The Teddington Gardener

My first visit to the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew (well, my first this year) – Witch Hazels aplenty, Alpine beauties – Magnolias! – and more… Welcome to Part 1

DSC_3533

Hamamelis x intermedia Vesna

Happily, Kew Gardens are a short distance from Teddington HQ (too) and as long as there is a parking space close to the Victoria Gate entrance, there is no excuse for me not to stop off and take a look inside.

Sometimes this is just a short stop, perhaps less than an hour, a guerrilla incursion for a specific target – the Alpine House, Cherry Blossom, the Chokushi-Mon and Japanese Landscape, the rose walkway in full bloom or Salvia border just before the frosts, the Rock Garden, the very glamourous Peonies, Rhododendron Walk, drifts of Camassias, crocus or daffs, the singular splendour of the Judas Tree (Cercis siliquastrum) in the Mediterranean landscape, the Holly Walk in full berry – well, you get the picture.  If there’s a parking space within 100m of the entrance, park I must.

DSC_3634

Of course this doesn’t preclude a longer visit or successive short trips to mark the progress of say, the Magnolia blossom (which I did over three weeks last year, likewise the Cherry collection – Kew’s own Hanami).

This visit focused on the witch hazels (Hamamelis) which are a glory, particularly around the Mediterranean landscape, as well as a look at the poor Magnolias that have mistakenly thought Spring had come early. The clamshell Davies Alpine House, Rock Garden and woodland were taken in too – but I’ll let the pictures take us on from here.

These Sarcococca form the boundary hedge of the seating area outside the cafe at the Victoria Gate – and while they are green and lush just now, with shiny black berries – their distinctive fragrance hasn’t made its presence known. In a couple of weeks the scent will gorgeous and in three weeks, quite overpowering!

DSC_3287

Helleborus argutifolius in adjoining beds – with a very large specimen of Osmanthus yunnanensis (below) just by the diminutive plant centre

DSC_3299

DSC_3302

DSC_3304

Chimonathus praecox Grandiflorus (above) and Cornus mas (below)

DSC_3309

DSC_3312

Helleborus orientalis – the Lenten Rose – beginning to pop up now

DSC_3321

The first of the witch hazels on my tour, Hamamelis japonica Superba and in the woodland garden, this tree with chandeliers of bright red berries – Idesia polycarpa

DSC_3324

DSC_3326

A whole lot of mulching going on …

DSC_3330

Magnolia x loebneri Dwarf No. 1 – properly still in bud …

DSC_3333

The summer snowflake – Leucojum aestevum – Summer?

DSC_3335

And some beautiful pruning and training – Rosa Brenda Colvin (above) and Rosa longicuspis (below)

DSC_3337

DSC_3340

Schizophragma integrifolium – almost as beautiful bare as in leaf and flower … 

DSC_3342

Anemone hortensis – very pretty little things in the Rock Garden

DSC_3350

DSC_3359

Galanthus nivalis Magnet (above, and above)

DSC_3356

DSC_3357

Erodium trifolium var trifolium – as if this needed to be said twice

DSC_3366

Iris tingitana, hailing from Algeria and Morocco which brings us directly to the beauties in the Davies Alpine House – Iris Eye Catcher, below

DSC_3369

DSC_3372

… and a pretty little Iris Sunshine (above) with Iris histroides Lady Beatrix Stanley (below)

DSC_3375

DSC_3379

Lapeirousia oreogena – from the Iris family and hailing from Cape Province with Narcissus panizzianus (below)

DSC_3383

DSC_3387

Arisarum vulgare

DSC_3393

Iris Spot On (above) and Scilla messeniaca (below)

DSC_3395

DSC_3399

DSC_3400

The rather splendid leaves of Cyclamen rohlfsianum and the last Iris in the shop, Iris planifolia

DSC_3403

DSC_3409

Symphoricarpus orbiculatus in full fruit – outside the glasshouse

DSC_3411

The distinctive Alpine House marks the top of the Rock Garden (well, I think of it as the top) with its back to the Grass Borders which haven’t yet been cut back – a job for February usually – and in the afternoon sun – were looking splendid

DSC_3405

DSC_3407

DSC_3416

Hamamelis x intermedia Pallida – by the Ice House

DSC_3418

DSC_3427

DSC_3429

Another intimation of Spring with this hawthorn blossom – Crataegus monogyna Biflorus – the Glastonbury Thorn throwing out more than a few distinctive blooms. Which leads us to the Magnolia Grove, which by rights should be tightly budded but … lo! Magnolia campbellii has other ideas –

DSC_3430

DSC_3432

DSC_3433

DSC_3435

DSC_3434

DSC_3440

DSC_3445

and Magnolia Tonia taking its lead from the bigger brother …

DSC_3448

DSC_3452

Way, way too early and the frost this weekend might well see to the preemptive flowering … Magnolia sprengeri var diva has it right – furry buds tight shut

DSC_3458

as too has Magnolia kobus –

DSC_3461

DSC_3466

While the Pallis Ash – Fraxinus pallisiae – is also starting off a little prematurely  –

DSC_3469

We’re moving off again now, heading across the great avenue that stretches from the Palm House to the River Thames, and past the top of the lake with Henry Moore’s recumbent Reclining Mother and Child 1975-1976

DSC_3475

DSC_3478

…. and we start among and into the Mediterranean Garden – Coronilla glauca in bright bloom, an unnamed Iberis (?), felled Cork Oaks, the great slumbering Cercis siliquastrum, Echiums under boxed-fleece covers and beyond, a collection of Hamamelis, Parrotia persica, with hellebores aplenty.

DSC_3481

DSC_3492

DSC_3487

DSC_3490

DSC_3493

Cultivating the ground with a tool that delivers, I think, compressed air through a simple spike milled around into the ground. One to work, one to supervise!

Work continues on the restoration of the Temperate House.

DSC_3494

This marbled, spiderweb leafery caught my eye but wasn’t labelled – I’m was first thinking it was an Acanthus but more likely, an Eryngium? – it is the Mediterranean Garden – but which cultivar? More googling needed here….

DSC_3502

DSC_3503A large-leaved, variegated Ivy cascading over the Arts and Craft brickwork

DSC_3506

DSC_3507

DSC_3509

DSC_3510

Hamamelis x intermedia Jelena (above – all) and below (3) Hamamelis x intermedia

DSC_3515

DSC_3514

DSC_3516

DSC_3520

Hamamelis mollis – Chinese Witch Hazel – above and below

DSC_3521DSC_3522

 

LINKS For Growing Witch Hazels –

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening/howtogrow/4436574/How-to-grow-witch-hazel.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening/plants/10614419/Witch-hazel-a-magical-plant-for-winter.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening/howtogrow/8293998/How-to-brighten-up-winter-with-witch-hazel.html

http://www.witchhazelnursery.com/cultivation1.htm

and from my own archivehttps://teddingtongardener.com/?s=hamamelis

DSC_3527

Banks of Hellebores carpet the ground beneath the selections of witch hazel, with King William’s Temple at the peak of this hummock, built for Queen Victoria in 1837 –

http://www.kew.org/visit-kew-gardens/explore/attractions/king-william%E2%80%99s-temple-and-mediterranean-garden

– and I think I’ll stop here for a moment – Part I of my inaugural 2016 tour of Kew – though there are more Witch Hazels to consider, Parrotia persica too (a relation), some great buds, bark and hips to come. Too much of a good thing eh? I spoil you!

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

5 comments

    • Hi there you too – thank you for the link to the Hillier site for the double white Hellebore – there are a couple of specialist nurseries that have open days so will have to look these out too – Ashwood Nurseries spring to mind and they have tours on 30th January and 13th February – they are in the West Midlands. Chelsea? The horticultural team at Petersham Nurseries generally go together but might book my own tickets too, so I can spend even more time there! Best wishes, Martin

  1. Carol Waters

    I think your variegated plant is Silybum marianum (very interesting biennial, said to be splashed by Mary’s milk, also used in herbal medicine).

    Lovely photographs which brought back memories of Kew – I look forward to reading more of your blogs

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: