Logan Botanic Garden lies in the parish of Kirkmaiden, in the Rhinns of Galloway, a narrow peninsula that juts out into the Irish Sea, at the extreme south-west of Scotland. With the sea barely a mile away, virtually surrounding the Garden, the warming influence of the Gulf Stream allows Logan to enjoy an almost sub-tropical climate.
Its 12 hectares receive an ample 1000mm of rainfall evenly distributed over the year. Thus, with the exception of the savage south-westerly salt-laden gales, to which this maritime location is inevitably exposed, the prevailing conditions are almost ideal for cultivation. In particular plants from warm temperate regions of the world, that in other areas would require greenhouse protection, flourish out of doors.
There have been gardens at Logan since the thirteenth century. For most of their history they have been associated with the stronghold of the McDouall family, Castle Balzieland, a trace of whose ruins still overlooks the heart of the Garden from above the Terrace today.
Until the mid-19th century Logan was an unremarkable Scottish country house garden with flowers and vegetables in a sheltered setting. But following the marriage of Agnes Buchan-Hepburn of Smeaton, an enthusiastic gardener, to James McDouall in 1869, the walled garden and surrounding policies began to be transformed into a haven for exotic species. Agnes McDouall inspired a passion for gardening in her sons Kenneth and Douglas. They amassed a wealth of new species from warm temperate regions of the world, both as a result of their own extensive travels, and also by obtaining seed from the great plant hunters of their day, such as George Forrest and Reginald Farrer.
In 1969 the Walled Garden and some surrounding woodland was gifted to the nation by the Trustees of the late R. Olaf Hambro, and this became Logan Botanic Garden. As part of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, the Garden has been restored and the collections greatly enhanced with extensive additional plantings in support of the scientific research, conservation and education work of the parent institution.
The plant collections
Logan is a plantsman's paradise. More than 40% of the plants derive from the southern hemisphere and are to be found in few other gardens in Britain. However, the richly colourful landscaped displays conceal the main purpose of the plantings as biological standards for research and conservation. Logan's collections complement those at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, and its two other Specialist Gardens at Dawyck in Tweeddale and Benmore in Argyll.
As in any botanic garden there is increasing emphasis on material of known wild origin. Thus, as part of the Conifer Conservation Programme a range of species from Tasmania, Florida and South America have been planted at Logan. The Garden's world famous Rhododendron research is reflected here by plants of the tender, and often beautifully scented, subsection Maddenia, new plantings of which are developing in the shelter of Castle Woodland. Throughout the Garden the visitor will discover recently collected material from South Africa, New Zealand and particularly Chile, evidence of the on-going research into the plant life of the planet in which Logan plays a vital part.
The Garden is situated 14 miles south of Stranraer in Galloway, off the B7065, one mile outside Port Logan. It is open from 1 March to 31 October (9.30am to 6pm) and at other times by arrangement.
For further information contact: The Curator, Logan Botanic Garden, Port Logan, Wigtownshire DG9 9ND, United Kingdom Tel +44 (0)1776 860231 ~ Fax +44 (0)1776 860333