A magnificent woodland and water gardens full of rare, exotic and unusual plants. The plant collection includes specimens from many parts of the world, the National Collection of Stewartia Trees and the best natural wildflower meadow in Sussex.


Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Stewartia sinensis


The Stewartias at High Beeches are in flower.

A small genus of ornamental trees and shrubs related to the camellia.

Stewartia sinensis has attractive peeling bark and good autumn colour.  A native of central China and introduced to the UK by Ernest Wilson in1901.  A highly desirable ornamental tree but rare in cultivation.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Quercus oxyodon

A rare oak, Quercus oxyodon, is flowering at High Beeches.

Although evergreen Quercus oxyodon sheds its leaves in the spring and then flowers before producing new foliage in the summer.  It is a low growing tree of up to 10 metres in height with wide spreading branches.

 A native of China and probably introduced by Ernest Wilson in 1900.

The tree at High Beeches is an old one.  There is another at Caerhays planted in l919 but there is a debate as to whether or not they are the same plant.
A small number of other gardens have young plants, including Nymans and Chevithorne Barton.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Liriodendron tulipifera

A large tree of up to 30 metres in height.  The tulip tree has very distinct foliage, which turns golden-yellow in autumn.  It flowers in June and the flowers are not unlike tulips hence its name.  It is an early introduction to this country from North America, the first record of at Tulip Tree is from 1688 and it may well have been introduced earlier.
The magnificent Tulip Tree at High Beeches grows on the bank between the road and the car park and was probably planted in the early 1900s.


Friday, 6 June 2014

In praise of buttercups and Ox-eye Daisies

The Ox-eye Daisy, Moon Daisy or Dog Daisy Leucanthemum vulgare , a member of the Asteraceae family, is the largest native daisy and a familiar sight brightening many a road side verge.

The daisies and buttercups turn the meadow at High Beeches into a haze of white and gold in June, particularly beautiful in the evening light.  They attract, along, with the other wildflowers, a huge number of insects and butterflies to the meadow.

 Mysteriously the number of daisies in the meadow fluctuates every year.  They are perennials and seed copiously and as the meadow is managed in the same way each year, the reason for fluctuation in numbers must be down to changes in the weather.

,Both the Meadow Buttercup, Ranunculus acris, and Creeping Buttercup, Ranunculus repens are to be found in the meadow.  Lesser Spearwort, Ranunculus flammula grows in wet places in the garden.  Recently Arthur Hoare of the Sussex Botanical Recording Society has also identified the Bulbous Buttercup, Ranunculus bulbosus, also growing in the garden.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Luscious Loderi

The beautiful Rhododendron Loderi are at their best at High Beeches Garden now.  Covered in large highly scented blossom they dwarf the azaleas.

Rhododendron Loderi is a hybrid (Rh fortunei x Rh. griffithianum).  It was raised by Sir Edmund Loder of Leonardslee, uncle of Sir Giles Loder of High Beeches.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Towering rhododendrons, beautiful davidias and a riot of colour

Bluebells, Rhododendrons and Azaleas
Amongst the riot of colour provided by the many azaleas are  gems such as the Davidia, or handkerchief tree, also the red Crinodendron hookerianum is coming into flower.   The towering Rhododendron Loderi are smothered in flower adding to the perfume in the garden.

Rhodo Loderi

Davidia involucrata vilmoriniana

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

So much to see

There is so much to see in the garden.  The bluebells are carpeting the glades, the Rhododendrons are flowering and the azaleas will soon be with us.

These are just two Rhododendrons which stand out at present.  Rhododendron augustinii is a beautiful chinese species discovered in china by Augustine Henry in 1899.  High Beeches has a particularly good blue form.

Rhododendron augustinii

To contrast a Rhododendron cinnabarinum
hybrid.  Rhododendron cinnabarinum was introduced from the Himalayas by Sir Joseph Hooker in 1849, sadly it is prone to powdery mildew but this unnamed hybrid is slightly more resistant than the species.

Rhododendron cinnabarinium hybrid
The Loderi Rhododendrons are already coming into flower as are the Davidia and the Crinodendrons.  The ground is covered in many wild flowers amongst the bluebells and the young foliage on the trees gives a vibrant background to it all.