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Situated nearby in Argyll, this is not actually within West Dunbartonshire, but very close to both Dumbarton and Renton. It is after all within what was at one time the historic County of Dumbarton and within the Parish of Cardross. 

They are located just outside of Cardross (on the way to Helensburgh). 

The National Trust for Scotland, under whose management this is, describe them as "a magical 200-year-old walled garden by the River Clyde with playground and floral mini-maze". They invite you to explore this delightful 200-year-old garden on the banks of the River Clyde and enjoy the carpet of dazzling colours inside the walled garden in summer. Look out for the gunnera, or giant rhubarb – its leaves can grow as large as an eagle’s wing span. There is also a ‘Hobbit hole’ play area and floral mini-maze for children. [NTS]. 

The gardens benefit by enthusiastic volunteers. There is a Friends of Geilston group which aims to promote, protect and preserve the presence of Geilston Gardens, House and Estate to benefit the local community and beyond. [FOG].

The garden  are open for the 2021  season from Thursday to Monday starting on April the 2nd, until October the 31st. A refreshment take-away facility has been installed selling coffee, cold drinks, ice cream and snacks. 

Pale daffodils backlit by the late sun in March.

All aglow in bright yellow in March.

The gardens are full of surprises that change through the seasons.

The May meadow of buttercups alongside the main approach road.

And some proud black cattle in sharp contrast.

Many of theseold established gardens were developed from collections sourced from exotic destinations, in other words, non-native. This is what makes them so interesting and charming. We know from retrospect though that some have become problematic. This one is so attractive in mid-March, providing almost glowing fingers of bright yellow on the pond, but renewed efforts will be needed to remove it. This is the American Skunk Cabbage, Lysichiton americanus. Its name comes from the distinctive "skunky" odor that it emits when it blooms. This odor attracts its pollinators, scavenging flies and beetles. It has huge leathery leaves between 40cm – 1.5m, and bright yellow 'flowers' up to 45cm, which resemble those of Lords and Ladies.  The yellow 'flowers' emerge first around April time, followed by the leaves. The centre spike - the spadix - is covered in the tiny flowers which will bear seed. These seeds disperse via waterways but probably also by birds and animals.It is found on pond margins, stream sides, bogs and wet woodlands. See the link below. (PS, this photo was taken from outwith Geilston property).

FRIENDS OF GEILSTON : https://friendsofgeilston.org/

INVASIVE SPECIES.SCOT : https://www.invasivespecies.scot/american-skunk-cabbage

NATIONAL TRUST FOR SCOTLAND : https://www.nts.org.uk/visit/places/geilston-garden 

WIKIPEDIA : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geilston_Garden and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lysichiton_americanus

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