Plants of current interest - October

Oct 4 2022

October’s collection of unmissable plants.

With autumn in full bloom, visiting a garden is a wonderful way to enjoy the crisp air. At Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, there are a variety of vibrant colours this time of year to enjoy even in the cooler weather, including over 600 Champion Trees. Read on to find out about the spectacular selection of plants you can see this October.

Euonymus hamiltonianus ‘Pink Delight’

(yoo-ON-ih-mus hah-mil-TOW-nee-ah-nus)

euonymus plant

A feature of autumn in the Gardens is the amazing amount of autumn fruiting trees and shrubs. Some are edible, but the majority are purely decorative. The attractive pink fruits of this variety of ‘Spindleberry’ are an outstanding feature and as they are not edible, are left alone to enjoy over several months. The foliage also turns wonderful shades of red, before leaf fall. Spindleberries give some of the best autumn colour and being that they are thrive in chalky soils, they are perfect for alkaline gardens.

Hesperantha coccinea

(hes-per-ANTH-uh kok-SIN-ee-uh)

Hesperantha coccinea

Hesperantha, once known as schzostylis (shi-zo-STY-lis). Is a bulbous perennial native to South Africa. It is in the Iris family and closely related to the Gladiolus. A very hardy bulb that comes in shades of red, pink and white.

Hippophae rhamnoides

(hip-POH-fay ram-NOY-deez)

Hippophae rhamnoides

This silver-leaved tree or large shrub is known commonly by the name ‘Sea Buckthorn’. Believed to have been introduced to the UK by the Romans, it is now common along our shorelines. The bright orange fruits develop on female trees in late summer/ autumn, and these are edible. The juice is traditionally use for the treatment of skin disorders, and to reduce blood pressure among other things. It is high in Omega 7 and Vitamin A. The fruits can remain on the tree for several months, even after the leaves have fallen.

x Amarine tubergenii (Belladiva Series)

(a-MAR-in-nee too-ber-GEN-ee-eye)

Amarine tubergenii

The Amarine is an intergeneric hybrid between Amaryllis and Nerine. It is a super, bulbous perennial with the best qualities of both parents. The hardiness and flower power of the Nerine and the large showy flowers of the Amaryllis. There are now several named cultivars, but ‘Belladiva’, was the first. Like the Nerine, be careful not to plant the bulbs too deep. This could prevent them flowering.

Cyclamen hederifolium

(SIGH-kla-men hed-er-ih-FOH-lee-um)

Cyclamen hederifolium

Two species of hardy cyclamen are readily grown in the UK. C. hederifolium and the winter flowering C. coum. Although very different in their flower shape, the cyclamen is a relative of the Primula. The strange, almost up-side-down flowers have a sweet scent, the challenge is to smell it without picking the flower. Cyclamen are bulbous plants. When dormant they die back to a large flat corm. They readily spread from self-sown seed and can naturalize in an area in just a few short years. The large, flowered varieties grown as indoor plants, are not hardy.

For information on where to find more plants of current interest in the Gardens, take a look at the guide and map.

If you’re feeling inspired by our beautiful blooms and berries, why not see what Sir Harold Hillier Gardens has to offer all year round. Membership gives you unlimited access, and free or discounted entry to 5 partner gardens (including Kew). Find out more and buy yours today.