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Achamore Garden

The home of Horlicks renowned Rhododendron and Camellia collection

In the early 20th century Achamore Gardens was mostly woodland, planted to provide cover for rabbits, pheasants, and other game animals for shooting. Gardeners ensured that the walled garden produced fruit and vegetables all year round for the big house. In 1944, Colonel Sir James Horlick arrived in Gigha as the new laird and set about his ambitious project of creating a home for rare and exotic plants in this sheltered spot. He collaborated with professional gardener, Kitty Lloyd Jones, and head gardener, Malcolm Allan, who worked here for 52 years. Sir James and his gardeners carved out the planting compartments that you see in the woods today, often using dynamite to get rid of unwanted trees.

Today, under community ownership, the gardens are being methodically restored and further developed through the care and devoted work of a dedicated team. Achamore gardeners, past and present, have created a unique environment that attracts visitors from around the world. The gardens thrive in the sunnier, milder climate of Gigha (thanks in part to the Gulf Stream), protected from the harsh maritime winds by the sheltering woodlands and the natural ridge to the west of the walled garden. Climb up this to the viewpoint and enjoy spectacular views of Islay and Jura on a clear day.