Cluny House Gardens, PERTHSHIRE, in Autumn

With friends, I spent a lovely hour at Cluny House Gardens, near Aberfeldy, Perthshire, on 22 September 2018. It was a sunny afternoon with an autumn chill in the air. There was plenty to see in the garden, which is composed mainly of damp woodland on sloping ground with an acid soil. The house looks charming but is not open to the public.

There was a selection of acers, some of which were beginning to colour; tree peonies; rhododendrons and huge forest trees such as giant redwoods and firs. Underneath the trees were a great selection of plants, many flowering, which are difficult to grow in the south of England and unfamiliar to a gardener like me!


Japanese maples were turning red and they were dominated by huge conifers like giant redwoods (Sequoiadendron giganteum) and noble firs (Abies procera).

Japanese maples were turning red
Giant Redwoods – Sequiasdendron giganteum – this one is perhaps the largest I’ve seen in the UK
Abies procera – the noble fir – well beyond Christmas Tree size!

And underneath…

The understory abounded with life – mosses, lichens, fungi, ferns and quite a few flowers even in late September. I am unfamiliar with many of the plants and I’ve done my best to identify what I can. But if you can help with the unidentified images, please do. Send me an email and I’ll credit you with identifications!

Redwood tree with an understory of rhododendrons, ferns and a collection of exotics
Toadstools, lichens and mosses among the leaf litter – the signs of healthy air and soil
Chelone obliqua
Chelone obliqua, the twisted shell plant, was flowering beneath the trees. It’s an American member of the Plantaginaceae family
Actaea pachypoda – the white baneberry. It’s in the Ranuculaceae and very common in the undergrowth
Tropaeolum speciosum smothers a rhododendron. This climber comes originally from Chile but seems to love Scotland
I’d like some help on identifying this one!
Cyclamen hederifolium goes rampant
Any suggestions for this one?
Euonymus quiquecornutus in fruit. This one was labelled!
I think Gentiana asclepiadea – the willow gentian. A native of the alpine forests of Europe
Large perennials about a metre tall with large bulbous fruits – I feel I should know what these are but…
Kirengeshoma palmata – so-called yellow wax bells –comes from East Asia and is in the hydrangea family
Huge stands of Colchicum autumnale – the autumn crocus – in flower
And white colchicums too!
Possibly the dreaded honey fungus – Armillaria. A tree killer!

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