The truth is, the Scottish highlands contain many beautiful plants. Ferns can be found growing all over the place, thriving in the damp climate, and mosses and lichens clothe trees and rocks in a thick carpet.
Unfortunately, we didn't have time to take in the remarkable Inverewe Gardens, located in a sheltered coastal area not far North of our location. It was several years ago since I last visited.
I couldn't help but notice that Cordyline australis and Phormium tenax were all looking much better than down here in Devon. Testament to the warm waters of the gulf stream that filter through to the West coast. I even spotted a good looking Chamaerops humilis growing in a pot at Portree harbour on Skye.
For me, without doubt the plant related highlights were the fantastic stands of Scots Pine. The Beinn Eighe National Nature Reserve and surrounding Torridon area contain some of the most extensive and unspoilt native Scots Pine in Scotland. The structure and colours of the trees really are quite special when seen in their natural setting.
Top of the tree line in Torridon
Scots Pine reflections