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Argyll garden recognised for its outstanding national significance

8 March 2013

The spectacular Linn Botanic Gardens on Argyll’s Rosneath Peninsula has been recognised for its national importance and is the most recent addition to Historic Scotland’s Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes.

The Linn is a rare example of a small, privately-owned garden, which nevertheless meets internationally-agreed standards for a botanic garden collection. It is of outstanding horticultural importance as it contains an impressive collection of plant species from around the world, many of which are endangered in the wild or seldom seen in cultivation.

It all began in 1971, when botanist and one-time lecturer at Trinity College Dublin, Dr Jim Taggart, bought the Linn Villa and set about transforming the steep and rocky garden grounds into a botanical garden.

The location was ideal as the dramatic landform together with the tempering influences of the Gulf Stream, provided the perfect environment for growing the rare and tender plants that Jim sourced from China, Peru and the Himalayas.

In 1997, his son, James Taggart, assumed responsibility and ensured that the garden continued to grow and evolve.

Today, the Linn is well-known for its tranquillity and lush landscapes with vistas of the Firth of Clyde and Loch Long. A path guides visitors through a variety of beautiful garden scenes that include a New Zealand Alpine Lawn, an exotic wood, a Bamboo garden with 40 different kinds of bamboo and the Walk up the Glen that has been densely planted with rhododendrons, exotic climbers and Chinese Epimedium species.  Eight champion trees have also been recorded within the gardens.   

Welcoming the Botanic Garden to the Inventory, Elizabeth McCrone, Historic Scotland’s Head of Listing and Designed Landscapes said:

“I am delighted that Linn Botanic Gardens is now part of the Inventory of Designed Landscapes.  It is of outstanding importance for its horticultural value, it's value as a work of art, and for its historic and nature conservation value.  As a result, it is one of the best examples of its type and of national significance.   

“Including the Gardens in the Inventory will ensure that the planning process takes into account their significance when changes are proposed.”

Jamie Taggart, owner of Linn Botanic Gardens, said: “I am very pleased that Linn Botanic Gardens have been listed in the inventory.  Having the extra recognition for my garden is important to me.  A career as a garden curator requires future planning.  Any additional support has to be welcomed with open arms.  It is my wish that future generations can also share in the enjoyment of having the gardens that I have had and can continue to act as a benefit to the local area and beyond.”

The Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes in Scotland is a list of nationally important sites that meet the criteria published in the Scottish Historic Environment Policy 2011. The Inventory provides information on sites in order to raise awareness of their significance and to assist in their protection and management for the future. The Inventory is a major resource for enhancing the appreciation and enjoyment of gardens and designed landscapes, for promoting education, and for stimulating further research.

Notes for editors:

  • Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government charged with safeguarding the nation’s historic environment. The agency is fully accountable to Scottish Ministers and through them to the Scottish Parliament.

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John MacNeil
Media Relations Manager
Communications and Media
0131 668 8714 or 07854 366 827