Early spring in the wild garden

Macabeanum rhododendron in flower at Sheringham Park

Early spring in the wild garden is ever changing and nature is always likely to suprise. A plant may come into flower earlier than expected, you may spot the UKs smallest bird, the firecrest, moving through the trees or spot a deer dashing into cover.

The Main Drive
 

The drive that meanders through the wild garden was central to Humphry Repton's 1812 design for Sheringham Park. As you walk down the drive catching glimpses of the coastline try to imagine you are in a horse & carriage traveling through the wild garden. Repton's design attempts to build the anticipation until the sea bursts into view just before you sweep down into the parkland when Sheringham Hall reveals itself. Rhododendrons planted after the time of Repton add vivid colour to his master plan.

One of the glimpse points from the main drive.
Sea view from the main drive

Rhododendrons 

Winter species Christmas cheer and nobleanum venustum are still flowering in early spring providing a foundation colour that other species will build on as spring progresses. The delicate yellow flowers of lutescens contrasting with the large bell shape blooms of macabeanum soon join the show. Also look out for brilliant crimson flowers of strigillosum, the colourful calopphytum and the now rare niveum species. The deep rich purple of the niveum flower was seen by Victorians as a sign of bad luck and taken out from many gardens hence the fact this species is rarely seen.

Lutescens rhododendron bringing colour to a walk along the main drive at Sheringham Park.
Lutescens rhododendron in the wild garden at Sheringham Park

Other Flowering Highlights

Our giant pierises are among the largest in the country, bumble bees feast on the nectar from their small bell-like flowers. As the flowers start to go over the new growth of vivid scarlet leaves lights up the wild garden. 

Camellias, pink white and red, can be found if you stray slighty from the main drive. Magnolias campbellii, sprengeri and stellata also show their colours at this time of year.  The blue flowering green alkanet are also coming into flower and will provide colour along the main drive well into the autumn.

New shoots of growth on the pieris tree providing a contrast to its white flowers.
New shoots of the pieris coming through with the flowers in the background