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Posts Tagged ‘gardens on Mull’

This is the second time that I’ve visited Lucy Mackenzie’s Lip na Cloiche garden and nursery on Mull. I was originally wowed by this hillside haven and its phenomenal planting about a year ago, but since then, the island has been battered by the worst storms in 30 years, with salt-laden winds hitting the land at over 120 miles an hour.

Salt and wind burn are easily in evidence on some of the plants. However, ceaseless rain since last August, unlike our drought in the South, has also done for a fair amount of perennials too.

After a brief sunny spell, the rain was back in force on the day we visited, but had its compensations as it looked rather gorgeous captured on the hairy leaves of this Meconopsis.

Despite, or maybe because of some gaps left in the planting, there are some great sculptural developments in the garden. I love the fork heads climbing their way up the slope amongst the ‘London Pride’ (Saxifraga x urbium),

and the teapots filled with various bulbs are a fabulous quirky delight. Along with the stunning planting, Lucy Mackenzie’s outsider art credentials seem even stronger than before.

Found objects have been artfully recycled throughout the garden,

and beachcombed treasures displayed with panache.

Spade heads echo the fork head pilgrimage ,

and teapots are reprised as planters at other points in the garden.

Bedsteads define the border at the top of the garden at Lip na Cloiche,

whilst willow has been woven to mask off the compost area half way down.

There’s so much artistry to feast your eyes on, from Fritillarias in colanders,

to trees in trunks and much, much more,

that I know I’ll be drawn back to visit this spectacular garden again and again.

P.S.

Prompted by a comment by Jono at Real Men Sow (a fantastic veg growing blog), adding a couple of pics of Lucy’s gorgeously chunky raised vegetable beds. They’re tucked in, in front of the greenhouse area,

and nice and deep, allowing for plenty of veg planting choices. There are also some trained fruit trees and raspberry canes on the other side of the hedge, heading towards the shoreline. Heaven!

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Visited the wonderful Lip na Cloiche garden and nursery when we were over in Mull at Easter. The island is spectacular, the weather was great and this garden was a real treat to visit. (Up there in my top 10 favourite gardens). I could have stayed wandering around it all afternoon as there were so many interesting plants to discover and fantastic individual touches by owner Lucy Mackenzie, who uses ‘found’ and ‘rescued’ objects to interact with the planting throughout the garden.

Amazingly, the majority of plants have only been planted up over the last 6 years, and Lip na Cloiche is packed with plants which grow just feet from the nearby shoreline

and then climb up the hill to spectacularly overlook Loch Tuath and the Island of Ulva (population of 16).

Planting so close to the shoreline, Lucy Mackenzie has built up an impressive array of plants which not only survive, but thrive in these coastal growing conditions (and acidic soil) and her enthusiasm for propagation supplies home-grown plants for the nursery as well as her own garden. I loved this Euphorbia stygiana, which I’d never seen before. (It’s from the Azores. Plants available by mail order from Crug Farm Plants if you’re not planning a visit to Mull, or seeds from Chiltern Seeds). Here are some of the other plants that caught my eye.

Gorgeous plant combinations abound, such as this Euphorbia wulfenii next to a Clematis montana ‘Tetrarose’.

Lucy chose this clematis variety for its large leaves, subtle scent and for not being as rampant as other clematis in the montana group. Lovely deep pink colour too along with the fragrance. (more…)

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