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Garden Team Blog

Wet but wonderful – July 2023

By July 31, 2023August 1st, 2023One Comment


After the heat and sun of June, the welcome spell of summer rain has freshened up the plants and revived the straw-coloured grass. Our award winning National Collection of Astilbes between the two upper lakes were beginning to suffer although now have recovered and are giving a colourful display.  Not as tall as usual due to the lack of rain. These can be bought here:

Nearby two large bushes of Clethra, the Sweet Pepper Bush, is a mass of creamy flowers, the air scented with their peppery frothy blooms.  Other late flowering shrubs, Hoheria and Eucryphia light up the garden with white flowers. The Eucryphias in particular are a spectacular sight now and for the next 2 to 3 weeks just below the walled garden. These are 20- to 30-foot-tall trees covered in creamy white flowers, a magnet for the honey bees to enjoy.

Our massed display of Hydrangeas on the far hillside are an amazing blue and purple tones due to the acid soil that they grow on. It really is dependent on the soil as to what colour the flowers will be. Acid soil produces blue flowers and alkaline soil will turn the flowers pink or red. Alkaline soil is limestone so planting them by a concrete wall and the lime leaches out of the cement into the soil will turn a blue flower pink.

Above these hydrangeas along the top of the hill is a planting of Hydrangea paniculata forms. These shrubby bushes are now covered in a spectacular show of white and cream panicles of flowers and will be for the next couple of months. As the flowers mature on some varieties, they take on pinkish tinges which eventually turn red during the autumn. This type of Hydrangea has become very popular plant in the last few years and many new cultivars are being introduced onto the gardening market. You can purchase our variety of hydrangeas here:

Our herbaceous borders continue to shine, and the flowers of several Phlox cultivars create a heady scent on a warm summers day.

Our plant sales area is well stocked with plenty of plants and new plants are added regularly with ones we have propagated from our plants in the garden. Many unusual and different ones can be found which are not available in garden centres. We have a huge range of our Astilbes, all propagated from the garden plants.

This rain of July has given us a break from the extra watering of June and allowed us to get on with weeding and cutting the grass. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, please get in touch with us here:

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