I was here in the garden last February and the garden was literally bare other than some winter foliage and a few early flowers. The Arbour was bare of bloom and was made up of the storky Laburnum plant clinging to the metal framework of the tunnel. Dormant, awaiting the opportunity of early summer to spring into blossom, be pollinated while supplying food resources to the hungry bees and readying for its next cycle in its life.
The garden is looking amazing. The lush new greens of the trees in various shades bouncing back to life and creating dark backdrops for the bright clusters of vivid colour provided by the blossoms awaking from their winter dormancy.
Blue and white Lobelia, the delicate Azalea in their vivid colours of orange, reds and yellows, rhododendrons, some of which I hadn’t seen before, lilies, ground covering such as the fried egg plant, broad leaf plants displaying their amazing textures and structures. Some of the roses were blooming displaying their stamen to attract the bees to help them pollinate for the ongoing survival of the species.
One of the rare plants in the garden is a “Itoh Peony”, (flowering in June) which was propagated by a Japanese nurseryman, Mr Itoh by crossing a Herbaceous Peony with a Tree Peony. This flower outcome represents a lifetimes work for Mr Ipoh having made some 90,000+ crosses (Ipoh Crosses) but sadly never lived to see the fruits of his work.
A Lupin cross was propagated by Harry and Caroline crossing a New Zealand Tree Lupin (Blue) with one of our native Yellow Lupin. The result is a flower with both colours in it and is spectacular to look at, especially in a cluster.
There is an orchid, common in the Burren in County Clare where it grows to about 9 inches in height. The one in Caroline and Harry’s garden is about 30 inches and Harry recons it’s on steroids!
A Clematis growing on one of the trellises near the house. It was so perfect, so stunning in its structures, silk like petals, white with a hint of pink and the dark stamens in striking contrast.
I must make a special note of the Slipper Orchid. There is a collection in the top of Egyptian Garden and must not be missed. They flower in June and their life span is about three weeks. And as their name suggests they appear to be cosy slippers, perhaps used by the garden’s fairies when we are all asleep.