September 2023

What's looking good this month?

As you walk into the garden, to the left of Gunnera Fountain, Clerodendrum bungei, a native to China, has heart-shaped leaves and large scented claret coloured corymbs (flat topped flowers).

Close by, you may think the burnt sugar aroma is coming from the café kitchen, but it is the autumn foliage of Cercidiphyllum japonicum f. pendulum - a graceful weeping Japanese tree with heart-shaped leaves.

By Fort Stuart, Clerodendrum trichotomum var. fargesii and also on the banks by Beach Path has beautiful clusters of white tubular flowers with an amazing perfume. The flowers are followed by bright turquoise-blue berries.

At the top of the Water Garden the Hedychium forrestii & Hedychium spicatum (Ginger Lilies) are flowering and nearby look out for what appears to be yet another blue mophead Hydrangea but is actually a rare plant from China, Dichroa februga. Also known as Chinese Quinine, the flowers are followed by dark blue berries.

Around the Chris Cross, the highly scented Ageratina ligustrinum (Incense Bush) is filling the air with its perfume.

Nearby are two varieties of Japanese Anemones, actually natives of China but grown in Japanese gardens for centuries, they flower from August through to late October.

On the Azalea Bank, Clethra arborea (Lily-of-the-Valley Tree) a native of Madeira has lustrous deep green leaves, providing the perfect backdrop for fragrant late summer blossoms, very similar to those from which it gets its common name.

Close by on the bank the lovely fast-growing evergreen tree from New Zealand, Hoheria sexstylosa has starry white flowers.

There are various Hydrangea paniculata cultivars around the garden, the flower heads are not rounded like the mopheads but are in a broad cone.

On Petry’s Path ‘Limelight’ has pale lime-green flowers, ‘Vanille Fraise’ has white fluffy flowers turning strawberry pink and ‘Phantom’ has very large creamy plume-shaped flowers.

Finally, your attention must be drawn to our spectacular two acre planting of Hydrangeas; mostly china blue mopheads and lace-caps but look out for Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Ayesha’ with unusual cup shaped petals and Hydrangea macrophylla 'Enziandom’ – the deepest blue of all Hydrangeas.


Sub-tropical Scent & Splendour | September 2023 | Darren's Diary