Crarae Garden’s Nigel Price turns storyteller for National Trust project

Crarae Gardens

The story of an expert plant hunter based in the Argyll and the Isles, who helps expand the knowledge and understanding of some of the world’s most beautiful plants and how they came to Scotland is showcased in a new series of online soundslides for the National Trust for Scotland.

Gardener Nigel Price, who is based at Crarae Garden near Inveraray, has travelled to China to increase his knowledge and tells the fascinating story of the troubles that other plant hunters have encountered in bringing new plant species to Scotland. He also shares his extensive knowledge of the many species of rhododendron which can be found at the Argyll garden.

Nigel’s is one of 20 stories featured in the Trust’s Scotland’s Stories project.

Scotland’s Stories created soundslides to tell the story of the diversity of the skills of the people needed to tend the places in the care of the National Trust for Scotland and their passion for their vital work to conserve and promote our heritage.

Chief Executive Kate Mavor says: ‘The Trust is uniquely placed in Scotland – it’s the only conservation charity which is responsible for looking after the whole panoply of our heritage – built, natural and cultural. Through Scotland’s Stories we hope to give an insight into the vast array of skills and experience that is needed to look after the special places and items in our care. All of this goes on day in, day out and often un-noticed behind the scenes.

‘We wanted to pull back the curtain on the world of conservation and shine a light on the talent and dedication of the passionate people who keep Argyll’s heritage alive for future generations.’

The soundslides were created by Interpretaction, a Black Isle-based heritage interpretation consultancy which works throughout the UK and in Europe.  It brought together an expert team combining exceptional photography with high-quality audio-recording and film-making.

Director Verity Walker says: ‘This story is quite deliberately called The Plant Hunter’s Tale rather than The Gardener’s.  Hearing about early plant-hunters and their gory ordeals from Nigel Price had the team mesmerised from the outset, and although the day was very wet, the light and water add to the magic through our photographer Mike Bolam’s beautiful images.’

Join in

You can upload you own stories about Trust properties, your visits and experiences there at this dedicated Scotland’s Stories Facebook page.

Scotland’s Stories

Scotland’s Stories includes 20 soundslides all filmed onsite at a Trust property. The full list of ‘tales’ you will find on the website is:

  • The Plant Hunter’s Tale (Crarae Garden, by Inveraray)
  • The Archaeologist’s Tale (Bannockburn, Stirling)
  • The Bard’s Tale (Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, Alloway)
  • The Campers’ Tale (Culzean Castle and Country Park, Ayrshire)
  • The Clockman’s Tale (Ken Chapelle’s workshop, Glasgow)
  • Crofters (Balmacara Estate, Wester Ross)
  • The Ecologist’s Tale (Glencoe, Lochaber)
  • The Family’s Tale (House of the Binns, Linlithgow)
  • The Fungi Hunter’s Tale (Mar Lodge Estate)
  • Haunted Houses (Crathes Castle, Estate and Garden by Banchory, Culzean Castle and Country Park, Ayrshire, Crathes Castle, Garden and Estate, and Newhailes, Musselburgh)
  • The Housekeeper’s Tale (The Georgian House, Edinburgh)
  • The Jacobite Road (Killiecrankie, Perthshire, Culloden Battlefield, Inverness-shire, Glencoe, Lochaber & Glenfinnan, Lochaber)
  • The Marine Ranger’s Tale (St Abb’s Head, Berwickshire)
  • The Miller’s Tale (Barry Mill, Carnoustie)
  • The Printer’s Tale (Robert Smail’s Printing Works, Innerleithen)
  • The Property Manager’s Tale (The Hermitage, Perthshire)
  • The Stonemason’s Tale (Culzean Castle and Country Park, Ayrshire)
  • The Soldier’s Tale (Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre, by Inverness)
  • The Volunteer’s Tale (Ben Lomond, Drymen)
  • The Weaver’s Tale (Weaver’s Cottage, Kilbarchan)
  • The Making of Scotland’s Stories (Interpretaction team insights)

Soundslides are a new story-telling approach through a series of images and a spoken sound-track taken from on-site recordings, without a narrator. They provide individual insights which are not only visually sumptuous but through narrative and sound effects aim capture a sense of place and purpose.

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