Logan Botanic Garden is one of three regional outposts of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (the other two are Dawyck in the Scottish Borders, and Benmore in Argyll).
Due to its position on the south-west coast of Scotland, Logan experiences the effects of the Gulf Stream, a warm ocean current that runs up Scotland’s west coast. The particular climate of Logan allows plants to flourish there that wouldn’t survive in other parts of Scotland. Tree ferns and palm trees give the garden a tropical feel.
I’ve been going to the south-west of Scotland on holiday, and visiting Logan Botanics, for as long as I can remember. As a child I was always excited to revisit the terraced garden. I enjoyed running up the flight of broad flat steps lined with palm trees and rhododendrons leading to the top terrace. Logan is home to some species of rhododendron that are so tender they only thrive in a few locations in the UK.
In the summer, plants overflow the stonework of the terraces, creating luxuriant tiers of foliage.
Another part of the garden I remember well from my childhood is the gunnera bog. You can’t tell from the pictures below, but at Logan some of these giant rhubarb-like plants are taller than a tall man. Standing under gunnera leaves was part of our holiday tradition.
Some portions of the garden have been designed to showcase plants from specific areas of the world. In recent years a Tasmanian forest was created, which is now maturing into a lush part of the garden quite different from everything else. Earlier this year I noticed a section under construction devoted entirely to plants from Chile.
Some plants need a little more protection than the Gulf Stream provides, and for these Logan’s recently constructed conservatory offers the perfect environment. Completed in 2014, the conservatory houses a rare collection of South African flora.
One of the many wonderful things about Logan Botanic Garden is its cafe, the Potting Shed Bistro, which serves delicious lunches and home baking.
Some of the fruits, vegetables and seafood come from the small village of Port Logan, less than 2 miles away.
Logan is the only garden in Scotland to have been awarded both a 5 star visitor attraction status and the Green Tourism Gold Award for sustainability.
The garden is open 7 days a week from 15 March to 31 October from 10:00-17:00, and every Sunday in February from 10:00-16:00 for the Scottish Snowdrop Festival. Admission costs £6.50 for adults, £5.50 for concessions, and children and essential carers get in free. Entry is also free for anyone holding membership of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.