"Excitement around every corner
- a true gardeners delight"
C.Sanders, Hampshire

Looking Good in the Garden December 2014 

Around the Visitors Centre (C04) the southern hemisphere plants have come into their flowering season; Grevillea rosmarinifolia, which has needle-like leaves and is easily mistaken for Rosemary although it is no relation.  Its crimson flowers resemble small prawns.  Also from Australia, Correa backhouseana known as Australian Fuchsia has delicate cream-coloured bell-shaped flowers.

On Beach Path, by the top of the Water Garden (H04)* is an evergreen shrub, easily mistaken for a Hydrangea.  It is in fact, Dichroa febrifuga, native to China and SE Asia and is fairly rare in cultivation.  It has eye-catching vivid blue flowers followed by dark blue berries.  It is commonly used in Chinese herbalism to treat malaria.

The earliest flowering Camellias in the garden are in bloom; Camellia sasanqua ‘Crimson King’ at the beginning of Radiata Path (E07)*.  This fully mature specimen, that we believe to be around 90 years old, heralds in the Camellia season with its bright red flowers.  Just below Stuart’s Hill (H08)* and on Petry’s Path (K12)* Camellia japonica ‘Nobilissima’, one of the earliest japonicas to flower, has distinctive double white blooms.

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 an excellent food provider for pollinators.