9 December 2019
Graham Best, Head Gardener
Virtually all of the deciduous trees and shrubs have now lost their leaves after a glorious display this autumn, except for the Liquidambar styraciflua (sweetgum) that grows at the entrance to Clock House on Denmans Lane and reliably holds on to its leaves in various shades of colour to the end of December. John Brookes used to predict that Christmas Day was the day of its last leaf, and invariably he wasn’t far off!
The garden as a whole, though, is still full of colour this month with striking coloured stems of Cornus sericea flaviramea (yellow stem dogwood) and Cornus sibirica forms (red twigged dogwoods), Salix alba var vitellina (golden willow)….
… and white-stemmed Rubus cockburnianus (white stemmed bramble).
Furthermore, the Betula pendula, B. jaquemontii and B. ermanii (birch) trunks seem to light up with the backdrop of evergreen shrubs all around.
Acer griseum (paperbark maple) and Prunus serrula (Tibetan cherry) add to the show with striking mahogany colours in the bark.
There are also many Mahonia (Oregon grape) cultivars in the garden which from now into spring will be adorning the garden with bright yellow scented flowers.
All in all there is plenty to see on a crisp winter’s day this month.