Sheringham Park Flowering Update May 23 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. 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 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 has formed as you enter the wild garden. Red is well represented in the garden, rhododendron Britannia dominates the first valley on the right (Summerhouse Valley) with arboreum one of our largest varieties still showing well. A little further along the drive the deep coloured blooms of the Doncaster variety, one of our most photographed specimens is also showing well.
Your eyes will draw you to a clearing just prior to the ling hut which has a number of varieties of rhododendrons, azaleas and the azaleodendron ‘glory of Littleworth’ providing a blaze 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, ‘Mrs A.T. de la Mare’ and pink pearl are bringing colour to this rapidly maturing area that was paid for by a widower in memory of his late wife. A fitting tribute.
Rhododendron ponticum is now showing strongly, although still much more to come. This species stiches the display together and we expect it to be at its peak shortly to provide a carpet of colour from the top of the viewing towers.
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 recently cutting back ponticum towards the end of the drive revealed a pink flowering gomerwaterer rhododendron which is now flourishing in its new found access to light.
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 understated white flowers of magnolia wilsonii and sieboldii can be seen. Also look out for their distinctive flowers in other areas of the wild garden. Enkianthus, rhododendrons and camellias complete the show.
Chilean lantern trees are coming into flower in a clearing to the side of 2nd rhododendron viewing tower, combining well with the surrounding rhododendrons.
It is worth returning to the visitor centre via the tree trail, it always a lot quieter than the main drive and plenty to see with many different varieties of rhododendron in flower as well as the handkerchief tree.
Other Flowering Highlights
If you continue your walk along the drive from the wild garden into the parkland you will be rewarded with sea of buttercups in flower.
In the woodland foxgloves are starting to come into flower and a stroll down to the cliffs will reward you with display of pink flowers of thrift nodding in the breeze.
The wildflower meadow in the Bower is starting to flourish with campion, yellow rattle, ragged robin as well as cowslips all providing a show.