August news from the garden

As we are approaching late summer, we’d like to share details of some of the most interesting plants in the garden in August.

The flower spikes that can be seen as you approach the entrance to the garden are known as Bear’s Breeches (Acanthus mollis) and are native to the Mediterranean region. The decorations carved on the ancient Corinthian columns are believed to be based on its leaves.

One of our most photographed trees, der Metasequoia glyptostrobiodes, can be found on the way towards the Western Plantation and is a deciduous conifer from China. The delicate green foliage contrasts well with the gnarled base of the tree. This specimen is truly remarkable and has a wide girth for it’s height.

Recent clearance of Laurel has opened the views across the Tree Fern Pit, which is said to be the finest collection of Tree Ferns (Dicksonia antartica) in the Northern Hemisphere. The new fronds of the ferns are unfurling and look fresh and vibrant against the dark, rough trunks. The collection distributes spores freely and many young ferns are to be found in this vicinity; it’s a great weed to have! The two large trees within the Pit are both ‘Champion’ Magnolias.

The evergreen Magnolia delavayi is now in flower in the middle of the top lawn, This Magnolia comes from near tropical latitudes of China at approx 2, 400m altitude. This specimen was probably one of the first to be planted in the UK upon it’s introduction to gardens of the West in 1899.

By the pond a clump of pink flowers Anemone x hybrida ‘Konigin Charlotte’ are providing a magnificent late summer display, while in the Walled Garden the water lilies planted in the tin smelting kettles are now in flower giving you the chance to see the blooms up close.

Around the gardens are the orange flowers of Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora, which is a hybrid plant in the Iris family whose parent species are from South Africa, you would however recognize this plant as it is now quite common in the hedgerows of Cornwall.

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