A home for plants and wildlife….

Close up of pink Cistus flower
Cistus

The garden provides year-round interest and colour with many unusual species to be discovered.  At the front of the house, among the trees of particular interest are the Ginkgo biloba, whose leaves are widely used as a herbal remedy, as well as the splendid Tulip tree Liriodendron tulipifera and the leathery leaved Loquat Eriobotrya japonica. The Catalpa or Indian Bean Tree has been a feature but is now at the end of its days. There are other trees and shrubs in the beds bordering the car park, together with many colourful perennial herbaceous flowering plants.

Behind the house is an expanse of lawn edged with flowerbeds, colourful shrubs and bordered on three sides with tall trees.  The site was originally part of the native heathland with Scots Pine trees and native heathers.  The acidity in the soil provides ideal growing conditions for lime-hating species. Among those in the garden are Pieris, Rhododendrons, Azaleas and many others, both native and exotic.  Camellias flower in profusion from December to May.  A Tree Trail giving information on some of the trees in the garden is available from Reception on request.

Close up of flower from a Medlar tree
Medlar

The island bed immediately behind the house has a small ornamental pond at its centre. Despite its size, it has provided a habitat for a variety of invertebrates including freshwater shrimps, water boatmen, cyclops, water fleas, clams and snails. A larger, newer, wildlife pond at the rear of the garden provides a habitat that encourages a wider range of animals, for example, newts, frogs and various insect larvae, including dragonflies.

 

In 2023 the Society again entered the Bournemouth in Bloom Competition.  Particular successes were a Best in Class judgement won in the “Tree Contributing to Bio-diversity” category by the venerable Sweet Chestnut while the Gingko biloba also won a Best in Class in the “Champion Tree” category.

The Olive tree, purchased in 2022 to mark the Platinum Jubilee of HM Queen Elizabeth II has come through its first winter and very wet spring.  This is a very long-lived species and it is hoped it will do well.  We are continuing to add new specimens to replace recent losses, favouring plants that are native and those that can cope with the more extreme weather conditions we are experiencing.

The garden serves the interests of many BNSS Sections particularly bird watching, the study of insects and plants, and photography. It has recently been used as backdrop for documentary filming. The garden will no doubt continue to evolve and develop as long as new members take up the challenge of maintaining it.