Thursday, May 18, 2023


We've been away for a little holiday - the first on our own, I think, since before lockdown. We were just in south-west Scotland - Galloway - which is lovely. On the way to our hotel, in Newton Stewart, we visited Kirkcudbright (pronounced Kir-coo-bree). This is the 16th century McLellan Castle. 

We visited the home of E A Hornel, one of the Glasgow Boys group of artists. He had no children, so left his house to the town and it's now run by the National Trust. The house, built in the eighteenth century and added to, is interesting, but the star turn is the garden, which is still laid out as he had it, and beautifully kept. 

We were lucky in the weather. There's an artist in residence, Ewan McClure, who wasn't there, but we admired his paintings. 

Then we went to the Kirkcudbright Art Gallery, and they had an exhibition of Ewan McClure's paintings upstairs, so we climbed the stairs and there he was. We recognised him from a self-portrait in the studio. His paintings were very lovely - portraits, landscapes, streetscapes, still lifes (one that I would definitely have stolen...) - though not cheap. We chatted to him; he was very nice, even though we didn't buy anything. We have no room on our walls, even if we'd had that sort of money to spend. There was a room with a little video of him painting, and this is it. - Ewan McClure Self Portrait Time Lapse. I don't know how to do the little screen thing but I do recommend looking at it in Google. What he did was to put up a one-way mirror with a camera behind it, then he looked into the mirror and painted his portrait more or less from behind the canvas. It amazes me. 

The next day, Mr L's 75th birthday, we went to Logan Botanic Gardens, which were lovely but will be lovelier next week, I think. Still, they had quite a lot of colour, including my beloved mecanopsis. 

Also very big fish - my foot is there for scale. 

Then we went to the nearby Castle Kennedy gardens, which had more plants blooming and were generally wonderful.

I think this is a mallow.

That was a big rhododendron. 

Ah yes, gardens. So good for the soul, especially if someone else does all the hard work. 


  1. a holiday! it looks lovely, and such a beautiful blue sky ... I hadn't heard of Ewan McClure so googled and wow! his stuff is amazing (and he is quite recognisable :)

  2. Your post prompted me to check for gardens to visit in my area so I found one having a plant sale this weekend. Thanks for the inspiration.

  3. What a wonderful visit! I know your love for gardens and flowers; I have come to treasure them also. The colors (even orange) and the growing things are so uplifting. Mr. L looks great; that is a huge rhody!

  4. What a lovely day out. We used to get out and visit Open Gardens which are usually open in our Spring and Summer here and loved seeing the different styles too. Thanks for reminding me that I will have to visit more gardens when the weather is better.

  5. Fine weather and beautiful gardens - couldn't be better. Happy birthday to Mr L!

  6. Kirkcudbright figured in a book that I am disucssing online with my D.E. Stevenson book group. The characters were told to go visit "Kircubree", but they couldn't find it on their map.... ah the joys of spelling - or not! Another place I would like to visit. Thank you for sharing.