Our exuberant spring display consists of two main gardens: the first, a colourful Tulip garden, will be in flower from mid-April through to mid-May and the second, the Hornbeam walk, will begin its transition into full-flower from mid-May as the Tulip garden comes to an end.
Also during this period, in the latter half of the season, there will be a vivid purple and orange display of potted Hyacinths, mixed with some rarer varieties of Tulips, placed to greet you on your entrance to our shop and cafe.
The Tulip Garden
In the spring of 2013 we created a new double-border with a central path 26 metres in length and two 5 metre plant beds either side. This showcase garden will host an abundant display of 5000 tulips covering 25 varieties and 6 forms.
Divided into a series of rooms, each section of our Tulip garden will hold a different combination of varieties and forms – whether it be the purples of ‘queen of the night’ in combination with the reds and oranges of ‘flaming parrot’ or the lily-like flower of ‘synaeda king’ contrasting with the double-layered petals of ‘freeman’. Each unique room arrangement provides a different take on how you can work with the abundance of tulips on offer.
For added depth to the assembly of Tulips, the garden is under-planted with a combination of 4 varieties of Myosotis and Wall Flowers respectively. This tonal combination of blues and reds is designed to create a varied and dynamic background.
The Hornbeam Walk
Conceived in 2011 and officially opened by David Cameron in June 2012, our Hornbeam Walk was originally designed as a walkway flanked by 60 Hornbeam trees. This project will mature over the next 8 years as the trees to develop, creating an enclosed walkway leading to the Summer House. Whilst the Hornbeams are maturing the walkway takes the form of a 72 metre double flower border.
Designed as a year-round garden over the next 6 months the Hornbeam Walk will come alive in a variety of guises, with different plants coming into flower throughout the year.
The early colour of the Hornbeam Walk begins in the middle of April with splashes of yellow and green. Sedums begin to emerge from the ground with their succulent leaves, whilst a wide range of Narcissi provide a host of yellow tones.
By the time June comes around all of our garden’s spring plants are erupting into colour. Salvia ‘ostfriesland’s’ spire-like throng of purple flowers mix with the pastel yellow bells of Digitalis ‘carrillion,’ to form a uplifting combination of forms. The deep red/purple centred leaves of Euphorbia ‘cornegia’ are delightfully set amongst the new, lighter, spring greens of the emerging Asters and the spiraling Phlomis ‘russeliana’. Flanking rows of plants flow either side of the path to create a vista of purple and yellow extending ahead. This colourful structure is bound together with 4 diagonal banks of giant Alliums; ‘giaganticam’ and ‘mars’ with their huge purple balls of color.
As June progresses the plants continue to grow. Those closest to the path spill over the border in a cascade of colour. Geraniums ‘wlassoviunum’ and ‘anne thomson’s’ delicate purple forms float softly alongside you, as you make your way towards the summer house at the foot of the Hornbeam Walk.
Following the expansion of our shop in 2008 we came to realise that the layout of the buildings had presented us with an opportunity to plant a garden quite unique to this area.
Surrounded by three walls, sheltered from the rain and the midday sun, this 8 metre squared site provided perfect growing conditions for seldom-seen Himalayan plants such as the piercing Meconopsis ‘betonicifolia’ and its electric blue cousin Meconopsis ‘lingholm’.
Flowering from the middle of May though to the middle of June, there is only a brief window to find this garden at its remarkable peak; Primula (‘bullesiana’, ‘florindae’, ‘chungensis’ and ‘wilsonii’) can be seen alongside varieties of Aquilegia, such as ‘longhissima’ and ‘skinneria’. For those lucky enough to arrive on the right day you may also catch sight of the exquisite deep maroon/black, gold-edged Iris ‘chrysographes’, a south-western Chinese flower that flowers for no more than 3 weeks, around early June.
During early to mid-spring at Aston Pottery, you can also look out for our potted display of Tulips around our Country Café. Planted in the colour scheme of purple, yellow and orange, this display aims to reflect the palette of the Hornbeam Walk that comes into flower from May onwards.
Our potted display continues throughout spring and into summer. As the Tulips begin to wane they are replaced with potted Lilies and Agapanthus. ‘Headbourne Hybrids’ alongside a range of Asiatic Lilies mix delicate blue flowers with vigorous blooms of red, orange and yellow.