Wednesday, 1 May 2019

May in bloom

Spring has well and truly sprung here at Borde Hill, which is why now is the perfect time to pay the garden a visit. 

There are many rhododendrons and deciduous & evergreen azaleas galore, as well as a carpet of bluebells and wild garlic down in the Woodland. Herbaceous plants have popped up and look set to bloom all across the Garden, and there’s even one gorgeous early rose – make it your mission to be the first to discover her.

Strategically placed around the Allium Globemaster, there are 400 new perennials planted in the Italian Garden, which will spring forth to provide a sea of colour later this summer.

Then just above the Italian Garden, the gardening team will start replanting Josephine’s Way (so named after the late Colonel Clarke’s beloved granddaughter) this month with a design by notable British gardener Noel Kingsbury. It was originally awash with dahlias, and in homage to this he will create a vision of single flowering dahlias and intermingled with grasses. Be sure to take a look at his progress through the month.

In the Garden of Allah you’ll find what Head Gardener Andy Stevens describes as “the best tree in the garden”, Liriodendron chinense, namely a rare Chinese Tulip Tree. Collected by the great Ernest Henry Wilson and planted at Borde Hill in 1913, it first flowered here in 1926. How do we know this wonderful fact of yesteryear? Why because joyously the original letter congratulating Colonel Clarke on the event has survived the test of time and remains in the family’s possession. While admiring it, take a look at the
unusual truncated ends to its leaves and its orangey-green golf ball-sized flowers which will pop out and greet us this month.

And just beyond that, if you have a penchant for magnolia you’re in luck, (and you’ll smell them before you see them), as our three champion magnolias (M obovate, fraseri & officinalis) will be a wonder to behold when they are in flower over the next few weeks.

But if all that fantastic plant-life isn’t enough to sate you, you’ll be delighted to hear that the 20th Anniversary Sculpture Exhibition can now be found across the Garden.

Out This Month
Chinese Tulip Tree
champion tree Magnolias obovata, fraseri & officinalis
Halesia corolina

Looking Ahead
Rose Celebration Weeks (Jun 17 – Jun 28)
The Wonderfully Variable & Versatile Rose – Talk by Michael Marriott (Jun 20, 10.30am – 2pm)
St Peter & St James Hospice Midsummer Stroll (Jun 2, 9am – 5pm)