Scottish Tour Guide's Blog

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This morning, I took the opportunity provided by a second day of bright sunshine for more seasonal photography. Such weather is unusual with winter approaching. This was, literally, the lull before the storm with latter predicted to arrive tomorrow entailing strong winds and heavy rain.

Location chosen was the garden of Greenbank House in south Glasgow. This heritage property dates from around 1771 when built on behalf of local merchant, Robert Allason but architect unknown. It is believed that Allason’s wealth was acquired through the expansion of trade, including tobacco dealing, which drove prosperity in and around Glasgow up until the time of the American Revolution. In summary, a classic Georgian country house with a walled garden stretching to the south.

Timing was propitious as I was presented with a wide array of colourful flowers spanning a spectrum comprising pink, cream, purple, white, copper, blue, violet and scarlet. Despite being late season I found the display (depth and range) superior to that usually available during the summer period with added dimension of the harsh and angled sunlight. Bear in mind latitude here is about 57 degrees north.

Most of the images below focus on the distinctive flowers. Unfortunately, I cannot identify most of the plants featured but trust readers will enjoy the display nonetheless.


Garden path


Rudbeckia Fulgida Var Deamii

Colourful leaves

Colchicum Speciosum Atrorubens and windfall apples





Seasonal berries


Garden sundial



Colourful leaves

Nice spot for relaxation




Greenbank House



Busy insect.

Shades of Autumn

This morning I took advantage of the (somewhat unusual) bright sunlight to obtain images of the illuminated trees, leaves and vegetation which illustrate the progressive transformation to the threshold of winter.

I experienced a wide range of subtle colours from various shades of green through orange, russet, brown, gold and ochre. These contrasted with the vibrant reds and scarlets found in the nearby walled garden which is maintained for display purposes.

Venue was Rouken Glen, a well wooded public park in south Glasgow where many of the paths are carpeted with fallen leaves.

Carpet of leaves.

Shades of green and brown.

Multiple Colours.

Dog walkers with pampered pooches.

Bridge over Auldhouse Burn (stream).

Bridge with weir in background.

Steps to winter.

Sunlight breaking through.

Vibrant colours in Walled Garden.

Front elevation of Holmwood House

This afternoon, I joined a large group tour of Holmwood House, an architectural gem located in Netherlee Road, Glasgow, West of Scotland.

This high status residential property was designed by local architect, Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson (1817-75) for James Couper, a wealthy businessman who used the property for both business and residential purposes, as was common in those days. Construction occurred between 1857-8 when Glasgow was experiencing rapid economic growth.

Architect Thomson drew his inspiration from ancient Greek and Egyptian architecture supplemented by Assyrian and Hindu decoration.

The property is owned by the National Trust for Scotland, a not-for-profit heritage organisation which has expended considerable sums restoring the property to its original state, a process which remains on-going.

For more information on Thomson’s work in Glasgow refer this post covering Millbrae Crescent and this post covering a day tour of various Thomson designed sites.

Restored wall frieze in dining room.

Internal view of the cupola, a dome like feature atop the building.


Bust of architect, Thomson which was donated by one of his descendants.

Victorian era range for cooking and heating.

Example of elaborate internal decor featuring Grecian scenes.

Detail of inlaid wooden floor

Conservators at work on the stairway

White marble chimneypiece in entrance hall.

Black Galway Marble fireplace in Dining Room

Side elevation with vegetable garden.