I’ll Name that Flower in …….

This month’s challenge is a bit easier than the last one. Can you identify these plants that are all in bloom somewhere in the Gardens at the moment? Common names will do. Anybody who replies or shares the competition on Facebook will be entered into a monthly prize draw to win a season ticket to the Gardens. Please either send your answers to heritagetrust@wentworthcastle.org or via our facebook page. Closing date is 30th June. Good luck!

Last time, the blog was about the Scent of Spring. It’s not gone yet, especially in the Azalea Garden where there are still some bushes waiting to burst into bloom. Elsewhere the rhododendrons are displaying their showy flowers, in a wide range of colours. if you look at them closely, you can see the beautiful patterns inside each individual bloom. The walk up to Stainborough Castle is flanked by huge bushes on the right in purple, violet and white. The rhododendrons, that were pruned hard earlier in the year to improve the vista, are sprouting fresh growth already and will flower again as they mature. Head along to the Wilderness and the Fernery & Stumpery, and you will see the candelabra primulas just starting to flower. These plants have spires of pretty flowers in reds, oranges and yellows, held above the foliage and they love the shade of these areas of the Gardens.

The early spring bedding in the Victorian Flower Garden has been removed, and the new display is being planted up. So far, there are vivid orange begonias and silver foliage going in; I’m sure there will be a lot more than that when it’s finished. I can’t wait to see the final result which previously has always been a riot of colour in the best traditions of Victorian carpet bedding - fantastic colours and shapes contained within the formal beds.

Some of the larger climbers in the conservatory have been pruned back to stop them taking over from the shyer plants but there is still plenty of colour and interest in each bed. The Canary Island Foxglove, Isoplexis canariensis, has tall spires of orange/yellow flowers which are up to 6ft tall. In the Africa bed, the Bird of Paradise plant, Strelitzia reginae, is showing off its wonderful purple and orange flowers. They gradually unfold from the bud and open up into a fan like shape. A speeded up film of this would be fascinating to see.

Answers to the last quiz on flowers:

1. Thunbergia, commonly known as black-eyed susan

2. Bergenia, commonly known as elephant’s ears

3. Vinca, common periwinkle

Don’t forget to send in your answers for this month’s competition.