Blooming lovely for charity

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Stuart and Rowena Oakley will be opening their garden in support of the Scotland’s Gardens scheme, which supports the Red Cross, during the summer.

The couple have opened their garden ‘Leathad Ard’ at Upper Carloway for the last 14 years in support of the charity.

This year the garden will be open until August 31st (closed on Fridays and Sundays and Carloway Agricultural Show day) between 10am and 6pm.

Entrance is £4 (or more) and most folk take at least an hour to walk round longer if guided.

The couple also have a small plant stall stocked with some of the plants grown in the garden.

Talking about the garden Stuart, says: “The garden is about an acre in size and divided into a number of smaller spaces or ‘rooms’ with sheltering hedges, and range from bog gardens to relatively dry beds as well as some left exposed to the wind.

“We grow a wide range of plants with a number of uncommon species, taking advantage of the range of conditions created as the garden has evolved.

“This year has been the most difficult we have experienced in over 25 years of growing in Lewis, with heavy rains, high winds and low temperatures throughout May which has meant that many plants are much later than normal and some have even been killed with the late frosts.

“However, the garden is now looking more like we would expect it to for late June with lots of colour and well worth a visit.

“Just now the candelabra primulas, rodgersias and lupins with a sprinkling of Himalayan blue poppies are at their best and they will shortly be followed by the arum lillies and delphiniums with a succession of other plants throughout the summer.

“Less glamorous but just as important are the fruit and veg, including those we grow to show standards, both in the garden and in the greenhouse. Surrounding all of this spender are the hedges without which little of the garden would exist.”