What's looking good this month?
On the Rockery above Lawn Path, there is an extensive planting of some unusual varieties of succulents. Aloe polyphylla from the mountains of South Africa has leaves arranged in a perfect spiral.
At the back of the Rockery, Colletia paradoxa, one of the most bizarre-looking plants in the UK has flattened, triangular blue-green stems that function as leaves.
The spines provide excellent protection against browsing animals in its native Brazil and Uruguay.
Around the Garden you will see the glorious Dogwoods flowering this month. The creamy-white flower bracts of Cornus capitata, Cornus kousa, Cornus ‘Norman Hadden’ & Cornus ‘Venus’ become tinged with pink as the month progresses.
The bracts, resembling petals, surround the tiny true flowers in the centre.
On Stuart Hill, as you look towards the giant Trachycarpus Palms, are many exotic foliage plants: Musa basjoo (Japanese Banana), Tetrapanax papyrifer 'Rex' (Chinese Rice-paper Plant) with huge lobed leaves, only matched by Gunnera for their size, Schefflera taiwaniana, Schefflera macrophylla & Schefflera aff. Alpina – beautiful tropical-looking evergreens from Taiwan and Pseudopanax ‘Chainsaw’ with thick leathery leaves resembling chainsaw blades.
Around the Amphitheatre
Standing close to the Amphitheatre stands a majestic tree, Pterocarya fraxinifolia, a member of the Walnut family from Iran. It is looking very attractive now hung with small green flowers in drooping racemes.
On the right-hand side of the path leading away from the Amphitheatre are numerous Ugni molinae, Chilean Guava or Strawberry Myrtle.
The pale pink and white bell-shaped flowers will develop into aromatic fruit in autumn, used to make jam, reputedly loved by Queen Victoria.