The Arboretum

The main planting of the arboretum was during the Victorian heyday of the house. There are fine specimens of Sequoia sempervirens, Taxus baccata and Araucana araucana representing the conifers and Liriodendron tulipifera, a delightful purple dissected-leafed Acer and numerous Quercus among the deciduous trees. The understorey of the arboretum was planted with Rhododendron, Magnolia and Pieris varieties, as well as Prunus laurocerasus and lusitanica. The cherry laurel invaded the whole of the arboretum forcing the choicer plantings upwards to find light. Work began in summer 2001 to renovate the arboretum. Laurel and “weed” ash, sycamore and birch were sensitively removed, revealing the bones of the planting and surprises, such as a Berberis at around 10m tall. Access paths cross the whole area, although they are ignored by the badgers that just walk as they please going to and from their sett. Further planting of the cleared areas began in 2002, with the species Rhododendron monstroseanum, falconeri and gratum adding greater variety of form. Many deciduous Rhododendron give blazes of colour in both spring with flower and autumn with foliage and the season is prolonged with interplantings of Hydrangea, Geranium, Primula, and spring bulbs. Further trees have been planted including Gingko biloba, Liquidamber styraciflua, Cercidophyllum japonicum and Parrotia persica, and a future understorey of Arbutus, Garrya, Cornus and Euomymous will add to the interest.