas Woodland Garden has its origins in the world of nineteenth century specimen tree planting. Successive generations have added to the garden according to their own passions,- rhododendrons, azaleas and other shrubs, new paths and footbridges, blacksmith’s original gates and benches. Over the years nature has added her own contributions with swathes of bluebells and other wild flowers, self-seeded native woodland, many fungi, mosses and ferns. Running along the full length of the garden is the Kinglas Water,- a typical highland spate river whose presence is always felt. The garden is open all year and has much to offer in all seasons, whether to the horticulturalist or to the walker looking for an inspiring stroll.


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