The Beth Chatto Gardens
Newsletter and plants of current interest
Issue 65 August 2014
After weeks of high temperatures, drying winds and very little rain the Gravel Garden is still holding up remarkably well. Sedum, Gaura, Verbena and brilliant scarlet Zauscheneria are flourishing amongst grasses and shrubs. Agapanthus add splashes of colour during the early part of August. Steal a quick glance at the beautiful, smooth trunk of Eucalyptus dalrympleana , as it is shedding its bark. The Koelreuteria’s (Golden rain tree) panicles of yellow flowers will be followed by bladder-like fruit capsules in late summer.
In the Water Garden Eupatorium, Lythrum and Persicaria provide colour, soon to be followed by Aster and Rudbeckia. The giant Gunnera manicata, near the entrance, never fails to impress our visitors with its enormous leaves. Gunnera prorepens on the other hand (growing in the border below the house), is a low ground-cover with bronze tinged leaves and goes largely unnoticed for most of the year. In late August it produces tiny spikes with bright red fruits.
In the shallows of the ponds you will find Pontederia cordata and the striking Thalia dealbatata in flower. The Long Reservoir Border is full of late flowering perennials such as Kalimeris, Echinacea purpurea ‘Rubinstern’ (a real butterfly magnet!), Liatris spicata, Chelone obliqua, Rudbeckia and Aster. August is a quiet time in theWoodland Garden. Hydrangea and Kirengeshoma (in late August) add some colour until the first Colchicums start to appear.
Friends of the Garden
Friends of the Garden Scheme Enjoy unlimited entry to the gardens for a year. £20 per single ticket. £35 for a double ticket to admit the cardholder and any guest of their choice.
Gold Friends of the Garden Our Gold Friends of the Garden scheme offers additional benefits, including discounts on plants, events, refreshments and seasonal offers. £35 per single ticket. £55 for a double ticket. Ask for details.
Wildlife Fair 19th & 20th August
Join us for 2 days of wildlife discovery and fun. Stalls, demonstrations and guided walks are available throughout the day from your local wildlife groups, charities and volunteers. Adult garden entrance £6.95, accompanied children under 14 free. Garden entrance required for some activities.
Plants of Current Interest
1. Althaea cannabina Slender stiff, branching stems carry masses of tiny pink mallow-like flowers.
2. Zauschneria californica (Hummingbird trumpet) A favourite with hummingbirds in the wild. Brilliant scarlet tubular flowers and narrow, grey/green leaves. Grow in a hot, sunny spot, in well-drained soil. Always wait until late spring before removing last year’s old growth.
3. Thalia dealbata A striking plant with handsome, grey-green lance-shaped leaves and violet flowers on long stalks.
4. Pontederia cordata (Pickerel weed) Clumps of glossy, green spearshaped leaves and spikes of densely packed blue flowers, just above the foliage.
5.Echinacea purpurea ‘Rubinstern’ One of the best and very free flowering. A real butterfly magnet!
6. Liatris spicata Bold spikes with narrow leaves and long lasting pinkish-purple flowers in late summer. A good cut flower.
7. Kalimeris incisa ‘Blue Star’ A long blooming perennial with pale blue, daisy-like flowers, much like an aster. Easy to grow.
8. Kirengeshoma palmata A beautiful woodland plant with sprays of pale yellow, waxy, trumpet-shaped flowers in late summer/early autumn. Needs a moisture-retentive soil.
9. Perovskia A vertical feature with white-stemmed slender spires of lavender-blue flowers in late summer. Grow in full sun and well-drained soil. Woodland Garden The sandy soil in the Woodland Garden is not ideal for growing Hydrangeas, but they provide a much needed splash of colour when not much else is in flower.
Rainfall chart 2014 January 6.02 153.00 February 6.72 171.00 March 1.12 28.00 April 0.86 22.00 May 1.23 31.00 June 0.35 9.00 July (first 2 weeks) 0.10 2.50 Rainfall 2013 19.11 485.00 Rainfall 2012 31.76 807.00 Rainfall 2011 17.94 456.00 Rainfall 2010 24.45 621.00 Rainfall 2009 23.35 593.00