Hydrangea Blooms and Summer Nectar

Nothing signals the fullness of summer like the blossoming of hydrangeas. The rich collection of these attractive shrubs at Beech Court are flowering now. Defiant of the chalky lower layers of the ground, the top soil at Beech Court is a rich clay-loam with acidic pH. This gives all the blooms that can be variable a clear blue colour. As well as many forms of Hydrangea macrophylla (from the delicate wing-like flowers of lace-caps to blousey mop heads), the garden shows a variety of species such as H. aspera, H. quercifolia, H. paniculata and so on.

  Blue lacecap detail

Delicate flowers of a blue lace-cap Hydrangea




Blue lacecap Hydrangea



Avenue of blue hydrangeas

An avenue of blue. Lady's mantle (Alchemilla mollis) and St John's Wort (Hypericum) add yellow highlights at the far end.




Young Hydrangea 'Zorro' flowers emerging, an attractive lace-cap with dark stems.




Hydrangea 'Sandra', a pretty white with delicate pink-tinge to the petal edge




Blue mophead detail

A blousey mop-head - clear, soft-blue



Blue hydrangea with oak

The mature trees at Beech Court, such as this grand old oak, provide shelter and dappled shade for the Hydrangeas to flourish.




Elsewhere in the garden the bumble bees and butterflies feast on the nectar of Inula magnifica



Peacock and a bumble on Inula







Bumbles on inula





The striking candelabra flowers of Verbascum olympicum punctuate the herbaceous border.


Border colour high summer

Verbascum olympicum, with Helenium 'Sahin's Early Flowerer', Monarda 'Cambridge Scarlet', Sedum spectabile, Miscanthus 'Zebrina' and Thalictrum flavum (clockwise from top-right)




Roses are in full bloom through Beech Court gardens. They are concentrated in the avenue of impressive rambling specimens, planted by past gardener, Rupert, in the 1970's to scramble over a row of Rhododendron ponticum. The old, dried frames of the rhododendrons are now buried under hillocks of vigorous thorny growth suffused in tumbling blossom at this moment. Rambling roses are reliable, strong and disease resistant, but as they don't repeat flower their dazzling show of blooms is packed in to just one moment of the year; now is the time to see them at their peak.

Rambling roses

Rambling roses in full bloom


Wander a little further to see the large Rosa 'Kiftsgate' in the paddock. This energetic climber is ascending two trees, and completely covered in cascading white flowers.

Kiftsgate rose

 Large Kiftsgate rose in the paddock

Close-up Kiftsgate rose

A closer view of the Kiftsgate blossom