28 Jun 2013

Curator’s Blog: Late June 2013

Bruce Langridge

Ragged-Robin and Caesar’s Brother natural bedfellows?

In a most agreeable period of warm and sunny weather the Garden’s meadows have burgeoned and one can’t help but be uplifted by the sight of so many of our wildflowers coming in to bloom. The interface between wildflowers and exotics can be seen in a magnificent display that can be found in what we now call the Wild Garden. Sloping down to the lake from below the Great Glasshouse large areas of excitement are happening, for many years Mark Williams has quietly been experimenting with a range of plantings amongst our native wildflowers, the results quite breathtaking!

On a beautiful evening my wife and I walked through this area and enjoyed the spectacle of drifts of Iris sibirica ‘Caesar’s Brother’ lifting their intense deep blue/purple flowers above the wild grassy sward and in the damper areas our beautiful native Lychnis flos-cuculi  a plant lovingly known as Ragged-Robin with its pink to rose-red delicately divided petals forming a subtle carpet through the meadow.

Surprising peonies and scatterings of the intense cerise flowers of Geranium ptilostemon add further to the interest and with a whole host of other worthies yet to bloom, this is an area that bears more than a passing glance. It is possibly an unsung gem of the Garden and is now becoming a must see experience that requires repeat visits to watch the ever changing hues, textures and forms unfold. Developing from late spring long in to the autumn when seed heads and autumn tints of browns and gold amongst the swaying grasses bring their own beauty to the heart of the Garden.

Do take the time to visit and enjoy nature’s beauty and the skill and artistry that Mark has brought to this wonderful display.

Simon Goodenough

Garden Curator

28th June 2013