Thursday, 6 September 2018

Scotland by Rail - Geilston Garden, short walk from Cardross


Here's a really nice afternoon out. Train to Cardross, a while watching along the shore, a gentle walk through an interesting old village to a really pretty much perfect, productive and wildlife-friendly garden - National Trust for Scotland's Geilston Garden.

If you're an NTS Member garden entry is free. If you're not it's £7.50 for a standard adult ticket, £18.50 for a family. Well worth it. There's no cafe but there are hot drinks and snacks and much much better there's lots of fruit and veg for sale (when available), grown on site, super cheap, super super, super supper. Although I call it tea. Garden plants too.


Cardross station
Admire the old station building then head down to the shore. Sit on a bench or have a stroll. Look for oystercatcher, curlew, herring & lesser black-back & black-headed & common gulls, heron, maybe tern, maybe turnstone, maybe shelduck. Probably lots more. On a bench I saw a spider shedding its skin. I've never seen that before. Already-shed spider skins yes, often, but never the actual act. I'll put a link here once I've uploaded the video.




The village
Cross the railway carefully via level crossing at west end of station or footbridge over the two platforms. Walk north up Station Road which you're already on after the level crossing. 


Past this lovely gate.



Past the Parish Church



Turn left at the end of Station Road. You're now on Main Street. Pass post office on your left. Coop on your right. 

Pass the boulder of Napiers on your left. One of them was John Napier (1550 - 1617) of Merchiston, inventor of logarithms. I'll ask my wife, dad, brother what those are.



Pass this old mile marker, they don't make them like this any more.


Don't turn right onto Darleith Road, keep going on Main Road which at this point becomes Cardross Road (A814). 



Pass this Hall. What is / was it? I'm not sure.


Walk a short way into the country, still on a pavement.

Don't cross over and explore down this path on the left. At least, I didn't. Well, a bit.


Here on your right is the driveway to Geilston Garden.



Here I think is a cep, a bolete, a penny bun. They're top eaters. I haven't yet got confident enough with fungi though, only when I'm with Steve.



Quite stunning wildflower planting, covered in bees and hoverflies and other pollinators. These flowers are annuals but leave them to fully die off and dry out and some should set seed and return next year. It's important to leave dead heads and stems etc over winter anyway as hibernation spots for insects.



More natural less managed wildflower plantings. These tall ones (id anyone? David? Mum?) absolutely covered in bumblebees. I'll be trying to grow them next year.



buff-tailed bumblebees


buff-tailed on the left, male white-tailed on the right - see that white-tailed have a more lemony shade of yellow



a large white butterfly. No, actually. And literally. Look at that eye!



male red-tailed bumblebee



seven-spot ladybird, on its throne



spot the...?


the...? (out of focus orange thing at middle right)

Small copper butterfly! Actually. Nor really literally, although it is extremely small and I suppose a bit like copper, a little bit.



male white-tailed bumblebee, again the lemon yellow


grasshopper, a very small one, 6-9mm long, super fast


carder bumblebee! My favourites. Those fuzzy cardigans...



the orchard, combined with meadow. 



This is really interesting, a very small stream runs along the bottom of this structure which was built around it to provide a place for watering plants. Full of waterplants and bogplants now. I'd love one in our garden.



Fruit cages, reminding me of Jersey Granny.



Geilston does a lot to garden sustainably and for nature. These posters have loads of useful ideas.




Orchard gateway



Surely not many potting sheds have a view as good as this one. See that window..




red and green



marriage well, 1863


entering the walled garden



in the glasshouse, fig tree


in the potting shed


Oren evidently loves glasshouses. Jennifer is thinking deeply about them. Or it was a long night.


At the rear of Geilston House



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How to get there

Trains to Cardross take 35 minutes from Glasgow Queen Street Low Level and run every half hour.

ScotRail website - 'Dunbartonshire - Glasgow, Cumbernauld & Falkirk Grahamston' timetable under 'The Central Belt' heading. And 'Buy Tickets'.



Many thanks to ScotRail for enabling and supporting my ongoing Scotland by Rail work. 


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