GARDENS

“Using diversity, beauty and conservation, we are decorating the landscape.”

Garden overview

KILCHOAN GARDENS

The gardens at Kilchoan bridge between the human and natural world, they aim to re-connect the two, helping ground oneself and bring the visitor down to earth.
The gardens are a dynamic piece of art, an opportunity to carry out horticultural and botanical study, a complex mix of science and expression. The garden space provides an opportunity to apply thought and imagination to the existential issues that define our times, while expressing those thoughts and ideas creatively. They provide an opportunity to nourish both the body and mind with food and exercise as well as an opportunity to reconnect with the natural and spiritual world. Their purpose is to bring people closer to the immense diversity of culture, plants, animals and fungi than can be found here.

We are softening the buildings into the landscape using a mix of garden restoration and creation, we are using plants, landscaping, and art to broaden the reach of horticulture across the grounds and policies. Sculpture is used throughout the garden to provide interest and stimulate conversation and engagement between people.

Using diversity, beauty and conservation, we are decorating the landscape.

Kilchoan House

KILCHOAN HOUSE

The grounds, planted in 2023, settle the newly built Kilchoan House into the landscape. A mix of lawns and border plantings form the setting for relaxation and enjoyment. Sculpture, a water feature and seating areas are included to stimulate the mind.

This is the first phase of garden development around the main house which will, over the next few years, become extended and enriched with a wide variety of plants from across the world and evolve into a florally diverse garden uniting the beauty of the architecture and landscape.

Himalayan Primula capitata

THE HIMALAYAN GARDEN

Climbing up the cliff from the main drive and Kilchoan House to the Guest House, the Himalayan Garden houses a vast array of Himalayan and sino-Himalayan species ranging from the tallest Abies and Cupressus species, through a colorful Rhododendron collection to a diverse herbaceous flora featuring well-loved Primula species and the instantly recognisable Meconopsis, all set under a developing, informal canopy of trees and shrubs.

A range of hybrid and species Rhododendrons have been selected for their ascetic qualities while the development of a conservation collection of species is ongoing.

The mild wet climate of Argyll makes the ideal environment in which to grow plants from the temperate regions of the Himalaya.

Walled Garden

THE WALLED GARDEN

Continuing the traditional use of the most fertile, sheltered and productive ground on the estate we are utilising this area to produce organic and nutritionally rich crops, colourful blooms for cutting, drying and arranging. A no dig system is in place to limit disruption to the natural flora and fauna of the rhizosphere and protect our most precious resource, soil.

We also house the more tender and select ornamental species within its shelter. A traditional ¾ span greenhouse overlooks the garden from the top terrace. It provides a refuge for the most tender collections which include Lapageria rosea, frost tender Rhododenron and ferns. A geographically ordered alpine collection is being amassed and housed on the greenhouse terrace and in the cold frames.

Chapel Field

THE CHAPEL GROUNDS

St Comghan’s chapel was dedicated in July 2018 and provides a space for religious and spiritual contemplation and connection with God.

The grounds around the chapel are open and airy with a backdrop of woodlands to the north and an open vista over Loch Melfort to the south. To the east the estate hydro-electric turbine outflow falls through a series of dramatic pools, lined each side with herbaceous planting. Lawn areas are interspaced with Celtic inspired crosses and carved gravestones paying homage to those found in Kilmartin, Ardfern and on Iona, while meandering cherry lined paths allow contemplation as one wanders through the grounds. The paths are lined with flowering cherry varieties ‘Accolade’ and ‘Shirotae’ that bring blossom in the spring, autumn leaf colour and structure through out the year. Nestled at the top of the grounds is St. Comghans shelter- a hand made green oak structure providing a sheltered place for contemplation.

Anita’s Cottage

ANITA’S COTTAGE AND KILCHOAN FARMHOUSE GARDENS

A highly manicured, ornamental space surrounds these private homes. Features such as the terraces, decking, outdoor cooking and dining areas make the most of the impressive view down Loch Melfort and beyond. The planting is an informal cloth of mixed trees, shrubs, roses and herbaceous plants. The upper terrace features palms and a high proportion of south African species, giving an almost tropical feel, while topiarised yew and English roses have a much more traditional and recognisable feel through out the rest of the garden.

Arboretum

THE ARBORETUM

A newly planted collection of trees from across the world, a mix of species chosen for both their beauty and those with high conservation value are housed at Kilchoan. The arboretum acts as an exsitu conservation collection for the International Conifer Conservation Charity and houses threatened species from across the globe.

A gentle path leading uphill takes you into the shelter of native hazel woods, interplanted with a Chilean tree and shrub collection.

Meadow

THE MEADOW

Restoring the improved hay meadow using traditional management practices is increasing floral diversity, not only to please the eye but also to provide forage and shelter for the many creatures that can be found here. Small groups of Prunus ‘Tai Haku’ are planted to bring additional structure and interest without distracting from the fantastic view down Loch Melfort.

THE POLICIES

As with most Scottish gardens the areas surrounding the gardens are not left in a fully natural state. Informal plantings of trees are incorporated into the woodlands, providing interest on those longer walks from the properties and act as a transition from the manicured and ordered gardens into the wild temperate rainforest, heaths and farmland of the wider estate.

VISITING THE GARDENS

The gardens, grounds and estate are private grounds therefore we ask that you arrange a visit in advance. There are currently no public facilities on site. Dogs are welcome but must be kept on a lead.

To arrange a visit please call 01852 200500.
Alternatively email melissa@kilchoanestate.co.uk or
luke@kilchoanestate.co.uk

THE GARDENS