Linn Botanic Gardens
Encounters with a Scottish Arcadia
Alison Turnbull with Philip Hoare
With a text by Ian Edwards, photographs by Ruth Clark, and plant list by Jamie Taggart
‘A hidden gem … a magical place where the air seems almost green’ — Guardian
‘Scotland’s most extraordinary garden … [a] horticultural wonder, certainly one of the most biodiverse places in Scotland … a magical feast for all five senses … [the] beautiful new book is a work of art in itself’ – Herald
‘An emotionally charged book … a beautifully crafted artwork’ — Times Higher Education
‘A beautifully produced book … a poignant description of a love of place and plants … [It is] through the book’s fine photographs of the garden, its environment and the nineteenth-century house it surrounds that readers become vicariously acquainted with Linn.’ — Times Literary Supplement
Linn Botanic Gardens is a place like no other: a magical, idiosyncratic, verdant haven created by the shared passion of a father and son. Situated beside a Scottish loch, Linn is a horticultural treasure trove that is home to thousands of exotic plants from all over the world, making it one of the most biodiverse places in Scotland. Constructed over forty years by Jim and Jamie Taggart, the garden is shaped by the subtle interplay of science and art, botany and design, mathematics and colour. At its heart, like a mysterious presence that looms over the surrounding land while being slowly consumed by the ceaseless spread of nature, stands Linn Villa, the out-of-bounds Victorian house that appears to have lain untouched for decades.
Another Green World is artist Alison Turnbull and writer Philip Hoare’s lyrical portrait of this enchanting place. Conceived and compiled by Turnbull, this exquisite artist’s book captures not only the beauty but also the spirit of Linn. Hoare’s evocative text and Turnbull’s delicate photographs, drawings, and charts, complemented by photographer Ruth Clark’s stunning double-page images, lead us through the garden and the Victorian house in its midst as if we were actually there. Completing this unique and beautiful volume are ecologist Ian Edwards’ appreciation of Linn as an important reserve of rare rhododendrons and Jamie Taggart’s list of every species in the garden.
Alison Turnbull is an artist based in London. Her solo shows include exhibitions at the De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill on Sea (2013) and Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh (2012); ‘Observatory’ at Matt’s Gallery, London (2010); ‘World in a Chamber’, University of Oxford (2005); ‘Hospital’, Matt’s Gallery (2003); and ‘Houses into Flats’, Modern Art Oxford (2001) and Milton Keynes Gallery (2000). She had a visual arts residency at Cove Park in 2011. The previous year she was Artist-in-Residence in the Department of Entomology at the Natural History Museum, London; in 2009, she took part in the Gulbenkian Galápagos Artists Programme; and in 2005, she had a residency at the University of Oxford Botanic Garden. She is represented by Matt’s Gallery, London.
Philip Hoare is an award-winning writer and broadcaster. He won the BBC Samuel Johnson Prize in 2009 for Leviathan or, The Whale (2008). He is also the author of The Sea Inside (2013), England’s Lost Eden: Adventures in a Victorian Utopia (2005), Spike Island: The Memory of a Military Hospital (2000), Wilde’s Last Stand: Decadence, Conspiracy, and the First World War (1997), Noel Coward: A Biography (1995), and Serious Pleasures: The Life of Stephen Tennant (1990). He is a visiting fellow at Southampton University, and is also the Leverhulme Artist-in-Residence at the Marine Institute, Plymouth University, which awarded him an honorary doctorate in 2011.
Ruth Clark is a photographer based on the Rosneath peninsula. She has photographed for many public and private art institutions and artists.
Dr Ian Edwards is an ecologist and currently Head of Public Engagement at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.
Jamie Taggart took over the running of Linn Botanic Gardens in 1997, assuming the role from his father, Dr Jim Taggart, who initiated the garden in 1971.