"Excitement around every corner
- a true gardeners delight" C.Sanders, Hampshire
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 (again no relation) has delicate cream-coloured bell-shaped flowers.
The 30 year old Agave Americana (located on the Rockery along Lawn Path) that started forming the flower spike over two months ago continues it slow progress ever upwards. Probably slowed down by the cold weather it is keeping us guessing as to when it will branch out revealing the flowers.
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 at over 90 yrs old, heralds in the Camellia season with its bright crimson flowers. On Petrys Path look out for Camellia sasanqua Dazzler (H07)*, C. sasanqua Hugh Evans (J09)* & C. sasanqua Paradise Hilda (J08)*. These were planted six years ago and although slower growing than many of the main season Camellias, have small leaves and daintier flowers with a strong fragrance (not to everyones taste it has been likened to a cross between Chanel and fox!!)
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 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.
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.
* denotes grid square reference on map