Season by Season

What to see each month in the Garden...

January sees the reopening of the Garden. The early snowdrops are beginning to burst into flower. However a snowfall can quickly cover them in a protective blanket and along with some dramatic winter sunlight can produce some interesting photo opportunities.

A selection of plants looking good this month:

•   Helleborus orientalis
•   Cyclamen spp
•   Cornus alba
•   Aconite spp

In February, the snowdrops really get going and the full display comes into its best. Other flowers that can be seen are the wonderfully long lasting Cyclamen Coum and an array of Hellebores from deep purples to white.

A selection of plants looking good this month:

•   Galanthus nivalis (Common Snowdrop)
•   Galanthus atkinsii
•   Galanthus atkinsii 'James Backhouse'
•   Anemone nemorosa (Wood Anemone)

The days are drawing out quickly and the added light is bringing the garden into life. The hellebores and cyclamen continue and are joined by the daffodils. With the trees still bare, the design skeleton of the garden is still clear to see giving a dramatic entrance through the entrance arch.

A selection of plants looking good this month:

•   Crocus speciosus
•   Narcissus obvallaris (Tenby Daffodil)
•   Hyacinth spp

It is hard to know where to start in April as the Garden bursts into an array of colour with the abundance of spring flowers from tulips to fritillaries, from lilac to fruit blossom. As the leaves break out the Garden begins to close the views and vistas that have been so open for the winter months and the attention is drawn to the specific features for which the view was created.

A selection of plants looking good this month:

•   Aquilega vulgaris
•   Tulipa 'Queen of the Night'
•   Lathyrus virnus
•   Viburnum opulus
•   Daphne mezerum
•   Primula veris
•   Primula vulgaris
•   Geranium phaeum
•   Auricula spp

May is probably the most colourful month in our calendar. The tulips are still flowering and the spring shrubs are at their best. Throughout the month Aquilegia abound both in the meadow and beds. The common name for these is Columbine from the Latin for dove, as their young flowers look like a group of doves. Towards the end of the month, the Iris are usually out. For those who like garden scent, the honeysuckle are filling the Exedra Garden with their fragrance. For those who like garlic, the wild garlic in the woodland are providing us with one of our most bountiful wild crop of the year. The leaves make their way to the Cafe for use in salads and to make pesto.

A selection of plants looking good this month:

•   Thalictrum aquilegifolium
•   Iris germanica
•   Wisteria sinensis
•   Laburnum anagyroides
•   Digitalis purpurea
•   Allium spp
•   Hyacinthoides non-scripta (Bluebells)

June is the month when our heritage roses begin to bloom in the Exedra Garden. The Kitchen Garden begins to produce early salad crops for the Cafe with a promise of much more to come. Our wildflower meadow fills with orchids, in 2013 we were very excited to see our first Bee Orchid and we hope this will self seed in future years.

A selection of plants looking good this month:

•   Rosa 'William Lobb'
•   Rosa alba maxima
•   Lathyrus odoratus 'Painted lady'
•   Lathyrus odoratus 'Wild Italian'
•   Astrantia major
•   Lavandula angustifolia 'Hidcote'
•   Veronica spicata

In what can be the hottest month of the year, the garden provides many shaded walks for visitors. The heritage rose season continues into July. Traditional hollyhocks provide height to the borders and even grow wild by the Viewpoint. In Painswick village we even have a Hollyhock Lane, bordered by these historic plants. For those in search of the fragrance of the gardens, then look out for Sweet Peas (Lathrys) and summer flowering jasmine. The Kitchen Garden is now in full swing and the flow of produce continues unabated.

Some of the plants looking good this month:

•   Geranium sanguinium
•   Lathyrus latifolius
•   Echinops ritro
•   Acanthus mollis
•   Hemerocallis 'Rococo'
•   Nasturtium spp

Enjoy a lazy summer day in the Garden, painting or reading in the dappled shade. The summer growth heightens the surprise vistas in the Garden as you catch glimpses of the follies through the trees and shrubs, never quite sure what may appear around the corner. However even though in the height of summer, a hint that cooler days are approaching as the Autumn Cyclamen suddenly appear - an effect heightened due to the bloom appearing from the ground well before its leaves, in direct contrast to the Spring variety.

A selection of plants looking good this month:

•   Hydrangea macrophylla
•   Cynara cardunculus
•   Verbena bonariensis
•   Mentha crispa

We have an extensive range of heritage fruit in the Garden and September is the month to see it as the crop swells and ripens. Any apples and pears we are unable to use ourselves are supplied to local juice and jam makers. A separate pdf is available for those interested in the varieties we have. During September look out for the dramatic Hydrangea Aspera in the Walled Garden.

Autumn is now well upon us as the evenings draw in but there still can be some spectacular days of sun. The leaves are turning to those warm shades of gold and red. As the leaves fall then the Garden wildlife become more visible. The harvest continues with the pumpkins, and thoughts turn to Halloween at the end of the month.

A selection of plants looking good this month:

•   Acer palmatum
•   Sedum 'Autumn Joy'
•   Fagus sylvatica
•   Quercus robur
•   Cornus alba
•   Cyclamen hederfolium