Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Magnolias at Culzean Castle

Culzean Castle, the National Trust's top attraction in Scotland, has a fine display of Magnolias and Camellias at this time of year - although it is always a bit hit and miss as to whether the late frosts will turn the flowers brown before you can get there to admire them! This has been a wonderfully mild spring. I refuse to moan about global warming in this respect, since we so often have these lovely, early, mild springs, in the West of Scotland, but they can just as often be interrupted by sudden and unexpected frosts. The good thing about early sunshine is that it seems to prolong the summer so effectively.
Culzean, one of the houses of the Kennedy family, and a very beautiful one at that, is pronounced 'Cullane'. You often find this 'z' pronounced as a 'y' or some variation of it, in Scottish names. (eg Menzies). It's because the original letter wasn't a 'z' at all, but an old, now obsolete letter like a 'z' with a long tail, known as yog, and pronounced as a 'y'. Not a lot of people know that.....

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