July news from the garden

Summer has arrived and with it there are more changes throughout the garden, here we share details of some of the most interesting plants within the garden in July.

Near the entrance of the garden are some flower spikes belonging to a plant called Acanthus mollis or more commonly Bear’s Breeches. Native to the Mediterranean region the leaves are thought to have been the inspiration for the decorations found on Corinthian columns.  This can also be invasive so plant at home with care!

There are more large flower spikes in the Car Park, two are the yellow flowered Puya chilensis and two with turquoise flowers are Puya berteroniana. Both plants are native to Chile and are mostly pollinated by hummingbirds.

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.

Now coming into flower in the middle of the Top Lawn is the evergreen Magnolia dekavayi, which originates from the near tropical latitudes of China at an altitude of approximately 2,400m.  The specimen in the Garden was probably one of the first to be planted in the UK upon its introduction to gardens of the West in 1899

Also in the higher garden area is a palm tree – Butia capitate or Jelly Palm.  It is unusual to find one this large or this old growing outside on mainland UK.  It has numerous holes in the stem, which are the result of frost damage over the years.

The Waterlilies (Nymphaea cvt) are now in flower in the Pond, while on the island the small Japanese Maple  (Acer pamatum ‘Sango-Kaku’) has already started to take on it’s late-summer leaf colour.

In the lower garden there is a lot of cover from our finest specimen of the Turkey Oak (Quercus cerris) within the garden.  It was most probably planted in the late 1860’s to create shelter for the garden and most of the shelter trees do actually date from this period.

The main border in the Walled Garden is now starting to fill out and flower and just behind the Walled Garden, Fuschia ‘Lady Boothby’ is blooming with profusion and will continue for a few months, which makes this a very garden worthy plant.

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