Saturday, 25 August 2018

A Garden In August

I rather delayed my visit to the Botanic Garden this month, hoping that it might recover from the drought we had at the beginning of the month. Now Mother Nature is once again being overly generous with the gift of rain, and temperatures are back to what we're used to in these temperate isles. 

I showed my pass to the woman at the gate and was told that tree-felling was in progress. Although most of the garden was accessible some of the paths were out-of-bounds today. I therefore went in by a different route which took me past the Herbaceous Island Beds.

Much of the garden is organised to illustrate themes for teaching purposes but these Island Beds are much more like a traditional garden with flowers arranged for maximum visual impact.

Many of the flowers grown here are familiar sights in many gardens. I'm fairly certain that the striking red flower above is Helenium "Moerheim Beauty". 

You can see how the grass has greened-up after the recent rains. The garden does have its own borehole but had to irrigate sparingly this summer. 

I've mentioned the Systematic Beds before; they feature plants of the same family grouped together so that botanists can see the similarities and differences between the members of the group. These are the houseleeks which are making a nice display at this time of year. Some of the beds are less visually pleasing as the various components flower at different times of year.

This Dwarf Elder was also in the Systematic Beds. Not the sort of thing you might want in your garden as it was giving off a most unpleasant pong.

The ducks were milling around on the lake, this weather presumably being more to their liking.

I wandered over to the Glasshouses.

Here I came across this rather pretty plant which goes by the name of Christ's Thorn, from its savage barbs and perhaps because the flowers look like spots of blood. Quite what it can have had to do with the crucifixion must be in some doubt as the plant only occurs in Madagascar.

Then I got sidetracked into taking photos of the foliage in the various glasshouses. I'll show you some more later.

Take care.


  1. I adore that Helenium John and have put it on my list of possible purchases.

  2. If I am not mistaken that is not the only thorny plant said to have associations with the crucifixion. Factual accuracy never stopped religionists.

  3. That second photo is my favourite! Love that bed!

  4. Hi John - I half thought you might have a Miss Willmott in here - but I see none! Strange you should come across her at the same time I did ... you in Cambridge, me over on Vancouver Island. She did some serious work with Irises and Professor Michael Forrester at the Uni ... presumably early 1900s.

    Love the borders and plantings ... and that round of sedum could well be called 'beach party sedum' - love the names plants acquire.

    It is gorgeous and you certainly show your locality off so well - cheers Hilary

  5. I love that picture of the fern with the dark background! Beautiful!

  6. Beautiful pictures John. I like to see herbaceous beds in big gardens. They're a lot of trouble for a normal sized plot, I think.

  7. So many varieties of flowers and colours, each visit is different I think. Love your third photo!

  8. Japanese Anemones and Heleniums are two of my favourite flowers at this time of year. I love the colour of the Heleniums so vibrante ad cheering:)

  9. The flowers are gorgeous with beautiful colours.

  10. Gorgeous John, love the look of the greenhouse too, 1920's?

  11. Lovely gardens and beautiful colors there.

  12. Beautiful! Those 'Christ's Thorn' flowers are very pretty!

  13. There's always plenty to see here, even if you couldn't see it all this time.


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