Jan 20

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9 January 2020, a sunny afternoon. We haven’t had many of these lately. So, time for a walk in the gardens again – a pleasant break in a busy week.

I entered the woodland via the Ash Garden, so named because an ash tree had grown there before the garden was developed. Of interest here is the plant in photo 1. I think it is Aechmea but may be wrong. It is a long time since I worked in the gardens and many of the labels have disappeared over the years!

There isn’t much flowering at the moment so I will be mentioning some of the trees. There are many beech trees and last year there were a lot of beech masts, (Beech “fruits” which hold the seeds) and they are still clinging to the trees and the ground beneath are covered with them - photo 2.

Picture 3 is a birch tree with its pretty flaking bark. It is in what used to be the hospital garden. This garden was surrounded by Leyland cypress which made it very sheltered. Sickly plants were moved there to recover.

The daffodils are well through in the pond garden though not showing any flowers yet! Also near the pond garden is a big Eucalyptus tree, picture 4.

The camellias are beginning to flower. I found a label on one single red plant, Camellia sasanqua Crimson King. Unfortunately the photo was out of focus. Many of the others are coming out too and since it is over a fortnight since I was in the gardens and the weather has been quite mild they should be further on now.

Photo 5, a purple Helleborus (Christmas rose) will not be easily found as it is not really in the gardens but up near the big sheds.

I continue my walk into the walled garden where you will find some more unusual trees. These have labels on them so apart from Pinus montezumae (photo 6) in the south walled garden I haven’t included photos. They are Abies forestii, Abies kawakaamii, and Pinus heldreichi.  

Shrubs that are flowering now with gorgeous scent are Mahonia, walled garden and old garden, Daphne bhoula in the walled garden, a big shrub with masses of flowers and Hamamelis (witch hazel). There are 2 varieties of this at the top of the drive before you get to the house. One is yellow( photo 7), and the other looks as if it is going over but is an orange brown colour (photo 8).

When you are in the walled garden don’t forget to say “hallo” to our resident garden guide! (Photo 9).



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