…..'A sense of humour lends you poise, it gives you balance and it helps you to bend without breaking'…..

(HH Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda)

Menoquisitive [men-oh-kwizzy-tiff]; following one's nose

We veered to the left, up behind the community hall and to the side of the bowling green. There was an information board which informed us the land for the garden had been part of the smithy (which had stood where the hall now was - and was owned by the Maclean family - not our branch, sadly). It had fallen to rough times, grazed by sheep but otherwise a mess. In 2003 a working party was put together and with the help of Scottish BBC program, The Beechgrove Garden, the current place was established. That show also provides fact sheets and this one for Caol an t-snaimh gives a lovely overview of the history of the village. Salient points;

  • been settled for about 8000 years
  • name means 'the narrows of the swimming' always been used as the crossing point to Bute - crofters would certainly have driven (as in swum) the flock across to the isle!
  • was one of the early landing places of monks from Ireland
  • was one of the main shelter and pilfer points for the Viking raiders over five centuries
  • the water running on this land permitted the raising of a mill (Ardentraive - 'ard' is high point or promontary) and was certainly there by 1590 when first map made
  • was affected by the potato famine mid-nineteenth century (it wasn't just Ireland!)
  • The late Victorian boom in 'tourism' resulted in the area benefitting from 'new money' of shipping magnates and the like. Some very fine houses built - mostly on Bute, but also up the Kyles. The original old guest house now lies under the bowling green and the Laird's hunting lodge is what has become the Colintraive Hotel
  • the first world war brought a halt to all activity and also the invention of the motor car heralded the demise of the Clyde steamers; Colintraive became much less accessible again until the car ferry was finally launched in 1950.

Paging on through the factsheet, sponsors of the garden and all the plants laid-in are there, as well is descriptions and problems solved for local residents whose gardens were visited by the program's experts. Very interesting for those of you with that inclination.

Mac1 and I opened the gate and wandered in. What a delightful spot!!! The wind was chill, but the sun was full and the garden had lots of shelter. We lingered a goodly hour here.

...and our day wasn't finished yet! As we drove away from Colintraive, back over the high-arched bridge, we headed for Strachur. Having come over by the Auchenbreck, single track road, around the head of Loch Striven, it is always a good plan to return via Stachur and Loch Eck... there is a sign at Glendruel which has always intrigued me, but I have never had the time to stop and investigate....


  1. Hello, what a pretty garden and I love the sculptures. Happy Thursday, enjoy your day and weekend ahead!

  2. What a beautiful place you found Aunty Yam, looks lovely and tranquil
    Loves and licky kisses
    Princess Leah xxx

  3. Oh how interesting!!! your country is on our travel list... the mama started to bug my dad like a... well.. like a bug... after she saw a documentary about William Wallace of Elderslie...maybe Bertie will welcome me as the (in)official ambassadog?

  4. Crikey Aunty ..... for goodness sake STOP AT THAT SIGN next time, aye?? Now you've got ME curious!! I would like to spend an hour in that joint. Did you see any critters or is it too cold for critters??

    1. Hari OM
      Patience Charlie mate, this was the day to finally follow the sign!!! ... no critters I'm afraid - apart form those wooden fellas... Yxx


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