|The gardens are looking very colourful at present and well looked after.
Many visitors have told me they have enjoyed their visit very much. We
have a very rare plant in flower for the first time outside in England.
Mike Nelhams bought it from the R.H.S. for £20 eighteen years ago
and told David Hopkins to find a sunny, well drained place for it to be
planted. He selected a place on the agave bank, close to the atom bomb
by the summer house. It comes from "Poor Knight Island," New Zealand, and
called Xeronema Callistemon. The flowers are red Ė donít miss it.
In early May many visitors were puzzled by a notice to the vegetable
garden, which read "No Entry, Bees are Thronging". They asked me the reason
for this and I replied, "I suppose they are getting ready for the Floral
Dance". I would like to mention, the reason the Shell Hut is taking so
long to finish is because Lucy Dorrien Smith finds it very difficult to
get on with the job due to visitors asking questions, so she decided to
put a barrier across the paths so she could finish the job. I know the
visitors find it very interesting.
To get back to plants, the Top Terrace, with the Proteas and Ericas,
which have been in flower for weeks, also Father Neptune with the many
Cistus and Lampranthus are very colourful. Almost all plants are labelled,
so I will not bother you with all the Latin names. I would like to mention
the new Mediterranean Garden and those of you who visit the garden each
year, will know its only two years ago since it was planted up, its hard
to believe its filled out so soon. On a sunny day, looking from the Long
Walk, with the Cupressus Macrocapa tree in the background makes a lovely
I am very pleased to see the Metrosideros trees are going to flower
well this year. The Rata will be in flower in June, thatís Robusta, look
out for the one next to the "Betrothal Stone". I remember this when it
was a seedling in the top of a granite rock which is now split in two.
The Metrosideros Tomentosa with the aerial roots, flowers in July. They
are recovering after the frost we had a few years ago. Also the Doryanthus
are flowering well, you will see one close to the Abbey with three spikes
and its red. Hope you enjoy your visit.