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Please check with garden owners or their website to confirm current dates open
1st Mar - 31st Oct; 7 days a week; 10am - 6pm; closes 5pm in Mar & Oct.
SGS - 26th April
Peak summer months & autumn.
Woodland, pond, hillsides, conifers & rhododendrons
Adult £5, Child £1 (under 5s free); Over 60s £4; Family (2A + 4C) £10
Courtyard gallery - exhibition area.
Natural woodland setting, surrounded by dramatic scenery. West Coast climate. Magnificent collections of trees and shrubs, especially rhododendrons and conifers. Impressive avenue of Giant Redwoods
7 miles north of Dunoon in Cowal Peninsula.
From the formal garden, through the hillside woodlands, follow the paths to a stunning viewpoint with a spectacular outlook across the Garden and the Holy Loch to the Firth of Clyde and beyond. Amongst many highlights are the stately conifers, the magnificent avenue of Giant Redwoods, and an extensive magnolia collection. Reflecting the two collections that dominate the Garden, Benmore has been rightly described as both a living textbook of the genus Rhododendron, and, with its unrivalled diversity of coniferous trees, as a national Pinetum. Both collections serve as biological standards for the scientific research work of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.
The rhododendrons are famed not only for their brilliant flowering displays, but also for the rich texture and tone of their leaves and bark. More than 300 species and subspecies can be seen here. The historic plantings of previous owners provide the backbone of the Garden's collection of hardy temperate conifers. These have now been supplemented, particularly with endangered species, as part of the Conifer Conservation Programme. The Garden's vital role in conservation is also demonstrated by its innovative ecological plantings, such as the Bhutanese Glade, a Chilean Glade, Tasmania collection and recently restored Victorian fernery. Such new developments will ensure that Benmore remains an enthralling place for future generations of visitors to explore.
The garden is named after the mountain Beinn Mhor and from Harry George Younger who donated the garden to the nation. The first conifers were planted in about 1820 but the magnificent Redwood Avenue, for which the garden is famous, was planted in 1863. Ten years later James Duncan, a local entrepreneur and benefactor, planted 6 and a half million conifers and undertook many building projects, transforming the garden and indeed the entire area. In 1889 the Younger family took over the garden and introduced many ornamental trees and shrubs. After the garden was given by Harry Younger to the nation in 1925 it was decided that it should become part of the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, and this came into effect four years later. The Royal Botanic Garden has continued the policy of planting begun by Younger.