We did not set out to find either wildflowers or
gardens in Scotland.
These photos represent
just a few of those we happened to see along the way.
Bluebells on a Hill near Culloden
No flower we saw was so lovely as bluebells.
Bluebells, Pink Campion,
and Unknown, in the Trossachs
Bluebells at Loch Ness
Bluebells in the Trossachs
(Don't Miss the Wee Beastie)
on the Isle of Skye
Gorse at Loch Ness
Scotch Broom at Loch Lomond
Gorse on the Cardross Road
first glance, gorse and broom may appear to be one and the same.
However, broom grows in a more vertical direction while gorse is more compact,
and the flower of the broom is a more delicate shade of yellow.
Rhododendron at Armadale
Isle of Skye
at Armadale Castle
The Garden at Balloch Castle
Another rhododendron at Armadale was fully thirty feet high, but its blossoms
leaving it less than attractive.
Heather ordinarily is seen in August,
and thistle blooms in July, as well presumably as in winter.
While we have no photographs of Scotch Thistle to share,
you may enjoy the following
"Legend of the Thistle" and anonymous poem.
The Legend of The Thistle
adopted as Scotland’s national emblem over 800 years ago,
recalls the legend from ancient days
that it saved a group of weary Scottish
warriors from invaders.
Beginning in 794 A.D. and for a period of more than 300
the Vikings of Denmark repeatedly invaded
the islands and
coastlands of Scotland.
On one occasion, as night fell and Scottish
rested in a field, a Viking raiding party crept up to attack them.
The darkness proved more an enemy than a friend since it hid
from the invaders’ eyes the bed of thistles
on the ground before them.
The thorny plants
pierced the bare feet of the Vikings,
causing them to cry out in pain, awaken the Scots,
and bring destruction
The Thistle is a fitting emblem for the people of
who for many centuries have survived the harshest conditions
and the cruelest tyrants.
The Thistle of Scotia
Let The lily of France in luxuriance bloom,
Let the shamrock of Erin its beauty maintain,
Let the rose of fair England still waft its perfume,
But the Thistle of Scotia will dearest remain.
'Twas the badge that our fathers
When they followed their sovereigns to vanquish the Dane,
The emblem our Wallace in battle aye bore;
Then the Thistle of Scotia must dearest remain.
It blooms on our mountains, it blooms
in the vale,
It blooms in the winter, in snow, and in rain;
The type of her sons when rude seasons assail ~
To Scotia, her thistle will dearest remain.