At its inception by the Campbells over a century ago, Crarae Gardens’ Reginald Farrer was plant hunting across the world in China, Nepal, and Tibet, creating Britain’s best example of a Himalayan garden. Eleven miles from Inveraray in Scotland, there is a unique wet woodland of one hundred acres showing unmanicured plant life from bamboo to Rhododendrons amid mountainous terrain.
Only last week, I was fortunate enough to see it personally, alongside my American boss and his wife, as I took them on a tour of Scotland. My work colleague Derek Shankland led us through the garden; he has been tasked to improve the garden after a year of its being neglected. This comes after a history of financial troubles leading to the eventual overtaking of the gardens by the National Trust of Scotland in 2001 – now, there is an opportunity to see these gardens revitalised, continuing the Campbell’s legacy of looking outward (to countries like Chile) to create their own garden in Scotland.