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.
I thought this was another unknown (to me) Euphorbia, but it is in fact a Rhodiola rosea. I want one!
There was plenty of spring colour in the form of bulbs (Camassias above), perennials and shrubs.
This Mecanopsis was a stunning cool blue, planted alongside the burn (stream) running through the garden.
Whereas this Euphorbia griffithii (Fireglow or Dixter?) made a delicious hot combination with yellow and red tulips.
The delicacy and simultaneous blowsiness of this compact Rhododendron (possibly R.nobileanum Album?) stopped me in my tracks as I made my way down the garden amongst all the beach-combed and ‘found’ objects.
Every step seemed to reveal another piece of reclaimed treasure.
And finally, before I was prized away from the garden, we had a good look at the plants in the nursery (with plant labels appropriately made from Razor shells). So many tempting plants to choose from, but as we had come by train to Scotland, so few hands to carry them back to London with.
With so much to enjoy in Lucy Mackenzie’s (above) garden, I’m sure I’ll be back another time in the not-too-distant future, but this time, with an empty boot in my car.
P.s.If you’re planning on heading up to Mull, I’d heartily recommend staying at the Western Isles Hotel in Tobermory if you enjoy good food, excellent service, crispy clean white sheets, spacious rooms and wonderful views. You’ll have a truly relaxing stay there.