Amazing trees at Chirk Castle

We are very fortunate to have some amazing trees and shrubs. Our head gardener, David Lock has picked some of the highlights you can see when you visit the tranquil gardens at Chirk.

If you are very keen to see a particular tree or shrub looking their best, please contact the estate office on 01691 777701 before making a special visit.

    Yew trees and topiary

    A photo showing early morning in the gardens at Chirk Castle

    The topiary was planted in the 1870s by Richard Mydellton-Biddulph. We clip it during the late summer months retaining the current shapes and improving the formality here and there.

    We have several large yew trees in the garden that do not have the flamboyance of the topiary but are still great trees.

    The yew hedges are really important to our lesser horseshoe bats. The bats use the hedges as guides when they are flying at night.

    European larch

    European Larch at Chirk Castle

    You can see two European larch trees in the gardens at Chirk. The best example is in the shrub garden.

    Both specimens could be up to 250 years old - making them among the first introductions to Britain from central Europe.

    Magnolias

    Magnolia soulangiana lenneii

    Lady Margaret Myddelton was very fond of magnolias and planted many in her time at Chirk Castle.

    Keep an eye out for Magnolia soulangia - white flowers with pinkish backs, M. soulangiana ‘Lennei’ with purple backs to the petals (it can surprise you with a second flowering in late summer) and M. stellata. You can see the ‘Star Magnolia' on the rockery with pure white star-like flowers.

    Embothriums

    Embothrium flower

    The common name of Chilean Fire Bush is rather apt and you can see them as spectacular large bushes or small trees.

    You can see several around the garden and they flower in mid-May with bright orange/red flowers. The most eye-catching specimen is on the big lawn opposite the Long Border. It compliments the purple tones of the copper beech behind it.

    Davidia Involucrata

    Davidia involucrata at Chirk Castle

    This tree is known by a number of common names including the handkerchief tree and ghost tree. It has large papery bracts in mid-May that look like floating handkerchiefs.

    In the autumn, green fleshy fruit appear. On the inside there is a hard-ridged seed. This is also a great autumn colour tree with purple and red tones.

    Flowering cherries

    Cherry blossom

    Our flowering cherries look great in the spring with plenty of  pretty pink flowers. They also look great in the autumn with rich russet tones.

    Watch out for Prunus ‘Accolade’ - one of the earliest pinks or Prunus ‘Kanzan’, which you can see in the long border. It has clouds of soft pink flowers in May and forms a wonderful pink carpet as the petals fall. Another cherry early to flower is Prunus sargentii with its single pink flowers and orange to red autumn colour.

    Acers

    A close up of the acer leaves lain on top of each other

    We've a huge range of trees from the 70ft sycamore to the 3ft Japanese maple.

    There are numerous varieties around the garden. Look out for Acer pseudoplatanus ‘Brilliantissimum’ with their shell pink leaves in April, Acer platanoides ‘crimson king’ a medium-sized tree with dark purple leaves and Japanese maples with finely cut leaves of green and purple on an umbrella shape. We also have a ‘snake bark’ maple in the shrub garden with white markings like stripes on green bark.

    Sorbus

    Ash

    These mountain ashes are wonderful trees for autumn. The berries come in numerous colours from red through orange, yellow and white. We have S. ‘Joseph Rock’ an upright form with bright yellow berries; S. hupehensis with bluish (glaucous is the technical term) foliage and white berries with a pinkish blush; Sorbus vilmorinii with small leaflets turning russet shades with prolific red berries.

    Lime tree avenue

    Lime tree avenue at Chirk Castle

    Our limes are around 100 years old, and when they flower in August you can hear the bees after the nectar. They have wonderful autumn colour with the leaves turning butter yellow. The grey trunks stand out like soldiers against the winter sky.