"Amazing walk and now I feel like a mini Indiana Jones" Megan Jones
The earliest flowering Camellias in the garden are in bloom; Camellia sasanqua ‘Crimson King’ at the beginning of Radiata Path (E07)* is a fully mature specimen at over 90 yrs old and heralds in the Camellia season with its bright crimson flowers. On Petry’s Path look out for C. sasanqua ‘Dazzler’(H07)*, C. sasanqua ‘Hugh Evans’ (J09)* and C. sasanqua ‘Paradise Hilda’ (J08)*. These were planted seven years ago and although slower growing than many of the main season Camellias, have small leaves and daintier flowers with a strong fragrance.
Once the leaves have fallen the decorative bark on many trees can be appreciated. Look for Acer griseum (E11)* on Chris Cross; the Chinese Paperbark Maple has beautiful peeling bark the colour of well-polished antique furniture, which glows in the winter sun.
One of the most asked about plants in the garden is the Chilean Myrtle Luma apiculata which grows (and self-seeds freely) around the garden. Its attractive cinnamon bark peels away to show cream patches underneath.
On Fox Path (E09)* Mahonia x media ‘Charity’ has highly fragrant, deep yellow flowers borne in long spreading racemes. A robust plant that tolerates both cold and shade and is an excellent food provider for pollinators.
A relatively new introduction to the garden is the Blue Umbrella Bamboo, Fargesia papyrifera (F15)* with striking ice-blue erect culms or canes and an arching habit. Close by is another of the most impressive bamboos that can be grown in the UK, Chusquea gigantea (G13)* that has green culms, turning yellow between the nodes and persistent cream sheaths.