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A hidden gem in the High Weald of Sussex, sensitively planted to enhance the natural landscape. A botanical treasure trove and classic English idyll make High Beeches one of the finest gardens in the South East



http://www.highbeeches.com/



Sunday, 25 September 2016

A beautiful September Day



September in the Garden

The garden may not be as colourful in
September as it is in May or October but there
is still much to enjoy.  On a sunny day the garden is full of shadows and contrasts highlighting the many different types of foliage from the blue cedar, to the shiny leaves of Magnolia grandiflora and the early autumn colour of the Acers.






Speckled Wood
 It is good to see a few butterflies enjoying
the warmth of the sun.  There are quite a few
Speckled Woods and a Peacock or two to be found.

Abies koreana













Some of the conifers are in cone, one of the more prolific is Abies koreana, a Wilson
introduction from Korea.  A beautiful compact
pyramid shaped tree with blue cones.  They are
very sticky to touch.
Euonymous alatus










Many of the shrubs are covered in berries and seed pods.  Some of the strangest seed pods are to be found on the magnolias which are also covered in flower bud, looking promising for next year.

Euonymous alatus, the Spindle Tree, is covered in its attractive red and orange fruit.A deciduous shrub, a native of China and Japan.
Liquidamber styraciflua







Some of the trees are beginning to show their
autumn colour.  The Nyssas, Liquidambers and Parrotias all are showing signs of red and the Disanthus cercidifolius are already a deep red.  A member of the Witch Hazel family,
Hamamelidaceae, and a great asset to the early autumn garden.  It is not the easiest to grow but seems to like it here.

Monday, 15 August 2016

August

 
 
 
Just a few things to see in the garden
in August.
 
 
 Pinus montezumae is in cone.  A native of
Southern and Central Mexico with grey green leaves which look not unlike a chimney sweepers brush.  A beautiful tree which is not reliably hardy although it is growing well here. 
 











A Brown Hawker, one of the many dragonflies at High Beeches.  A common dragonfly in the South East of England mostly found close to well vegetated ponds. http://www.webjam.com/bdssx

The beautiful Aesculus parviflora is in flower.
A native of the S E United States introduced by John Fraser in 1795.  It is free flowering in July/
August and colours well in the Autumn.
http://www.plantsmanscorner.co.uk/journal-articles/212-the-plant-hunters-1750-1811.html










It is always good to find the pretty Wahlenbergia hederacea  (Ivy-leaved Bellflower) flourishing in the garden.  It is a trailing perennial
of damp, shady ground.  It is much more common in the South West
and Wales.  The ivy shaped leaves are carried on long stems and its
delicate flowers are to be seen in July/August.



Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Butterflies





Butterflies




Silver Washed Fritillary
At this time of year the meadow and garden are
alive with butterflies.  The meadow attracts
Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns, Common Blues
and Skippers.  In the garden there are Speckled
Woods, Marbled Whites, Large Whites,
 Clouded Yellows, Silver Washed Fritillaries
Red Admirals, Peacocks, Small Tortoiseshells, Commas and possibly Painted Ladies too.

The garden butterflies are particularly fond
of Leptospermum.

For more about Sussex butterflies
http://www.sussex-butterflies.org.uk/index.php

Comma

Red Admiral
 



Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Dragonflies and Damselflies



Emperor  Dragonfly

 Dragonflies and Damselflies

There are many Dragonflies and Damselflies
in the garden at the moment.

The Common Blue Damselfly is easy to spot
as is the Large Red Damselfly around the
margins of the ponds.  The less common
White-legged Damselfly can be seen along with the Banded Demoiselle with its metallic sheen and smoky wings.



Golden-ringed Dragonfly
The beautiful blue Emperor Dragonfly can be seen flying over the ponds along with the
Golden-ringed Dragonfly and the Common
Darter.


British Dragonfly Society
White- legged Damselfly
Emperor Dragonfly

Monday, 20 June 2016

Three June Magnolias





Three beautiful June Magnolias flowering in
Magnolia sieboldii
the garden.

Magnolia sieboldii is a shrub or small tree
with beautiful fragrant white flowers and numerous red stamens.  It is a native of South Korea and Japan and it is likely that it was introduced by Messrs Veitch around l879.
Magnolia liliiflora nigra









Magnolia liliiflora nigra has tulip like flowers which gradually open and are purple on the outside and creamy white on the inside.  It was introduced in 1861 by JG Veitch from Japan.









Magnolia hypoleucha



Magnolia hypoleucha, now obovata, is a large evergreen tree, sometimes 100 feet in height, with large scented creamy white flowers.  It is a native of Japan and was introduced in 1884. There are several large trees in gardens such as Savill Garden, Kew and Trewidden in Cornwall.

Monday, 13 June 2016

Wildflower meadow

 
 
 
 
The ancient, natural, acid wildflower meadow
at High Beeches is probably the best in the
south of England.  The meadow has been a meadow for at least 150 years and probably
for longer.  There are at least 45 wildflowers
and 12 grasses growing in the meadow all attracting a huge variety of insects.

                                                                                       


Dactylorhiza fuchsii
Just some of the wildflowers in the Meadow at
the moment are Leucanthemum vulgare
(Oxeye Daisy), Dactylorhiza fuchsii (Common Spotted-orchid), Listera ovata (Common Twayblade), Lotus cornicula (Common Bird's-foot-trefoil) and most importantly Rhianthus minor (Yellow Rattle).  Yellow Rattle is parasitic on grass which weakens the grasses and allows the wildflowers to flourish.  It is most often found in unimproved meadows.  This year there are
many Listera ovata, hard to spot among the grasses but an elegant member of the orchid family.



Verononica chamaedrys

Listera ovata


Rhianthus minor



















The meadow is easy to manage here at High Beeches.  It is cut in late August and the hay removed and then the Heavy Horses from the Working Horse Trust harrow the meadow to remove the thatch and open the sward to help the wild flower seed to germinate.  Nothing is
added to it and some seed is taken off it to
spread the seed into an adjoining area.


The meadow changes throughout the day as the sun moves round, it gleams in the evening light and is cris-crossed with shadows.  It hums with insect life and is full of butterflies flitting from flower to flower, a thing of beauty.

For more information on wildflower meadows see Plant Life, Magnificent Meadows and Kew.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Rhododendrons Subsection Grandia



There are a number of Grandia Rhododendrons in the garden including Rh. sinogrande,
Rh. montroseanum and Rh. kesangiae.

Rh sinogrande is an old plant which doesn't always flower.  It has magnificent foliage, the leaves can be up to 80 cm long and are a dark glossy green with a silvery indumentum.  It flowers in April and the flowers are large trusses, creamy white in colour with a crimson blotch.  It was discovered by George Forrest in 1931 and comes from the Himalayas.


Rh. sinogrande

Rhododendron kesingae is another large plant rare in cultivation.  It has large glossy dark green leaves although not as large as Rh. sinogrande.  The flowers are large trusses of a deep pink, there is also a white form.  A relatively recent introduction from Bhutan and named after the Queen Mother of Bhutan. 

Rh kesingae
 Rh. montroseanum is another large leaved Rhododendron which is suitable for woodland gardens.  It has  long narrow leaves which are dark and glossy and silvery underneath.  It flowers in April/ May and the flowers are large and pink with a crimson basal blotch.  It was introduced in 1925 by Frank Kingdom Ward.


 
Rh. montroseanum