"I think its a magical garden, I love it" Alice, aged 9
Looking Good in the Garden in August 2014
In the beds surrounding the Visitors Centre, many tender plants are now in flower, for example, the highly fragrant climbing Trachelospermum jasminoides; Abutilon megapotanicum with orange hanging bell flowers and Convolvulus sabatius a scrambling N African plant with pretty soft blue trumpets.
At the top of the Zig Zag (F06)*, the Agapanthus africanus (Lily of the Nile or African Lily) are producing globes of blue flowers on long strong stems.
There is a large stand of shrubby Verbena, Clerodendrum bungei near the Visitors Centre (C05)* bearing large heart-shaped leaves and wine-coloured fragrant flowers. This plant comes from China, as does its close relative Clerodendrum trichotomum var. fargesii (B05 & D05)* which bears highly fragrant white star-shaped flowers in late summer followed by outstanding metallic blue berries in autumn.
One of the most asked about plants in the garden, is Luma apiculata, an upright shrub or small tree species of the Myrtle family native to the central Andes. Its smooth cinnamon-coloured peeling bark is its most noticeable feature and at this time of year it produces a profusion of small white flowers which, on a warm day scent the air. It can be found throughout the garden.
The two acres of Hydrangeas at the bottom of the garden take centre stage at this time of year. They were planted in the 1950s and are hand-pruned in early spring to produce the abundant flower heads. They are mostly vivid blue due to our acid soil and looking particularly stunning this year.
(*denotes guidebook map grid ref.)