Flowering shrubs worth seeking out
Magnolia grandiflora - Occupies a secluded glade to the south of Thomson's Pond. It has large white flowers with a delicious fragrance set amongst glossy evergreen leaves. Petals fall to reveal striking seed heads.
Clethra alnifolia – The Sweet Pepper Bush, also fragrant, is opposite the tall pine below the gate to Broomfield Hill and also below Thomson's Pond.
Hydrangea quercifolia – on the Birthday Mound and elsewhere, has panicles of white flowers, and foliage resembling coarse oak leaves, which takes on rich Autumn colours later in the year.
Hydrangea paniculata 'Tardiva' - also bears panicles of white flowers, and is set in woodland near the gate towards Pen Ponds, and elsewhere in the Garden.
Hydrangea aspera subsp. Sargentiana - Grows in Wilson's Glade in the north east corner, this upright gaunt shrub bears broad heads of flowers from late summer to mid-autumn, the inner ones are blue or deep purple, the outer ones are large and white.
Sorbaria kirilowii - Also found in Wilson's Glade produces white flowers in large conical panicles throughout July and August.
Heptacodium miconioides - Is a vigorous shrub that bears lightly scented clusters of white flowers throughout late summer and early autumn. It can be found growing below Thomson's Pond and also on the Birthday Mound.
Calycanthus occidentalis – Grows at the top end of the Old Nursery. This Californian species bears large red-brown flowers throughout the summer.
Summer flowering shrubs in the Heather Garden include varieties of Erica vagans, the Cornish Heath, such as 'Mrs. Maxwell' - dark pink; 'Rosea' - light pink; and 'Cornish Cream' - cream. Several varieties of Calluna vulgaris have coloured foliage, such as 'Gold Haze' - white flower and gold leaf; and 'Robert Chapman' - purple flower with bronze foliage. Daboecia cantabrica has white or purple waxy bells.
Along the streams many native marginal plants are in flower, such as Purple and Yellow Loosestrife, Meadowsweet, Greater Willowherb and Hemp Agrimony. These wild flowers, along with the heathers, attract many butterflies. Elsewhere, streamside clumps of Hemerocallis, the Day Lily, produce a succession of tall yellow or orange trumpet-shaped flowers throughout July and August; each flower lasting only a day.
Thomson's Pond and the Bog Garden
Thomson's Pond and the Bog Garden, have fine stands of Pontederia cordata, the Pickerel Weed, with spikes of blue flowers amongst erect spear-shaped leaves. In the Bog Garden look out for the creamy–yellow flowers of Kirengeshoma palmate which show until the autumn.