Inverewe opens carnivorous Savage Garden

The National Trust for Scotland's spectacular Inverewe Garden in Poolewe is to open a garden of carnivorous plants this summer.

Venus fly trap. Image: Pixabay
Venus fly trap. Image: Pixabay

The Savage Garden has been created close to the pond in the Wester-Ross garden, featuring striking and unusual carnivorous species including the Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula).

Also in the collection is the distinctive trumpet plant (Sarracenia flava), which took on the role of a triffid in the 1962 film Day of the Triffids.

Head gardener Kevin Ball said: "The main attraction will, no doubt, be the Venus flytraps, an insectivorous plant which children will have the opportunity to feed under supervision. When first seen in action, these small plants are awe-inspiring. They are without doubt the most famous of all carnivorous plants.

"A small raised bog has been created to display the yellow trumpet plant. It's named for its tall flowers with pendulous, bright yellow petals – that happen to smell like male cat pee."

Originally from North America and South America, these exotic species are an exciting addition to a garden that is already known for its international collection. Osgood Mackenzie was a pioneering plantsman, collecting specimens from all over the world to grow at the garden he created from scratch, on a peninsula of bare rock.

Ball said: "Inverewe features plant species from all over the world, which thrive here thanks to our mild and protected climate. However, some species still need extra help so we have an Edwardian-style Wardian case within the garden, enabling us to grow and display carnivorous plants which cannot survive out-of-doors without protection."

Another plant featuring in the garden is the cobra plant (Darlingtonia californica), with bulbous green heads, twisted red tongues and long tubular pitchers. The team has built up a stock of this plant over a number of years and it is now ready to make a debut in the garden.

The Savage Garden is the latest new development at Inverewe Garden. The National Trust for Scotland is currently undertaking a conservation and restoration project at Inverewe House.

The £1.5m project will see the house open to visitors for the first time in summer 2016 providing a significant improvement to the interpretation and visitors' experience of the garden. A new glasshouse is also being installed this year.

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