Plant and garden highlights
With three climatic zones and over a million plants, Eden never fails to provide anything less than a jaw-dropping horticultural extravaganza.
Almost 2,000 different types of seasonal plants grow in our outdoor gardens, which span 13 hectares (that's 30 football pitches). There's always something interesting to see all year round!
Here are some recommendations from our horticulturist, Shirley Walker:
If you only visit Eden in spring and summer then you are really missing out! December is a wonderful time to experience the subtle beauty of a winter garden, and now the wind has whisked away the last tenacious leaves from the trees, new vistas have opened up, and new life is beginning to stir beneath the earth.
Look out for the very first narcissi, raising their perfumed heads and our spirits on cold winter mornings. If it’s colour you crave then wander down the Zigzag Steps, or stroll up to Eco-Engineering or Myth and Folklore to see the dramatic dogwood stems in stunning shades of red, orange and gold. As the curtain falls on yet another year, evergreen shrubs and conifers come into their own, and the architectural forms of agaves, cordylines and silvery astelias dominate the steep south-facing terraces of Outdoor Med. You may even find cyclamen and Canary island foxgloves still in bloom.
It may be December but the Rainforest Biome continues to steam! Two beautiful flowers to look out for this month are Solandra maxima by the Tropic Trader, and Heliconia psittacorum by the lily pool … and don’t miss the Arabica coffee now that the fruits have turned red – it’s looking stunning!.
The big horticultural activity in the Mediterranean Biome this month is our mass bulb planting, when the whole team get together to plant thousands of tulips (cultivated and wild species), multi-coloured ranunculus and other bulbs that will provide such a colourful and uplifting display in early spring. The pebble pathway that snakes its way behind the Med Café and down through the cactus and succulent garden is now complete, and provides closer access to some unusual plants.
- Daffodils, a traditional Cornish crop, dominate displays in March.
- Crocuses and spring flowering shrubs burst into colour.
- A ribbon of grape hyacinths traces a blue path on the grass roof between the Biomes.
- From April there is a finale of English wild flowers including bluebells, campions and violets.
- Herbaceous borders beside The Core building look their best in early summer.
- Wild flowers, roses, dahlias, sweet peas and day lilies take off from mid-June.
- Swathes of lavender begin to flower in mid-July.
- In August wild flowers lead you down the Zig Zag Path to the spectacular white borders lining the Grand Staircase.
- It's harvest time across the site, with displays of fruit and vegetables. Find out about our Harvest Festival.
- Check our events calendar for seasonal demonstrations like apple pressing.
- Look out for Halloween-themed children's activities in our arena.
- Anemones provide a splash of welcome colour.
- Hanging baskets drip with winter vegetables.
- As dusk falls, the gardens transform into a sparkling winter wonderland, our trees laden with twinkling lights.