Hop Hornbeam - ostrya carpinifolia
The Hop Hornbeam grows on the southern edge of the garden in amongst a varied selection of other trees. It makes it rather difficult to photograph, or indeed appreciate, the whole of it at a glance. It's as if the learned gardeners here have made the mistake that everyone else makes when planting trees - that of not realising just how big they're going to get!
Not that it's a tree to sink into anonymity amongst its fellows. It leans out over the path, dangling its branches in the faces of passers-by and demanding attention! And it gets that attention too, judging by the number of people who make their way over to read the little sign attached to he trunk.
The sign will tell them that it's origins are in Southern Europe and Turkey. The English name, Hop Hornbeam, refers to the hop-like clusters which it produces in summer, but seems suggest that it's a Hornbeam. In fact the Ostryas, although in the Birch family along with the Hornbeams, are a distinct group, though the carpinifolia part of the name means "with leaves like a Hornbeam".
Either way it makes it an easy tree to identify and remember the name of - as long as you know what Hornbeams and Hops look like. As you can see it also bears long catkins.
The trunk has many bumps and hollows as well as intricate though rather scruffy bark which is full of character. The timber is very hard and was traditionally used for making the old-fashioned wooden carpentry planes. It was too difficult to work to be of much use for anything else.
Rose - rosa
You sometimes overhear rose-enthusiasts muttering that they don't think much to the roses here and that some of them are no more than the wild roses that you find growing in the hedgerows.
They are rather missing the point: this is not a show-garden but a teaching resource and the roses here were laid out according to the work of Charles Hurst who spent a the first quarter of the twentieth century unravelling the hybridisation which had resulted in our wide array of modern roses.
Luckily, those of us less obsessed than Mr Hurst, can still enjoy some wonderful blooms.
Now, as long as I don't forget to show you the July photos from the garden, we shall have caught up!