What to look for in August

Outdoor Gardens

Under balmy August skies, carnivorous sarracenias are in full pitcher by the bog garden, a favourite haunt of several species of dragonfly, while across the way, amidst the exuberant planting around the pond, you will find Kirengeshoma palmata, with its beautiful waxy, yellow, bell-like flowers. Rudbeckia ‘Little Gold Star’ is also one to look out for.

Throughout this month, while dinosaurs stalk the landscape, have a look at the Flowerless Garden, for an insight into what the earth looked like in Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. Here you will see luxuriant ferns and tree-ferns, and a host of flowerless plants.

Across site, the crop gardens are flourishing, showcasing fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices and grains from around the world. 

Rainforest Biome

In the steamy jungle heat of the rainforest, dare you venture up to the vertiginous heights of the sky-high lookout, or canopy walkway? If you accept the challenge, you will experience this amazing Biome from a completely new perspective, as you gaze down in wonder at the biome’s biggest ‘rain trees’ – it is well worth the effort.

Tropical crops are developing at an astonishing rate including many interesting varieties of banana, like the purple-fruited Red Dakka.

Our fabulous spice exhibit looks particularly fine, offering ginger, galangal, cinnamon and bird's eye chillies for taste and colour, along with turmeric and holy basil for health and wellbeing. 

Mediterranean Biome

We are being treated to a mouth-watering display of tomatoes this season, featuring some unusual varieties like the sweet Apricot Dream, and the near-black Indigo Rose – the darkest tomato ever bred. 

With the prehistoric world of the dinosaurs still in mind, the Mediterranean Biome is home to plants with truly ancient origins. See the cycad in the Mediterranean Garden, with its crown of stiff, dark green leaves, and the giant horsetail restios, dating back to  the late Cretaceous period more than 100 million years ago, which you can see in South Africa.   

As usual at this time of year the Biome is awash with colour, provided by the exuberant Bougainvillea and other colourful climbers, and the gorgeous display of plants for cut flowers.

Late summer plant highlights

Outdoor Gardens

The gardens in high summer are inspirational, uplifting and simply gorgeous.

Throughout August, when dinosaurs stalk the landscape, head up to the flowerless garden, for an insight into what the earth looked like in Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. You will find luxuriant ferns, tree ferns and a host of flowerless plants.

In September, the crop gardens are at their productive best, and along with the usual favourites you will find some new additions, like the hardy kiwi, Actinidia arguta ‘Issai’, the ivy gourd and the horned melon. Also look out for the wonderberry, but be warned – the fruits are poisonous until ripe! 

Rainforest Biome

In August, check out the bananas and other tropical crops. The purple-fruited ‘Red Dakka’, is just one of our stunning varieties of banana. 

September sees the biome blooming with exotic hibiscus flowers, along with a succession of other stunners – blue ginger and heliconia.  

Mediterranean Biome

Our newly designed perfume exhibit, based on a Moorish courtyard garden, is now overflowing with a wonderful array of aromatic plants, including gardenias, patchouli and bergamot

Feel the heat in September, provided by a spicy crop of red hot chilli peppers, in myriad colours, shapes and flavours – you won’t find many of these in your local supermarket!

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