"Amazing walk and now I feel like a mini Indiana Jones" Megan Jones
As you leave the Visitor Centre look for Geranium madarense in full flower. The is the largest Geranium species and generally regarded as the most spectacular. Native to Madeira and easily grown, it will self-sow profusely.
In the Water Garden (H05)* the Candelabra Primulas are starting to look pretty; P. heladoxa has yellow flowers and P. pulverulenta has deep pink flowers. The new leaves of Iris pseudoacorus ‘Variegatus’ are coloured cream, yellow and green.
On Stuart’s Hill (H07)* there are some beautifully scented Rhododendrons, these are predominantly white with frilly edges, some with flashes of pink. R. ‘Fragrantissima’ AGM is so sweetly fragranced it will stop you as you walk past. Further down the garden on Beach Path (E15)* R. ‘Loderi King George’ one of our finest Rhodos has giant lightly scented clouds of pale pink flowers.
On Badger’s Walk (I08)* there is a massed planting of deciduous Azaleas (R. luteum) just starting to flower; these also have a fantastic perfume. Also along Badger’s, the foliage of our giant Copper Beeches (Fagus sylvatica f. purpurea) has recently opened up and looks magnificent with the sun shining through the new leaves.
An unforgettable sight in full bloom is the Handkerchief Tree (H16)* or Davidia involucrata var. vilmoriniana introduced in 1904 from China. The pure white bracts hang beneath the level branches. Over recent years this wonderful tree has started to die back and new generation trees have been planted on either side of it.
Throughout the Garden the wild flowers are in profusion; including English Bluebells, Campions, Alkanet (a deep blue flowering member of the Borage family), Primroses, Three-cornered Leeks (Allium triquetum) and Ramsons (Allium ursinum) (both commonly referred to as wild garlic).
*Denotes Grid Square reference on map
AGM RHS award of outstanding garden merit