"Wonderful garden and thank you for being so dog-friendly!" A. Taylor
Outside the Visitor Centre by the Gunnera Fountain the Tulip Tree (Liriodendron tulipifera) has yellow green tulip-shaped flowers with a band of orange at the base and curiously shaped leaves. This tree is a member of the Magnolia family and comes from N America.
Above the Water Garden on the Zig Zag (F06)* a spectacular rare Bromeliad and a relative of the Pineapple, Puya chilensis has produced 2-3m high flower spikes which will open into neon bright greeny-yellow blooms. In their native country Chile, the flowers are pollinated by birds which sit on the outward pointing tips and drink the sweet nectar inside.
The Dogwoods will flower this month; Cornus kousa andCornus‘Norman Hadden’ (F14)* both with attractive creamy while flower bracts that turn pink as they mature. A recent introduction to the garden, Cornus ‘Miss Satomi’ (L14)* above the Amphitheatre, has dark rose-pink bracts and was named by a Japanese nurseryman after his granddaughter.
On the path leading down from the Amphitheatre, it would be easy to walk past our two Wollemi Pines (Wollemia nobilis) (H17)* without realising these are some of the world’s oldest (dating back around 90 million years) and rarest trees. This pine was believed to be extinct and was only discovered as recently as 1994. Our specimens were planted out in 2007 and are already forming into majestic trees.
By Azolla Pool (F14)* there is a stand of Phyllostachys edulis – one of the most elegant, extraordinary and largest of the subtropical bamboos that thrive in our warm microclimate. The upright blue-green culms (canes) can reach a circumference of 30cm and can grow to a height of 20m.
If unusual plants are your passion; on Stuarts Hill (H08)* four varieties of Schefflera are planted here. These relatively new introductions to British Gardens from Taiwan are grown for their striking foliage.
* denotes grid square reference on map