A view of Gargunnock House from the drive.
Follow the yellow “Scotland’s Gardens” sign through the lodge gates and the car park is on the right. Pick up a map at the green sentry box and put your entry money in the honesty box.
Turning right up the drive, look up at the at the magestic trees planted on either side and just consider the amount of time they have taken to mature. Planted in around 1865 some of the giant redwoods, coast redwoods and the douglas firs are over 200 ft tall.
Below these giants, from February through until March there is a carpet of snowdrops that have been transplanted over the last 15 years. We split and move them to new areas every year and spare snowdrops are available at the Plant Stall for a small donation.
After the snowdrops come the daffodills and then bluebells complete the Spring display. Many of the bluebells have hybridised as some are pink or white. We continue to plant the lovely yellow aconite along the drive but they will take a few years to form a large display.
Some of the rhododendrons along the Drive have been pruned and reshaped. This is all part of our efforts to increase flowering at a lower level as many reach for the sky due to the tree cover.
The acer palmatum in dark reds, greens and purples are fresh in May and it’s through them that you get your first glimse of Gargunnock House itself.
As to history, the Drive formed part of the coach road between Stirling Castle and the castles on the Clyde coast. All along the Gargunnock Hills successive Stewart kings would hunt in the woods and glens long before the marshlands were drained to form the “Carse of Stirling” -the largest area of flatland in Scotland.