Plants in late June and early July

This guide to the garden in late June and early July is reproduced from the leaflet used by visitors to the garden.

We are currently in the process of re-labelling the garden, please bear with us as this will take some time. Meanwhile, we hope the selection below will be of interest. * Plants marked with an asterix should be available in the sales area.

Starting in the car park

Opposite the entrance is *Chionochloa conspicua; more elegant than pampass grass, this New Zealand plant has loose, open flowerheads, which remain of interest throughout the winter. In the gravel path below is Coronilla varia, related to vetch, but with big heads of pink flowers. Further along this border is *Salvia ‘Berggarten’, a sage with exceptionally large rounded leaves. If you carry on up the grass track you will smell Sambucus canadensis ‘Laciniata’ before you see it. An American elderflower, with huge plate-like flower heads and finely cut foliage.

Turn right after entering the garden to walk along the south wall towards the house

Immediately on your right is the blue-grey shrub, Berberis temolaica; introduced by Kingdom-Ward from Tibet, this attractive shrub is difficult to propagate, and thus rarely seen. More easy is the soft yellow *Oenothera odorata ‘Sulphurea’, a biennial evening primrose that seeds itself around. Further along,*Morina longifolia has dinstinctive spikes of pink and white flowers held in whorls around it’s spiny stems; whilst at the back of the border is the pale pink *Lobelia bridgsii, hardy with a winter mulch. On the house wall Carpenteria californica ‘Bodnant’ is covered in white flowers; a Californian plant, it needs a south facing wall to do this well. Nearby are the strange green spokes that form the flowers of Paris polyphylla. The root of Paris is used as a medicinal plant in Tibet, but harvesting these roots from the wild is leading to the extinction of this plant. This form is from the original clone collected by George Forrest.

Beds 1-8

Gillenia trifoliata (bed 3) is a pretty plant, with delicate white flowers held in red buds on red stems. Also producing a mass of small white flowers in bed 3 is the fragrant *Clematis mandschurica, collected in Russia. The foliage of *Eomecon chionantha is an unusual choice for dry shade, (top bed 5, under hedge) with pretty scalloped leaves and occasional white poppy flowers. Down the path between beds 5 & 6, *Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’ is good for part shade, forming soft mounds of bright yellow and green striped leaves. The numerous pale yellow-brown flowers of *Iris foetidissima (top bed 6) are not so spectacular, but we are looking forward to a good crop of seedpods full of bright orange berries, for which this plant is grown. Unfortunately the foliage is suffering from rust. In bed 8, *Codonopsis cardiophylla has nodding grey-blue bells which must be upturned to appreciate their full beauty. Beneath it is *Geranium ‘St. Ola’.

Beds 17-20

*Dierama ‘Tiny Bells’ lines the path between beds 19 & 20; compact and free-flowering, the flowers are upward facing, rather than the usual drooping bells. *Silene fimbriata (bed 17), a relative of our native campion with fringed white flowers, will seed itself around if allowed, or can be promptly cut back to produce a second crop of flowers. Rosa ‘William III’, a highly fragrant form of the Scotch rose with dark pink flowers, grows at the bottom of the east facing border.

Beds 20-24

Exotic in appearance, Arisaema flavum (top bed 24) is a hardy plant producing curious hooded yellow flowers, followed in autumn by spikes of orange berries.. Growing in full sun here, though preferring part shade, it needs a moisture retentive soil to do well. Growing nearby is the silver sea holly, Eryngium giganteum, a self seeding biennial.

Beds 9-16

Of the many Eryngiums in the garden, *E. alpinum ‘Slieve Donard’ has the largest, most finely cut ruff, whilst E. ‘Forncett Ultra’ is the strongest blue, both in bed 10. *Alchemilla hoppeana (bed 9) makes compact mounds of leaves edged and backed with silver, whilst nearby *Centaurea bella, also with silver leaves, has purple-pink ‘thistle’ flowers. In giant form, the thistle flower of Centaurea pulcherrima (top bed 11) is enclosed by papery yellow scales. Along the path between bed 11 and 12, is *Geranium soboliferum ‘Cally Strain’, collected near Vladivostok . Later flowering than many Geraniums, it also has bright orange and pink spring growth. Dictamnus albus turkestanicus (top bed 14) was grown from seed from a botanic garden in Turkey. Seedlings should be available in the next catalogue, all being well.

West facing wall

At the top corner grows a Berkheya species collected in Lesotho, with large bright yellow flowers and spiny foliage. It does not set seed here, and therefore must be propagated by division only. The purple-leaved Elder, *Sambucus ‘Guincho Purple’ was originally found in a hedgerow in Scotland. The pink flowers are highly scented, and make a great roseversion of Elderflower champagne! *Trifolium pannonicum, the Hungarian clover, is a beautiful plant with pale yellow clover flowers.




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Illustrations by Clare Melinsky. Photographs by Michael Wickenden

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