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:
As autumn begins to move rapidly into winter, and icy fingers beckon, it is still a delight to linger in the soft rays of a distant sun and enjoy the gardens here at Eden. Many of the trees are still clinging on to their leaves with a brilliant display of colour, despite the drifts of papery leaves that swirl around your feet.
On your way to the Biomes, try descending the Plane Tree Steps, and marvel at these beautiful canopy trees, and the way they have been carefully pruned and trained to give a ‘table-top’ effect. The London plane is particularly good at capturing CO2 from the atmosphere, helping to clean the air that Londoners breathe. They also have attractive bark – especially noticeable in winter.
At this time of year, the Sense of Memory Garden is an oasis of calm, inspired by childhood memories of Cornwall’s subtropical garden heritage, and tales of intrepid plant hunters returning from distant shores, laden with exotic plants. The silvery-grey of Cornish granite complements the cool colour palette of the lush planting, and the murmuring of water as it spills into the reflective pool, brings this garden to life at a time of year when many garden birds and insects fall silent. If you are looking for something new for your veg garden or allotment, then check out our Andean tuber crops, oca, yacon and mashua - all flowering and ready to harvest.
Some of you may have heard Hetty Ninnis, our lead horticulturist in the Rainforest biome, talking about mahogany on the BBC Radio 4 programme Shared Planet. Come and see one of our ‘big leaf’ mahogany trees for yourself - a 13m ‘baby’, just big enough to begin putting out buttress roots. The huge canopies of mature mahogany trees provide shade, shelter and food for a wealth of other species in the rainforests of Peru and Brazil.
In the Malaysian home garden the star fruit is displaying both fruit and flowers, and Coffea arabica is fruiting heavily in the coffee exhibit …and don’t miss the beautiful white flowers of the Madagascar periwinkle in Oceanic Islands.
The early part of the month in the Mediterranean Biome sees the arrival of the ‘day of the dead’ which has a long tradition in Mexico, and among Mexican people living in California, when family and friends gather together to celebrate and remember the lives of loved ones who have passed away. The Mediterranean vineyard is still ablaze with colour and the amazing fruits of the California Buckeye are beginning to split. Before you leave, don’t miss the heavenly scent of the loquats in blossom, with the promise of delicious fruits to come in spring. The approach of winter is a feast for all the senses!
- 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.