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


Tuesday, 14 February 2017

A Sprinkling of Snow

In spite of some freezing weather and
a dusting of snow there are more plants
in flower every day.

A walk round the garden today found
Camellia Alba Simplex
several camellias in flower including
Camellia japonica Alba Simplex.  A beautiful white with conspicuous golden yellow stamens.  One of the most beautiful camellias, the white flowers glow against the dark glossy leaves.  It is rare to find a perfect bloom as they  bruise easily.
Rh. Cornubia

Rhododendron Cornubia braving the snow.
A hybrid of R.arboreum 'Blood Red' and x Rhododendron Shilsonii it is a Penjerrick hybrid and said not to be the most hardy of plants but it is flourishing here at High Beeches.

Primula vulgaris
It is always good to find the first primrose in the garden.  There are more and more every year.

The garden is full of birdsong at the moment
and I spotted a flock of Long-tailed Tits in one
of the oaks
Long Tailed Tit

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

An early dull February day

There are several plants brightening
up a very dull damp February day.

After a few days of cold and frost, ice on the ponds and the Rhododendrons curling their leaves in protest, the weather has turned
warmer and misty.  Today it never really got light, the birches in the meadow looked eerie, but the first flowers in the garden were doing their best to brighten things up.

Rhododendron Bo Peep
Rhododendron Bo Peep, a hybrid                  (R. lutescens x R. moupinense) is always one of the earliest rhododendrons to flower.  It has pretty yellow flowers and  a loose habit.
Hamamelis x intermedia Pallida, one of the many witch hazels, with its large pale yellow flowers and strong scent is a superb winter flowering plant.  Hamamelidaceae is the family of nut bushes many of which flourish here at High Beeches in Sussex.  Most of them are good for autumn colour particularly Disanthus cercidifolius and Parrotia persica.
Another rhododendron usually to be found in
flower at this time of year is Nobleanum Roseum. It can flower before Christmas and
seems to cope with the frost.  The Nobleanum Group (R. arboretum x caucasicum) is one of the earliest hybrids raised by Anthony Waterer in 1832 at Knap Hill.  Rhododendron Nobleanum Venustum is also to be found flowering here at High Beeches brightening up the Tupelo Glade in the winter.

It was good to find some clumps of snowdrops coming into flower.  There are not many in the garden and perhaps there should be more.