Sheringham Park Flowering Update May 18 2017

Rhododendrons in flower along the main drive in May.

Spring is a time of change. A walk through the wild garden at this time of year reveals changes on an almost daily basis. The warm weather in the last week has seen a significant increase in the amount of colour on display.

Rhododendrons and azaleas

Flowering rhododendrons and azaleas are lighting up the 50 acre wild garden with an array of colour.

The first specimen that will greet you as you walk down the main drive is a bit of curio, one plant but two different flowers, how has this happened? A bit of a long winded tale to tell, but if you are interested join our head gardener on one of his weekly guided walks.

The colourful arch of rhododendrons including a yellow campylocarpum, and deep pink orbiculare as well an azaleodenron called galloper light is starting to form as you enter the wild garden. A little bit further on the fragrance of the orange and yellow azaleas will stop you in your tracks, if their combination of colours has not already done so. Red is well represented in the wild garden with arboreum amongst the largest of our varieties growing as tall as our rhododendron viewing towers and dominating the entrance to the secret garden.  Stroll on and one of our most photographed specimens will come into view - the deep coloured blooms of the Doncaster variety.

Mature azaleas light up a clearing that falls away from the drive with the larger rhododendrons flowering behind. They combine nicely with flowering bluebells that carpets the ground between the V of two banks of rhododendrons.

The area on the approach to the ling hut has probably undertaken the biggest change in the last week with a number of varieties of rhododendrons, azaleas and the azaleodendron ‘glory of Littleworth’ providing a mass of colour amongst the heather.    

As you walk towards the end of the drive you will come across an area called ‘Evelyn’s Glade’ where rhododendron varieties ‘old port', 'Britannia' & 'lutescens'  are bringing colour to this rapidly maturing area that was paid for by widower in memory of his late wife. A fitting tribute.

Rhododendron ponticum is now showing strongly, although there is still much more to come. This species stiches the display together and we expect it to be at its peak within the next 10 days.

Unrestricted ponticum  would take over the whole garden but every week a group of volunteers go out armed with saws and loppers providing vigorous control to any potential expansion , ensuring that other specimens can flourish while benefiting from the shelter it provides.  Only this week cutting back ponticum towards the end of the drive revealed a pink flowering gomerwaterer rhododendron which should now flourish in its new found access to light.

The combination of rhododendrons and azaleas are still providing a good variety of colours.
Flowering rhododendrons and azaleas along the main drive at Sheringham Park
The combination of rhododendrons and azaleas are still providing a good variety of colours.

More highlights from the Wild Garden

It is always worth visiting the secret garden (staff in the visitor centre will be happy to share its location) where magnolias feature strongly with the purple coloured soulangianai variety and the understated white flowers of wilsonii and sieboldii can all be seen. Magnolia wilsonii & sieboldii also feature in other areas of the wild garden Take time to discover the delicate orange and white diapelta flowers as well as 3 varieties of enkianthus and a number of rhododendrons.

The snowdrop trees are both in flower along the tree trail and the flowers (technically bracts) of the handkerchief tree are still providing a good show but hurry they will not last for ever.

Chilean lantern trees are coming into flower in a clearing to the side of 2nd rhododendron viewing tower, combining well with the surrounding rhododendrons.

The handkerchief tree always attract attention at this time of year.
The flowers of the handkerchief tree at Sheringham Park
The handkerchief tree always attract attention at this time of year.

Bluebells

 

There is still a good display, although do not leave it to long before you visit. A number of patches of can be seen throughout the estate. On Weybourne Heath the bluebells flank the paths and in some places the white flowers of greater stitchwort are mixed in providing a nice contrast of colours.

Bluebells and greater stitchwort provide a nice combination along the paths of Weybourne Heath.
Bluebells and greater stitchwort in flower on Weybourne Heath
Bluebells and greater stitchwort provide a nice combination along the paths of Weybourne Heath.

Other Flowering Highlights

The parkland is a sea of buttercups with cowslips still featuring near the pond.
In the woodland horse chestnut and rowan are in flower, a walk down to the cliffs will reward you with display of pink flowers of thrift nodding in the breeze.

The wildflower meadow in Bower is starting to flourish with campion, yellow rattle, ragged robin as well as cowslips all providing a show.

Buttercups providing a sea of colour in the parkland.
Buttercups in flower in the Sheringham parkland
Buttercups providing a sea of colour in the parkland.