On And On To Strathdon - Part 3: Return From Brigadoon
We left The Allargue Hotel in Cockbridge on the Sunday morning after the unique and memorable experience of our friend Peter's wedding. The journey back to Kilmartin was wonderful - the weather warming and brightening as we headed west - we being Gill, myself and our friend Ann, who was also a wedding guest and Peter's next door neighbour in Slockavullin.
We travelled firstly to Aviemore, then ignored the delights of the M9 southwards, instead following the scenic route from Newtonmore and Kingussie and passing along the north shore of Loch Laggan - catching glimpses across the loch of the estate and house of Ardverikie, where the 'Monarch of the Glen' television programmes were filmed.
Thence to Spean Bridge, Fort William - where we spent a huge amount of time trapped in a one-way system, trying to find a comfort stop - and on down through Ballachulish to Appin, home of my forebears (or so I am told).
In Appin, near Castle Stalcair, is the Kinlochlaich House Garden Centre. Gill and I have visited here on a number of occasions over the years and never fail to leave without another purchase for our own garden. All the images you see on this blog were taken on this most recent visit, and a most enjoyable one it was too.
There is a special peace about this garden - you are never troubled by pushy sales-staff or grumpy gardeners, (the staff are very friendly and extremely helpful). Instead there is a sense of unhurried tranquillity. Spiritually, I believe it is what gardens should do - suggest the peace that only God can bring. The Garden of Eden (the paradise of God) is indicative of man at one with God, and our God-given spirit yearns to be restored to that state.
That wonderful sense of being restored, healed in the spirit and brought home, is something I realise is present in all fine gardens. Kinlochlaich is undoubtedly one of those places. A great and beautiful, cultivated, walled garden set like a jewel in the great and beautiful wild garden that is Argyll.
...And only about 45-50 miles north of us in Kilmartin - about an hours journey away.