What can you spot in the Woodland garden?

View looking over the Pool Garden at Knightshayes

This time of year in the gardens at Knightshayes, we move from the focus during spring in garden in the wood onto the summer terrace displays of herbaceous perennials and the wider garden shrubs. It's the time when firm favourites, like hydrangeas burst into life and the terraces are full of interesting blooms.


The formal terraces during summer are full of colour and surrounded by linear neat gravel paths with clean cut edges that carry over to formal lawns. Yew Taxus baccata is a long lived evergreen which creates a very formal clean face when used as a hedge. The hedges help form part of the structure of the garden and create the various different spaces along the terrace.

Usually, we cut these once a year between July and September, this year we are lining out and measuring the less structured hedges to get them straight and sharp. We’ll also be undertaking some minor renovations where we will cut back hard into old wood. Next year, this will happen on a larger scale.

The paved garden is full of the pinks and purples from Verbena bonariensis, Lavandula angustifolia, Salvias and Geranium. If you head to the trefoil beds, you’ll see low arching yew hedges are surrounded by mature Deutzia, Euphorbia and tall Echinops and Dhalia imperialis, forming flower buds which may flower, as long as we don’t have any surprise frosts.

Wider Garden

During July and August the further parts of the garden are full of the large blooms of Hydrangeas. At Knightshayes, there are almost 500 individual specimens from 17 different species with many various cultivars, forms and varieties. Two types to look out for are Hydrangea macrophylla with their large mophead like flowers, one of the best cultivars is ‘Pia’. Hydrangea paniculata ‘Everest’ which is a great example of these pyramidal flowers borne on current year’s growth and there are many more cultivars all around the garden, especially Sir John’s Wood and Michael’s Wood.