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


Saturday, 2 April 2016

The Aftermath of Storm Katie

Magnolia Charles Raffill
Storm Katie on Sunday turned out to bring the strongest gusts of wind that the garden has had this winter.

On Easter Monday it became obvious that there was a great deal of tidying up to do.  The ground was also sodden too, the paths had just started to dry out.  We decided to keep the garden closed to the public for another week giving us time to clear up and allow the paths to dry. 

The first job was to clear a beautiful
Eucryphia Nymansay off the drive along with a lot of other debris.  Eucryphia Nymansay is a form of E. x nymansensis a hybrid  of
E. cordifolia x E.glutinosa.  It is a small to medium sized tree and was raised across the valley at Nymans by James Comber in about 1915 Head Gardener to the Messels.

On down into the garden to find one of the oaks had fallen.  A lucky escape for two beautiful magnolias, M. Charles Raffill and
M. wilsonii, as it fell between them.  Clearing a tree of this size is a big task for a small staff of two.  Our chain saws weren't up to it and so Ben, a tree surgeon, was asked to come and give a hand.  The wood will have to stay on site until the ground dries out completely later in the summer.  Bringing in a tractor into the garden when the ground is wet only creates further problems.  The wood pile will be unsightly but gives us an opportunity to highlight one of the many challenges we have here.

Magnolia Charles Raffill is a hybrid between Magnolia campbellii and subsp mollicomata.  It was raised by Charles Raffill at Kew. http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/nymans/features/the-garden-at-nymans

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