Killerton garden spring walk
Enjoy a walk around the garden, spectacular with spring blossom.
This is one of four seasonal walks that takes you on a short tour around the main paths of the garden to enjoy nature's wonders. Feel free to explore the grassy paths which take you up to the garden's lofty heights and into hidden areas between the gravel paths.
Forecourt, grid ref: SS974001
In late spring the yellow Lady Banks' rose can be seen climbing the walls of the house in the forecourt. Walk through the garden gate.
Walk along the gravel path past the house. On your left in the Terrace beds there are the striking pink dwarf Russian almond, and by the sundial on the Terrace you can see the Japanese bitter orange with its white flowers. In late spring the herbaceous border on your right has fritillary in yellow and orange.
Retrace your steps and turn left up the gravel path. Follow the path around the curve to the left and on to the straight, then take the next right uphill. You will pass a pocket handkerchief tree on your left. Opposite that on your right is a lovely magnolia.
Pocket handkerchief tree
The pocket handkerchief tree, also known as the dove tree and the ghost tree because of the curious shape of its bracts, has white, petal-like leaves. The tree was originally discovered in China by a French missionary, Père David, and named after him (its Latin name is Davidia).
Carry on uphill to a corner with thatched buildings on the right. In the flowerbed on the right are hellebores, magnolias and camellias.
Walk left, following the gravel path as it curves uphill. This is the Magnolia Walk, where you can see a wide variety of beautiful magnolias in flower.
On the Magnolia Walk look out in particular for two large magnolias coming over your head from the right hand side, a striking pink colour. The magnolias here flower in succession from February through to May.
Carry on up the path, passing the Giant Redwood on your right. Walk along the Beech Walk, looking downhill to see rhododendrons and azaleas. (Feel free to explore the upper section of the garden to discover a bounty of flowers rhododendrons, camassias, richly scented azaleas, camellias, daffodils, bluebells and other wildflowers. Just remember to return to the Beech Walk.)
At the end of the Beech Walk cross over the rustic bridge. Follow the gravel path as it curves around, looking out on your right for daffodils carpeting the ground. As you walk downhill there are sweeping views to your right and also the Memorial Cross, with seats to enjoy them.
Continuing down, you'll come to a fork in the path. Take the path to the left. See camellia and magnolia at the Bears Hut, as well as delicate little epimediums and cerise pink Cyclamen repandum. Explore the Rock Garden and find Indian rhubarb, Himalayan poppies and other little flowering treasures.
Retrace your steps and turn left downhill at the fork in the path. At the curve at the bottom look downhill at camassia, snakes head fritillary and snowflakes among the wildflowers. On your left is a Lucombe oak.
Carry on along the gravel path. On your left you'll see the fresh lime-green foliage of the Zelkova carpinifolia. After you pass between two stone urns, look on your right at the clump of pink and white rhododendrons. (If you have time you may like to explore the central section of the garden just above you, and see stunning trees such as the Stewartia pseudocamellia, the cork oak, the paperbark maple and many others.)
This rhododendron clump was planted in 1808, one of the earliest plantings of rhododendron in England. The various rhododendron plants in this bed flower from February through until May.
Continue towards the house from the rhododendrons and follow the curve around to the right and downhill. You could stop for a cup of tea at the restaurant, or carry on to the corner of the house, turn left along the path and walk back through the garden gate to the forecourt.
Forecourt, grid ref: SS974001
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