Rampant Scotland

Scotland in Colour Week By Week

July - Week 4

"Scotland Week by Week" contains a selection of flowers, animals, birds and scenery typical of the time of year. The photographs were previously part of a regular "Colour Supplement" which ran for nearly four years as part of the original Scottish Snippets newsletter. While seasons do vary from year to year, this collection gives a good idea of the flora and fauna typical of central Scotland at each week of year.

The new garden created in the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh to commemorate the late Queen Mother is a delightful tribute to someone who loved gardening. And of course one the roses growing there just had to be the floribunda "Queen Elizabeth" which was named after her.

The Botanic Garden in Edinburgh has a large number of different sections, covering different types of plants. This bed of blue and white Lobelia in the "Demonstration Garden" was in the form of the Saltire, Scotland's national flag. The purists might argue that the blue is not the correct Pantone 300 shade - in other words, azure or sky blue. But it still makes a striking picture. When taking this shot in the warm sunshine on Tuesday, I had to "wait my turn" as other photographers took the same view!

Fettes College in Edinburgh is where the UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair, attended school before going on to university. Fettes was founded in 1870 as the result of a large bequest by a wealthy Edinburgh merchant, for the education of poor children and orphans. Although there are few scholarships, that original aim is largely forgotten, with current fees for day pupils of nearly 14,000 a year. Those who require board and lodging (as Tony Blair did, when he attended Fettes) the fees are over 20,000 a year - which is about the average annual income of employees in the UK.

The prominent rings on the wings of this butterfly gave it its name - Ringlet. It's overall brown colour makes it easy to mistake it for a Meadow Brown as it zips past, but it is a smaller butterfly - and once you see the distinctive markings, it is easy to identify. This one was at the side of a country road, north of Glasgow, last Sunday.

Lavatera is also known as "Tree Mallow" and the shrub varieties can grow as high as ten feet. But this is a smaller annual variety - though it still has the same large and colourful flowers.

Hermitage Castle in the Scottish Borders is only a few miles from England and so was often attacked in the many historical conflicts between the two nations. It is sometimes described as one of the most "impressive and oppressive" castles in Scotland. While it may indeed look gloomy and forbidding when the rain whips across the moors, seen on a bright sunny summer afternoon, it looks almost welcoming. After a long journey, much of it on single track roads, it was certainly a welcome sight when I eventually got there!

"Red sky at night - the shepherd's delight. Red sky in the morning, the shepherd's warning". So goes the old saying. With many days of sunshine in Scotland over the last couple of weeks, there have been a number of red skies making that prediction come true. This photo was taken from the skylight window in my loft, as I took a break from the computer screen!

This may be a Common Sandpiper (there are Green and Wood Sandpipers too) but they are not seen all that frequently. They are summer visitors as far as Scotland is concerned, nesting here in upland areas and raising their family before returning to central and southern Africa. As you can see, they are wading birds and are usually seen at the edge of lochs and rivers or on the coast. The numbers of these small birds has been declining in recent years.

The Meadow Brown is not such a colourful butterfly as the Red Admiral, Painted Lady or Peacock varieties, but it is attractive in its own subdued way.

Bee on a Helichrysum

This bee on the flower of a Helichrysum was too busy to bother about a camera coming in close to take its photo. The papery petals of the annual Helichrysum gave this plant its popular name of "Artificial Flowers" which can be dried to provide a colourful display through the winter.


The two different colours of these Helenium flowers provide a good foil for one another. This picture, like most of the others on this page were taken in the walled garden at Culzean Castle in South Ayrshire this week.

Nemophila Maculata

The delicate colours of Nemophila Maculata are a good contrast to the vibrant, hot colours of the graphics immediately above and below.

Inula and Crocosmia

The designers of the gardens at Culzean do well to have plants which produce colour over a long period but also act as a foil for one another. The yellow Inula contrasts well with the fiery red of the Crocosmia behind.

If you want to look back at other editions of these photos of Scotland week by week, there is an Index Page

Where else would you like to go in Scotland?

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