Summer scents and sights

As soon as you enter the conservatory, the scent of the jasmine greets you. This small white flower packs a mighty punch of perfume for its size. Much more impressive in terms of size, which also have a wonderful scent, are the spires of the Asiatic lilies. These stems of white flowers reach up to 5 tall, and are most commonly seen as cut flowers, in white, pinks and reds, which can scent the whole house. Look above you and you will see the flowers of the climbers, including the red passion flower, Passiflora racemosa, with its long coronal filaments and the cup and saucer vine, Cobea scandens. In the ‘Australia’ bed, the tree fern is unfurling its long fronds; starting from what looks like a fuzzy clock spring, it extends upwards and outward, uncurling right to the tips of each fern leaf.

In the Gardens, the gentler colours of summer have replaced the bright hues of spring. Hydrangeas are starting to flower, the blooms will last for months in the shade of the Wilderness Garden, and then hold their dried skeletons throughout the winter. The exception is the Victorian Flower Garden, of course, as the Victorians loved bright colours and the Garden Team carry on that tradition. Bright orange and yellow dahlias contrast with blue salvias and silver grey cineraria, while the morning glory has just reached the top of its support. The bedding plants are bulking out and are producing new shoots and buds for our future enjoyment.