Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Now the garden is showing off!

It’s May & our fabulous woodlands are bursting with springtime colour. Pay a visit and you’ll quickly understand why Picton Castle is famed for its Rhododendrons, Azaleas, Camellias & Magnolias.
There is so much to see everywhere & new things are coming into flower every day—it’s a tough job trying to pick out a few ’best things to see’ because it is all so beautiful.
How about peeking into Bluebell Walk to see the blue mist, then strolling up the Front Drive to the first right turning to enter Peep-In. After Tree Fern Glade, veer right to return to the Front Drive. Now go onto the castle forecourt and go clockwise around the castle to take in the stunning colour in the Avenues.

Viburnam plicatum—to be found along the Front Drive

Doesn’t this rhodie —also on the Front Drive—look like a Tequila Sunrise!
Into Peep-In, past the burgeoning herbaceous borders en route to the Fallen Woman, and there's a stunning young, yellow Rhodie set shyly to the left of the path. It's Rhodie No-Name. This stunner flowered for the first time last year and still hasn't been named. Head gardener Roddy scornfully dismisses all the office suggestions as 'too suburban'. Huh!!

Tree Fern Glade is the source of great relief. After this hard winter, everyone is delighted to see new fronds rising from the trees. There was doubt they would survive the snow and frost. Isn't life wonderful!

The stink of Skunk Cabbage (Lysichiton americanus) is with us again, on the approach to the stunning Acer Palmatum purpureum and the enchanting stretch of Primula pulverulenta. Gardeners wonder how long before the Skunk Cabage is banned - it seems to be taking over large stretches of countryside waterways...

Bluebells, azaleas, rhodies and prunus form a colourful scene for the carved heads that guard the front door into the castle. Can't be all bad being a stonehead.

What a pity there isn't more opportunity to really enlarge this picture. The colours are stunning. In the front, what Roddy refers to as 'just an ordinary' rhododendron luteum. It deserves more respect than that - the scent is heavenly! Assorted azaleas and a gorgeous white R. decorum in the background.

On the corner of the path between Walled Garden and courtyard is a lovely medley of R Hinyo Giro and R Hinyo mayo, and a Vibernum plicatum (Japanese Snowball Bush) Grandilorum to the right.

There's a bench in the middle of this pink haze. Be Barbie for a few minutes while you enjoy the vibrant colours of Magnolia x soulangeana 'Lennei', another azalea hinyo and a M. soulangeana in a cluster.

It's Old Port time again! Gardener Karen obligingly drove the tractor and trailer in front of what we think is the world's biggest rhododendron, to show the scale of the huge plant. It's stunning - a true natural wonder. In some ways, it's a shame it's in front of a Sequioadendron tree - the world's largest living thing - as the size of the tree makes the rhodie look small!

And finally, the jewel in the crown. The fabulous red of R. Picton Surprise is just coming into flower - you could find it as you approached the courtyard on the path from the walled garden. It really is an amazing colour.

Try to come and see us. The colours, diversity and scale of the woodland gardens are just too much to sum up in this small space.