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


Monday, 13 July 2015

Wildflowers in the Garden

The wildflower meadow is still looking wonderful, full of seed heads and grasses and humming with insect life.

The garden is full of wildflowers too.

The Ivy leaved Bell Flower, Wahlenbergia
hederacea is a delicate, trailing perennial of damp ground.  It has pale blue flowers in June and the leaves are rounded with lobes like tiny ivy leaves.  It is not that common in the south east of  England.

Small Cow-wheat, Melampyrum sylvaticum.
A straggly annual,semi parasitic on the roots
of other plants and an indicator of ancient
It has a relationship with the Wood Ant.  The
flowers produce a sugary liquid from tiny glands
below the petals that the Ants are attracted to
and feed on.  The seeds of the plant are very
similar in appearance to the cocoons of the ant and are transported back to the nest where they can grow.
It is a food plant of the caterpillar of the rare
Heath Fritillary Butterfly.

Musk -mallow, Malvia moschata.
A hairy perennial  with pretty pale pink
flowers in July and August found in dry
grassy places.

Monday, 6 July 2015

Whites in the Garden

July is the month for all things white contrasting with the many, shapes, textures and shades of green provided by the huge variety of trees and shrubs in the garden.

The Styraxs, Stuartias, Cornus and Philadelphus are in flower and the Eucryphias will soon follow. The garden is also carpeted with wildflowers attracting clouds of butterflies.  There are many dragonflies to be seen on the ponds.

Styrax japonica
Styrax Japonica, a graceful tree, dripping
with pure white flowers.  A native of
Japan, China and Korea, it was probably first
introduced to Britain from China by
Wilson although seed was also collected
by Pere Farges in 1898.

Cornus kousa
Cornus kousa, another native of China and
Japan and also a Wilson introduction in
1907.  A beautiful tree with showy white
bracts.  The large tree here at High Beeches
was badly damaged in the storm of l987
but is now almost fully recovered.

Stuartia rostrata

High Beeches has the National Collection
of Stuartias although it is a struggle to
grow the American plants here.  Both
rostrata and pseudocamellia are in flower
and the monodelphas and sinensis will soon follow.  All are beautiful trees, flowering well with camellia like flowers and good autumn colour.