Ickworth Garden Tree walk, near Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk
A gentle walk around the Italianate garden to the rear of the property taking in the various trees and shrubs to be found (marked 1-15 on the map).
Ideal for families and those with limited mobility. No dogs allowed unfortunately.
Ickworth West Wing reception, grid ref: TL810610
From the West Wing reception, turn left out of the door and in the corner of the shrubbery behind the terrace wall look for the tree phillyrea (1); a tree from the olive family with dark green evergreen foliage. Continue down the path and look at the cedar of Lebanon (2) directly in front at the junction of the paths. This tree was planted in the early 1800s
Turn left at this path junction and look for the Lucombe oak (3), a cross between Spanish and Cork oaks. Continue past the toilet sign and take the next left. On your right you'll see the Wellingtonia (4), a native to California and one of the world's largest trees.
True Lucombe Oaks are clones of the original tree, but Lucombe Oak is also often used to refer to any hybrid between Turkey Oaks and Cork Oaks.
Continue along the path and turn left towards the rear of the West Wing Terrace, looking out for the purple beech (5) on your right. In front of you, at the corner of the Terrace and Rotunda, is the Lawson Cypress (6), an original planting from the early 1800s and now about 90 feet (27 metres) high, and still growing.
The leaves of the purple beech (5) are pink in spring, dark purple in summer and yellow in autumn.
Continuing along the path, to your right, are a group of topiary shrubs, known as Italian box (7). Continue right, around the Rotunda, and note the olive tree (8), a native of the Mediterranean region. Further along the path, just before a path junction on your left, is an unmissable tree, the coast redwood (9). It's the world's tallest tree native to the eastern USA.
These topiary shrubs (7) are cut to echo the shape of the Rotunda.
Bear right, around the path and head towards the rear terrace. Leave the path and walk around the outside hedge of the Rose Garden perimeter, looking out for the cucumber tree (10), an original tree of the garden which has green magnolia-like flowers followed by red fruits.
Walk straight ahead and take a look at one of the original plantings, the tulip tree (11), another native of the USA and also northern Europe. Continuing straight ahead, and slightly to the left, is the wedding cake tree, which is a specimen tree with layered branches and covered with white flowers and cream variegated foliage.
Turn sharp right at this tree and head towards a gap in the hedge. Turn left and follow the path between the hedges. Crossing over the centre pathway, look for another gap in the hedge to your left. Turn right through this gap and immediately in front of you you'll see the tawhiwhi (pittosporum, 13).
Tawhiwhi (pittosporum, 13) is a small tree from New Zealand, with chocolate-coloured, honey-scented flowers.
Now turn right and follow the hedge right around to the other side and you'll come to the holm oak (14), an evergreen planted in the 1800s. This type of tree forms interesting contorted trunks and is tolerant of high winds.
Continue along the hedge until you reach a gap. Don't go through the gap, but turn sharp left and head towards a group of historic saucer magnolia trees (15).
Saucer Magnolia Group
This group of saucer magnolia trees (at 15) bear huge flowers during early spring
Head back across the grass to the Orangery Terrace, turn left and exit the way you came in. Head into the café for something to eat and/or drink.
West Wing Reception grid ref: TL810610
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