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Idyllic retreat reveals its secrets

TUCKED away beneath the hill down to Peninver is one of Kintyre’s most magical kingdoms.

Last weekend visitors to An Ceardach, the home and garden of painter Christine Russell and her husband Livingston, following Art Map Argyll’s trail, would have seen superb seascapes and experienced the garden’s idyllic Kilbrannan Sound setting.

The rhododendrons may be past but late summer colour is everywhere with lilies, agapanthus and hydrangeas. Walking up immaculately mown grass paths on the east facing terraces, between trees, shrubs and at least three ponds in a tumbling water feature, it is hard to imagine the bracken, bramble and scrub wilderness which the Russells have tamed over the course of 30 years.

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