Well, I had never been to the Botanic Gardens in Inverness before and after seeing some of their posts on Facebook, I decided it was time to visit. It’s just a 20 minutes drive or so, over by the large sports centre and swimming pool (maybe combine a visit?) It’s always open 7 days a week from 10am to 5pm and is free entry! Although they do ask for a donation.
The Gardens were opened back in 1993 by Prince Edward. They describe it as an “oasis of calm and beauty within walking distance of the bustling city centre” and it really is that.
We chose to go on one of the hottest days of the year, and it was glorious walking around the different gardens. I was really hoping to get some inspiration and ideas for our garden at Pinewood, and I did just that! We stopped many times and sat a while in the chairs and benches they have scattered all round, taking in the sights and smells of the wonderful flowers. With the good weather we’ve been having, the gardens were an explosion of colour with so many different plants to see. There are some large greenhouses which ranged from the tropical rainforests to the arid desert. In the Tropical House, there’s a waterfall which cascades into a pond filled with Koi carp. There are some spectacular bird of paradise plants in here, and many weird and interesting ones which we didn’t know! But everything has little labels and signs up, so you can see what you’re looking at. We loved the Cactus House, with its amazing variety of cacti of all shapes and sizes.
One of the best things about the Gardens is the way it just meanders around. You find something new at every corner. Secret gardens, breathtaking meadows, bug hotels (yes, bug hotels!), wooden sculptures tucked away, and walled areas. And my favourite: a very large vegetable garden – the Project Garden. This is where people with learning disabilities can learn to grown an amazing array of vegetables and learn about wildlife.
And another highlight is that one of the greenhouses contains plants for sale. We walked away with 4 great new plants for the enclosed garden. There’s also a Cobbs Café too and you can sit outside with your hot drink and cake and enjoy the garden.
The Gardens were such a wonderful find – I wish we had been before, but we will be back!