jewels in the grass

My Walk this Week 261 – Cally Gardens, It’s All About the Plants

My walk this week is in Cally Gardens in Scotland where it is all about the plants. We have been visiting this nursery garden for many years and used to enjoy hearing and learning about Michael Wickendon’s plant expeditions and explorations around the world. Sadly Michael died on one of those expeditions a few years ago but the garden has been take over since then by Kevin Hughes and he is clearly developing and maintaining the plants and garden in a similar vein to its past.

I do not have a video from this garden walk to include but the video on the diary page of the Cally website is enjoyable and informative.

Posted in Flowers, Garden, My Walk this Week, Nature, Photography and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , .


  1. Thanks Alastair, and for the video link which I followed up on – clearly a man after our own hearts, and an invertebrate/ecosystem based gardener/nurseryman which is great to see. Funnily enough he got a full page write up in a glossy garden mag this month, so great to hear him enthuse in person.
    best wishes

        • Yes Julian, I guess I was just teasing really, though when Michael Wickendon dies we were very concerned about what would happen to the gardens. So when Kevin Hughes came along as an inveterate () enthusiast for Michael’s approach to managing the place and the plants, we were so pleased. We have yet to meet him properly and chat but I look forward to the opportunity.
          One day we will visit your garden!

          • Thanks Alastair… I was so impressed with both what I’d read about KH, and his ethos/development plans for Cally, I forwarded the link onto Noel of Garden Masterclass, thinking he might make an interesting subject for a Thursday chat… I’ll let you know if he ever gets asked on. I’m sure it would make for an interesting chat!
            You would of course be very welcome here anytime and if you came soon would be our first visitors of the year – and we’re not alone in this regard, our 2 other fellow NGS local garden openers have also had no visitors, which in some ways is great, ‘cos it takes the pressure off, but in many ways an NGS rural garden is probably one of the safest and most peaceful places one can visit right now…
            Hopefully we’ll meet up one day!
            Enjoy the rest of your break,
            Best wishes

    • Thank you Janet. As a nursery garden it is different to your standard country garden. It is old and high walled and cared for enthusiastically. My familiarity with it does not mean a loss of the sense of exploration. Perhaps because we see it different times of year according to when we visit Scotland. Glad you enjoyed it

  2. All I can think of now is the Yeats poem “Down by the salley gardens my love and I did meet” when I see the name of this place! Lovely photos, as always, thanks.

    • Ah yes. It’s like g times once I read Yeats but that’s a little beauty. I e of the biggest tapestries I made was a commission from the Bank of Ireland in Sligo. The prompt for the design was the mountain just north of Sligo, Ben Bulben. If you know your Yeats you may recognise the name from his poem Under Ben Bulben. I was fabulous for us to stay there for a few days or so while I did my research for the work. You can see on the commissions page of my other website

      • I only remember odd bits of Yeats from my schooldays when an Irish Christian Brother was rather keen on his work. Since I’d not long come from a decade in Hong Kong to England the combination of Irish landscape and culture, adolescent yearnings and Yeats, somehow held no resonances for me, though it would now. And thanks for the pointer regarding your commissioned work, there are some — no, really they’re all really stunning images, bold, evocative and, in the context of a library, contemplative.

        • Thank you Chris. My aunt and uncle spent a number of years in Hong Kong but I can’t say I ever really got a handle on what it was like – other than busy. My parents visited Japan for a few when my mother won a print biennale and they were very enthusiastic, but again, it’s along way off. Should that include culturally as well as distance- I suspect so.

  3. I wonder what’s happened, because this Jun 18, 2021 blog post is the only one showing up on the reader of wordpress. Have you clicked something? I am still [Follow] your blog, it is still [Following] in green.

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