We continued our tour of the RHS Rosemoor Garden as we passed under the underpass which led us to the original gardens now called Lady Anne’s Garden. As we left the tunnel and regained daylight, albeit rather dull, we heard the sound of water falling. A narrow ribbon of white water was falling down a huge rock face created from large stones. A white stemmed birch close to it matched it perfectly. Bamboos enjoyed the damp atmosphere here and appeared very much at home.
The damp atmosphere also meant that any trees growing here were home to algae and mosses giving their trunks and stems unusual textures and colours.
As we followed gravel paths towards Lady Anne’s house we were interested to see many areas of new planting, with young plants growing in much improved soil.
Within these new areas of planting we were attracted to a small shrub with tiny delicate flowers. We didn’t recognise it but we were lucky as it had a label to help us. It was a Correa “Ivory Bells”. We grow a Correa at our garden in Shropshire but we never get them to flower. After seeing these little beauties we certainly wished we could!
The path we were following took us slowly uphill where we followed a path half way up the slope on the edge of a the garden within the woodland. The damp atmosphere here with its dappled shade gave a home to some special plants. This rich blue flowered Primula was so delicate that its stems looked too fragile to hold up the flowers. We didn’t recognise it but once again there was a label to come to our rescue – it informed us that its name was Primula “John Fielding”.
The habitat here encouraged mosses and ferns to grow profusely. Some plants even manage to get a foothold on a flight of stone steps.
Perewinkles or Vincas are very common plants and often too invasive for smaller gardens, but this one attracted us and encouraged us to take a closer look at its delicate white flowers.
Small flowering bulbs brughtened up the dull semi-shade along the woodland edge.
We found another plant that presented another mystery. We recognised the beautiful mahogany coloured buds of this Salix so looked close up and studied its label when we discovered it to be Salix fargessii. A few steps further another young shrub looked very similar but close up we noticed subtle differences. This we discovered, once again by reading the label, was Salix moupinensis, a willow we had never heard of. We must now do some research to see which is most worthwhile to add to our garden. A good gardener never stops learning!
I shall finish with a lovely winter shrub, Sarcoccoca which displays its black berries and its white flowers at the same time and in addition it has a rich deep scent.
So RHS Rosemoor Garden in winter proved itself to be as good as at any other season, the sign of a very good garden. We discovered new plants and enjoyed the scents and sights of so many good plantings. The Winter Garden and the Foliage Garden were the stars of the show just as we expected. As I often say after visiting a garden, we will be back!