Sheringham Park Flowering Update (May 11 2017)
Spring is a time of change. A walk through the wild garden at this time of year reveals changes on an almost daily basis. This is the second of weekly updates during this period. The recent cool weather has held some of display but overall we would say the display is still on course to peak from mid-May to early June
Rhododendrons and azaleas
The rhododendrons in early May bring a variety of colour to the wild garden. Outside the Bower the yellow flowering Queen Elizabeth II will catch your eye.
The enormous white trumpet like flowers of loderi King George can be seen at a numbers of spots along the main drive, as well as along the ramblers’ route. It provides a nice combination with the yellow flowered cinnbarinum xanthocodon just by the entrance to the temple route. The fragrance of the orange and yellow azaleas will stop you in your tracks, if their attractive colours have 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. The deep coloured Doncaster is one of the more photographed specimens sitting alongside the main drive and is also showing well.
Mature azaleas light up a clearing that falls away from the drive with the larger rhododendrons coming into flower behind. They combine nicely with flowering bluebells that carpet the ground between the V of two banks of rhododendrons.
Towards the end of the drive is an area called ‘Evelyn’s Glade’ where the rhododendron Mrs G W Leek draws the eye flowering opposite a specimen of the previously mentioned loderi King George. The deep coloured purple flowers of ‘old port’ are adding to the range of colour in this area.
Rhododendron ponticum is starting to flower. Unrestricted this species 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 , to ensure that other specimens can flourish while benefiting from the shelter it provides.
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 the purple flowered magnolia soulangianai dominates the central area. The more understated white flowers of magnolia wilsoni is also worth seeking out. Take time to discover the delicate orange and white diapelta flowers as well as 3 varieties of enkianthus, a styrax tree 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 now showing at their best.
The display will not get much better than this; 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.
Other flowering highlights
Cowslips are putting on their best display for many years in the parkland (also in the Bower) nestling within a sea of buttercups.
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.