Woodland GardenMagnificent trees; Two lochs and Abundant rhododendrons
- Open: please enquire
- Hours: TBA
The woodland gardens lead off from the walled garden and take visitors on circular walks past the two lochs, through woods and across pastureland. There are two walks. A red path which takes approx 10 mins, and a yellow path which takes approx 20 mins. Visitors can also test their knowledge by trying the Tree Spotting Game.
The woodland gardens are home to rhododendrons. These are at their best in early summer when their bright flowers are complimented by carpets of bluebells. There are more subtle delights such as the newly added fern bank. This shows some of the different foliage forms that were so avidly collected by the Victorians. There is also a handsome stand of Thuja plicata trees with their curiously fruity scented felage. These trees were planted in 1947 and are known as the Diomede plantation.
The two lochs are artificial enhanced areas of wet boggy ground. The path runs along the tops of the dams and gives some indication of the depth of water in the lochs. Both lochs are a valuable habitat for water birds and other wildlife. Moist conditions are also perfect for growing primulas, gunnera and other water loving plants. By contrast the dry and some times stony areas off the pasture are the perfect environment for delicate widflowers such as a campanula and lotus. This richness and diversty of habitat makes the gardens at Dunskey a haven for wildlife. Binoculers are recommended for bird spotting, and a good wildflower book is also advisable.
Outside The Walled Garden
The walled garden was just one part of a landscape of pleasure grounds which radiated out from Dunskey House. There are paths which run down the Dunskey Glen to the sea, and throughout the woodlands of the estate.
These woodland gardens were planted with exotic trees end shrubs such as rhododendrons and azaleas. Boggy areas of ground were enhanced to form two large lochs with boat houses and plenty of fish, and bridges built to cross streams and burns.
Like the walled garden there were not enough gardeners around in the late 20th century to keep up the woodland gardens. The paths were kept clear, but certain areas had to take a back seat.