What's looking good this month?
Around the Visitor Centre
On the beds outside the café some southern hemisphere plants are flowering: Grevillea victoriae (silver foliage & apricot coloured flowers) and Correa backhouseana (cream bell-shaped flowers). Strobilanthus attenuata from Nepal has purple hooded flowers and thrives in the shade.
Around Lawn Path
In the picnic area, look for Clerodendrum trichotomum var. fargesii, a small Chinese tree with extraordinary vivid turquoise berries with maroon leaf calyxes.
Close by on the rockery is one of the most striking Red Hot Pokers, Kniphofia rooperi from high altitude mountain slopes in South Africa, with bright yellow and coral red torch-like flowerheads.
The Water Garden & Stuart Hill
At the top of the Water Garden, and along Stuart Hill, the Hedychium ‘Devon Cream’ and Hedychium gardnerianum (Ginger Lilies) have the strongest scent.
Nearby, look for what appears to be yet another blue mophead Hydrangea but is in fact a rare plant from China. Dichroa febrifuga, also known as Chinese Quinine, is in flower after which dark blue berries follow.
The Chris Cross & Alice's Seat
Ageratina ligustrinum the highly fragrant Incense Bush is still flowering, surrounded by many different cultivars of Japanese Maples, Acers, which will display a wonderful spectrum of colours as the month progresses.
There are various Hydrangea paniculata cultivars around the garden; the flowerheads are not rounded like the mopheads but are in a broad cone.
Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’ has pale lime-green flowers, Hydrangea paniculata ‘Vanille Fraise’ has white fluffy flowers turning strawberry pink and Hydrangea paniculata ‘Phantom’* has very large creamy plume-shaped flowers.
Lower down the garden on Davidia Walk Hydrangea paniculata ‘Kyushu’* has very showy creamy-white flowers.
Throughout the garden
Under the trees are thousands of Cyclamen hederifolium.
Just prior to the emerging ivy-like foliage, the dainty pink reflexed flowers appear. The striking silver-marked leaves persist until the soil warms up in spring.