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Younger Botanic Garden


(Benmore Botanic Garden)

Located at Benmore on the Cowal Peninsula, in the dramatic setting of the Eachaig Valley, 5 miles (8 km) north of Dunoon, the Younger Botanic Garden is a specialist garden and outstation of the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh. Perhaps best known for its avenue of Giant Redwood trees, which were planted in 1863 and are now amongst the highest trees in Britain exceeding 40m (131 feet) in height. Its diverse collection of coniferous trees includes Douglas Firs, Pines, Silver Firs and Western Hemlock. There is also a remarkable collection of rhododendrons which, with around 350 species, is the largest in the country. The Younger Garden also includes various trails, one of which highlights endangered native Scottish plants, a formal garden, with heathers and dwarf conifers, together with a woodland garden and pond. There is also a gallery hosting events and exhibitions.

The Younger Garden extends to 50 ha (124 acres) over the slopes of Benmore Hill, with views towards the Holy Loch. The estate and 19th Century Benmore Lodge were given to the nation by Edinburgh brewer Harry George Younger in 1925. In 1929, the gardens became part of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. However the structure of the garden was developed well before this, with the first tree planting taking place in 1820.

The garden benefits from a mild climate but substantial rainfall, averaging 2500mm per year. This proved ideal for conifers as well as the expanding collection of Sino-Himalayan plants, including rhododendrons, being accumulated at the gardens in Edinburgh.

Benmore Lodge is used as an outdoor pursuits centre.


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