This area has its own microclimate which can be quite noticeable in the early season. In the early 1960’s this area of the garden was cleared of a jungle of Laurels, Rhododendron ponticum, bamboos and dead trees, with beds being laid out in a relaxed style.
In spring the grass is aglow with Narcissus poeticus and drifts of other naturalised bulbs. The bamboos on the long border not only provide an excellent backdrop but add an extra dimension with the way that sunlight and breeze interplay with their fine foliage.
An interesting selection of shrubs can be found here including a fine Clerodendron trichotomum, Deutzia, Kolkwitzia, Camellia, and the Roses ‘Mutabilis’ with its abundance of multi-toned flowers and red stems, and the large white flowers of R. ‘Sally Holmes’. All the borders here have something of interest at all times of the year from early spring bulbs to the autumn tints.
A plant of particular note is our fine pocket handkerchief tree (Davidia involucrata) planted in 1954. In June white bracts appear like a myriad of small hankies hanging out to dry, pinned to the tree by the small black clusters of flowers.
There are also some excellent Magnolias in this area too. M. ‘Elizabeth’ is a superb lemon yellow in flower and works in good contrast to M. ‘Spectrum’ and its deep purple. Planted in Spring 2015 was a young specimen of M. ‘Leda’ which has white flowers of the most exquisite form. This particular plant was given as a gift to Lady Lavinia alongside her Garden Owners Award, for which she was the first ever recipient, from the Professional Gardeners Guild.