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For the past half century the 28 acres of Larachmhor have been nurtured by a relatively small team of volunteers – a unique arrangement for a landscape of this scale. All operations are carried out in consultation
THE LARACHMHOR GARDEN ASSOCIATION
This area of the Larachmor website provides an information resource for team members, include active volunteers, passive associates and those planning a visit to the garden or attendance at a future workparty.
It includes a targeted area of the Website Blog where LGA management can regularly update members on ongoing works, future events and to highlight outstanding tasks that require prompt action. It also allows accommodation users to report any issues within and around the bothies, or in the wider garden.
A wild woodland enclosure sheltering a range of exotics, especially a remarkable collection of wild origin rhododendrons, established in the 1920-30’s’s by John Holms.
Extending to 28 acres, it covers the site of the 19th century estate & kitchen garden of the old Glen House in Arisaig (now burned down – and not to be confused with Arisaig House, a few miles to the east).
Since 1962 The Garden and its special plant collections have been managed/overseen by The Larachmhor Garden Association, a charitable association of botanists, horticulturists and associates with a special relationship to the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.
In their voluntary care, the wild character of the site has been sustained, the basic fabric and accommodations of the site maintained and developed and the plant collections continuously enriched.
The Garden forms a small part of the Rhu Estate, which embraces the whole peninsula that extends S & W from the site. Since 1997 the Rhu estate has been owned by Msr & Mme Namy, from Perthes nr. Paris. The Namy’s (and their mature family members) make regular short visits from France to their estate, for management and relaxation, when they are based in their house at Drimindarroch.
The estate is managed locally by Mr James Colston, Factor (based at the farm nr Arisaig).
The Consortium maintains and uses as its base three+ premises in the heart of the Garden:
The Cedar Hut
A 1960’s timber chalet, with a full size gaz cooker, grill & oven, a vernacular wood stove and three pax bench bed area. (sleeps 3-5incl the floor); recently upgraded, re-roofed, with a new Verandah, and fresh internal décor.
a large storage shed for materials and equipment, rebuilt in 2004, with a small side unit for bulk fertilisers etc.
Brennan’s Jubilee Hut
The home of the former Gardener, until his decease in the 1950’s, This idyllic traditional two room bothy burnt down in Sept 2007 but has been rebuilt (opened May 2012) as the main accommodation for workparty teams, with full size propane cookergrill and oven, serving bench, woodburning stove and sleeping space for up to 10.
A store with partly-flushing toilet cubicle, (next door to Brennans Hut/ a short stroll from Cedar)
Access & Parking : is via a gated drive that leaves the A830 just east of Arisaig village, at the limit of the village street lighting and stone walling. This leads immediately to the gate and drive (rough in parts) down into the Garden. The clearly signed gate is opened by a Yale Padlock key. [RBG Suite : A36].
Please ensure that this is kept closed during your stay (just on the bolt; but with the padlock closed, so it cannot be lost!), and finally re-padlock on departure.
Vehicles may be parked adjacent to Cedar hut / Garage., or just opposite the nearby avenue of Hemlocks, or at the end of the drive leading to Brennan’s Jubilee Hut. Please do not block the main driveway.
The Accommodation :
Full catering and dining equipment is supplied; wood burning stoves provide heat, when necessary. The bed units all have sound mattresses.
* Please be very careful of all naked flames. One hut has already burned down in recent years.
Roof Water is collected into IBC tanks at both huts. Fill containers as required. Boiling essential for all comestible uses. Cooking by Gaz/Propane (supplied, with spare cylinders : please replace from local shop as reqd. and claim rebate).
Guests will just need sleeping bags, food supplies and personal kit; and the following nominated items :
Please bring personal stocks of candles /firelighters / kitchen roll / toilet paper & wet wipes.
Access : Both bothies are opened by a Yale padlock key [A36] and a Mortise key is also needed for Cedar Hut.
The Garage & Toilet are also secured via the Yale padlock [A.36] key.
Fires : there is a woodshed and chopping area beside both Huts. Gather kindling and deadwood replenishments from the abundant fallen material. Please replenish the dry stocks in the hut as you consume them.
Above all it is essential to re-stock the woodshed with newly gathered/cut logs and cut rounds (from the stockpile just in front of Brennans Hut. Chopping axes provided. Re-supply fully what you consume!.
*Ashes and a basal sand bed MUST be left in the base of the woodburner (Cedar).
Outdoor Fires : there is a designated burning area opposite Cedar & Brennans Huts. Please restrict all bonfires to these locations. (The Garden clearance work parties may occasionally burn debris in other areas by agreement).
Fire Safety ; The Garden and its buildings are potentially very vulnerable: please monitor all fires at all times; ensure they are safely extinguished every time you leave the site.
* Similar care is necessary with candles/lamps etc. Avoid naked flames wherever possible & never on the rafters, beams or beside window panes;
* Ensure Gaz cylinders are turned OFF when leaving.
WATER : Main water can be drawn via the tap from the Tanks at each Hut; it should always be boiled before drinking; Washing may be undertaken at the stream. For direct drinking buy your own bottled water.
TOILET : A flushing unit is located at the north side of the Woodshed, beside Brennan’s Hut. simply turn on the BLUE tap on the line-out at the front of the Water Tank to automatically refill the cistern; turn off after use to avoid flooding the cludgie]. It is a slow filler and prone to air-locks, for which a black bleed nipple is provided just beyond the blue tap at the IBC tank.. Fill buckets from the tank behind Brennan’s Hut and tip into Cistern to flush, if the supply isn’t working Keep clean and flush no inappropriate sanitary waste that won’t decompose readily.
NB : NO wet wipes / sanitary towels / condoms etc ! These can be placed in the Toilet bin provided. * Ensure this is emptied, bagged and the rubbish disposed of in Arisaig as you depart.
Rubbish : Please bag up and remove all rubbish from the site (incl from the Toilet Bin). Bags can be removed to the street bins beside the shop in Arisaig, and the Bottle Bank nearby.
Local Services : The Arisaig Stores is open 7 days (shorter hours in Winter). They supply all foodstuffs, misc hardware, papers, booze, and refill gaz cylinders (keep receipt to reclaim).
The Mallaig Co-op is open 8am to 10pm daily and has a wide range of foods. There are other specialist shops in Mallaig: hardware, boat & fishing tackle, electricals, pharmacy and a Cashline machine.
* Excellent fresh local seafood in Mallaig : (*Andrew Race M-F 9.30-3)/ (Jaffys Station Shop M-Sat 10-5); also now a superb Bakery & Patisserie at the restored Old Pier buildings & in summer an associated Pizza house : check finite opening times.
Garages in Morar and in Mallaig; the nearest 24hr fuel is at Fort William (BP beside the Road to the Isles jnctn).
Local Visitor Services : Drinks and bar meals at the Arisaig Hotel; and in Morar; a wide choice of hostelries and restaurants in Mallaig, where the fish suppers are ripe. Sky TV for sport in the Arisaig Hotel and at the Marine Bar or Steam Inn in Mallaig. For visits and outings see the Information Files in the Huts.
General Garden Visitors : Several locals and holiday homers/caravanners and garden/rhodo enthusiasts regularly come for walks around the garden – often with their dogs. Increasing numbers of tourists also drop in to explore. All are to be welcomed (& reminded to keep their pets and children under control and to respect the landscape and plantings).
Helping the Garden Grow
Please leave the Accommodation as you would wish to find it.
Report any problems / maintenance issues / suggestions to the Garden Management Team (qv).
All funds for the Garden are raised by subscription from Consortium members and from other users/visitors. Materials for hut maintenance and improvement alone have cost over £ 8000 in the past 3 years. We ask all adult guests to contribute (at least) £ 8-10 per adult per night to funds. This pays for the fabric, the Gaz and maintenance materials.
* Please make payment to Larachmhor Garden Association.
BACS Transfer to Bank of Scotland Sort Code : 80-02-33; Acct No. 06000719
(and please send a courtesy email/text to the Treasurer[as below] to advise of the payment and the amount)
All visitors can help, by walking the paths and clearing encroaching brambles/ ash & beech saplings etc; by weeding around the base of any young shrub plantings; by gathering and dragging, - and ideally vigorously chopping, timber debris. Specific ongoing projects with which all visitors can help will be specified on the Hut Noticeboards or recommended by the Curators..
We welcome participants on any of our regular work parties, no special skills required, just an enthusiasm for hard work, wild scenery and convivial company – although cooks, musicians, builders, diggers, will always be welcome …
LARACHMHOR GARDEN ASSOCIATION (Founded 1962)
CONSTITUTION (as approved at LGA AGM November 2011)
The name of the Society shall be ‘ The Larachmhor Garden Association ‘
Membership of the Association will be open to any serving members of staff of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, including its Regional Gardens at Benmore (Argyll), Logan (Galloway) and Dawyck (Borders); also to former staff and students of these organisations, as well as nominated Associates; and also to local Arisaig collaborators (the latter only with the approval of the Arisaig Estate).
To care for, manage and develop the landscape, the unique exotic plant collections
and the background native flora and fabric of the Larachmhor Garden, where appropriate in consultation and collaboration with the Arisaig Estate (its owners and factor). The Association will also promote the study and documentation of the history of the site and of the native and exotic plants (& fungi) in the Garden.
The Management of the Garden will be vested in the Garden Committee.
The Officers of the Society shall be : Chairman (& Convener); General Secretary;
Treasurer; Collections Curator; Bothy Curator; & Landscape Curator.
Officers will serve for a three year term, but remain eligible for re-election at the end of their term. At least three of the 6 posts must be filled by current or former staff of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.
6. HONORAR OFFICERS
An Honorary President and up to a maximum of two Honorary Vice Presidents may be appointed, at the discretion of the Garden Committee, initially for a term of five
years, but with the option of life tenure.
The Garden Committee shall comprise six Officers (as in 5) plus at least two, but up
to a maximum of four, further members. All committee members shall be appointed to serve for a term of three years, with the option of being reappointed/elected for subsequent terms.
The Factor (or appointed nominee) of the Arisaig Estate and the Regius Keeper of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (or his appointed nominee) shall have Ex Officio status on the Garden Committee.
An Annual General Meeting shall be held on, or within 3 weeks of, the first Sunday
of November each year, when (in rotation) Officers and Committee Members may seek re-election and vacancies will be filled.
An Auditor (re-appointed annually) will have authority to scrutinise the accounts and
transactions of the Association.
10. MEMBERS RIGHTS & RESPONSIBILITIES
Members are entitled to participate in regular work parties held at the Garden throughout the year. They are also granted permission to use the accommodations on site (on payment of relevant fees).
Members must seek Committee permission for guests to stay on site. Members, at all times, take full responsibility for their own conduct and safety and also for all guests in their parties. All are responsible for helping to pursue the Objects of the Association and must report on work undertaken, and also any issues, incidents or problems that arise, directly to an Officer of the Association.
11.SUBS & FEES
The scale of fees (recommended donations) for the use of accommodations will be determined and updated annually by the Garden Committee.
12. RULE CHANGES
Alterations to these rules can only be made by at an Annual General Meeting.
Look at this Calendar to see when the accommodation is available. To make a booking, please contact one of the LGA Management team who will be able to add the entry to this master calendar.
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