The Liquidambar styraciflua by the gate on Denmans Lane.

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!





Cornus sibirica contrasts dramatically with the white trunks of birches.

A pair of Salix alba var vitellina light up the south side of the garden.


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)….







December in the Garden

Both John and Joyce loved the white tangled stems of Rubus cockburnianus




… and white-stemmed Rubus cockburnianus (white stemmed bramble).


Betula pendula, B. jaquemontii and B. ermanii grow all through the garden.






Furthermore, the Betula pendula, B. jaquemontii and B. ermanii (birch) trunks seem to light up with the backdrop of evergreen shrubs all around.



The exfoliating cinnamon coloured bark of Acer griseum provides year-round interest.



Acer griseum (paperbark maple) and Prunus serrula (Tibetan cherry) add to the show with striking mahogany colours in the bark.


Various cultivars of Mahonia are in bloom.





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.


Graham Best, Head Gardener