Ardmaddy Castle Garden

Ardmaddy, By Oban PA34 4QY

Ardmaddy Castle Garden, part of Ardmaddy Estate, lies within a spectacular setting in the centre of a horseshoe valley sheltered by mixed mature woodlands. It is overlooked by the elevated castle which stands on a volcanic mound to seaward.

The garden was formed on the site of barracks dating back to the 1745 Jacobite Rebellion. From 1940 to 1960 it was run as a market garden and from then, a rhododendron enthusiast grew and hybridised a huge variety of rhododendrons. Charles and Minette Struthers took over the estate in 1976 and have developed the garden from a spring garden to a garden of interest throughout the year.

Today, the walled garden is full of magnificent rhododendrons, some more than half a century old; a collection of rare and unusual shrubs and plants; fruit and vegetables grown using a variety of ingenious labour-saving methods; a crevice garden; and a clock garden with a collection of cutting flowers.

Beyond is a woodland walk with 60-foot Hydrangea petiolaris leading to the water garden – a plantsman’s garden for all seasons. Visitors can appreciate a riot of candelabra primulas, irises, rodgersias and other damp-loving plants and grasses during summer, or vibrant red, orange and gold-coloured shrubbery during autumn.

Depending on the time of year, the garden also showcases swathes of snowdrops, wild garlic, bluebells, primroses, pink campion and foxgloves. Autumn brings exceptional points of interest such as the Magnolia wilsonii with wonderful crimson seed pods and the Cercidiphyllum japonicum, sometimes called ‘caramel tree’ for the light scent of burnt caramel it emits during leaf fall.

The garden is open all year round under Scotland’s Garden Scheme and a range of in-season plants and fruit and vegetables are for sale.


Telephone: 01852 300353

Opening times: Daily 9am – dusk

Admission costs: Adults £5.00, children free

Garden of the Week is in association with Discover Scottish Gardens. For more information, advice and day-out ideas, visit