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A Lakeland Alpine Diary - Holehird Gardens

This entry: August 2013 by Alan Oatway

Above the Rock Garden at Holehird lies an extensive hillside garden with many fine trees and shrubs that provide shade. In this area lies the "Magnolia Bed", where the central feature is a fine, mature M. x soulangeana Alba. Much work has been going on in this bed this year, and further developments are planned during the quieter winter months. Two plants caught the eye in August.  Anemone "Wild Swan" is a relatively new cultivar, but it provides a welcome highlight in a shady spot, with the added bonus that the reverse of the buds is such a lovely contrasting shade of blue.

Nearby, in quite a warm and dry spot (OK - don't forget this is Lakeland!), Primula erratica has been showing its stoloniferous behaviour and causing comment from many visitors. Some of the plantlets will be potted up and cossetted over the winter - and others will have the protection of a pane of plastic to keep of the worst of the weather. The image shows the whole: a short section of stolon is visible at 3 o'clock.

Those stolons make for easy propogation, and the same applies to another of the Lilies that brighten the Lower Terrace beds towards the end of summer. The stunning orange of L.lancifolium splendens provides impact behind a large planting of moisture-loving primula that have finished their flowering: the stem bulbils that permit easy multiplication of stocks are visible to the left of the flower.

Nearby, summer colour has been prolonged by a second flowering of what I would prefer to call a Meconopsis, but I believe must be called Cathcartia villosa. It clearly has a more restrained charm than some of its blousy cousins.

Gentians are a favourite genus, and the autumn flowerers are starting to show their merits. Gentiana asclepiadea, the "Willow Gentian", enjoys a moist corner of the Rock Garden where it also benefits from the shade provided by a nearby tree. Maybe there will be many more to show next month!

I will finish this month with some images around the gardens. Eucryphia do really well here, and within the Walled Garden, E. glutinosa has been spectacular for many weeks.

Alongside the Cascade, Geranium "Rozanne"  is at its best.

And as summer extends its welcome warmth into September, Butterfly Bushes everywhere are still doing what they should be doing: a Peacock is captured enjoying Buddleja davidii "Pink Delight".

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