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Explore Western Australia

Our horticulturist Catherine talks through some of the botanical wonders in the garden.

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What to look for in August

Rainforest Biome

In the heat and humidity of high summer in the Rainforest, luxuriant vegetation and tropical crops grow and develop at an astonishing rate. Bananas, like ‘Formosana’ from Taiwan, are flowering and fruiting, and the warty gourd, Momordica charantia, used in salads or for juicing, is a novelty crop not to be missed.

Verdant foliage is decorated at this time of year with the beautiful and evocative Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, and if you venture up to the Aerial Walkway, you may catch a glimpse of orchids among the trees. 

Mediterranean Biome

As usual, at this time of year, the Med Biome provides a feast for all the senses. The place is awash with vibrant colour; the air filled with the scent of aromatic oils and there are mouth-watering displays of fruits - juicy tomatoes, red hot chilli peppers, glossy aubergines and huge bunches of grapes by the lookout.

If you are quick off the mark, you may still catch the beautiful subtropical jacaranda tree, Jacaranda mimosifolia, still in bloom, and the exuberant Bougainvillea always looks amazing.

There is still much to enjoy in the Roman Garden, the Courtyard Garden and the cut flower display, while the everlasting flowers in Australia still weave a rich tapestry of colours and textures.

Outdoor gardens

Even on the busiest of days, you can always find an oasis of calm for quiet contemplation. It may be among the native plants of Wild Cornwall or in the sylvan setting of Myth and Folklore, or perhaps the Sense of Memory Garden, taking its inspiration from Cornwall’s subtropical garden heritage, with exotic plants from around the world.

Under balmy summer skies, carnivorous sarracenias are in full pitcher by the bog garden, a favourite haunt of dragonflies, while across the way, amidst the exuberant planting around the pond, you will find Kirengeshoma palmata, with its beautiful waxy, yellow, bell-like flowers.

If you missed the sparkling display of red hot pokers last month, they are still sending up their fiery inflorescences opposite the Core. In Global Gardens you will see two new varieties of sweet potato this year - ‘Beauregard Improved’ and ‘Carolina Ruby’, and tomatoes, ‘Black Russian’, ‘Gardeners Delight’ and ‘Tigerella’ are looking beautiful in the Veg Garden, along with courgettes ‘One Ball’ and ‘Siesta’.   

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