The good news is that there are a few easily accessible and lovely gardens to wander around. The bad news is that in the last three years three terrific gardens that were open to the public (one third of the total within reach) were closed by their new owners who presumably wanted them all for themselves, for the few weeks they are in residence - the Highland Clearances may be over but not the absentee landlord problem. Bad for Mull (Torosay Castle gardens closed) and bad for Jura (Jura House gardens closed) and bad for Loch Etive (Achnacloich gardens closed). So very many thanks to those owners who are still willing to share their gardens with the public, no doubt at a cost to themselves. There are not many of you left:
Ardchattan gardens on Loch Etive: domestic and peaceful
Ardminish Bay, Gigha: Achamore House gardens are spectacular with woodland bits and a walled garden, great trees - well worth the walk from the anchorage
Asknish Bay on Loch Shuna: Arduaine Gardens owned and nearly closed by the National Trust for Scotland, but now saved, probably best in spring for the rhododendrons, lovely water features
Easdale: An Cala, small and perfectly formed. Check out the summer house pine cone art.
Gallanach Bay, Firth of Lorne: small and rather delightful garden, tucked away up a track
Larachmore gardens, Arisaig: unkempt and lovely
To get to grips with other gardens open to the public in Argyll and Bute go to http://www.gardens-of-argyll.co.uk