What to look for in December

Rainforest Biome

It may be freezing outside but the humidity of the Rainforest wraps you like a warm blanket. The beautiful golden chalice vine, Solandra maxima, is in full flower by the Tropic Trader ship, and cacao trees are heavily laden with ripening pods – a ‘must-see’ for all chocolate lovers. Although native to the rainforests of South America, most of our cacao today is grown by small farmers in West Africa. 

Masses of bright red coffee cherries, provided by Coffea arabica, bring a festive touch to the Biome.

Mediterranean Biome

Festive displays of vibrant Cyclamen light up the centre of the Biome this month, and the ‘winter wonderland’ theme continues in the Med Terrace where colourful garlands of dried chilli peppers and Chinese lanterns provide the perfect backdrop for seasonal activities and story telling. 

Outdoor gardens

Gardens in winter can be magical places, and Eden is no exception. Our talented temporary displays team has decorated the Street, Ice rink and other hotspots with a festive array of horticultural delights, to brighten even the darkest December day. Fiery hues of dogwood, Cornus alba, and willow, Salix alba var. vitellina Britzensis’ in shades of red, orange and gold, also set the gardens alight, and Cotoneaster frigidusCornubia’, laden with berries, provide much needed food for our garden birds. 

But the winter garden can also have a subtle beauty, especially on cold misty days, and now that the wind has blown the last remaining leaves from the trees, new vistas have opened up, and evergreen architectural plants come into their own, like the agaves and silvery astelias, where flowering cyclamen can also be found, along with the first Narcissus of the season.

What to look out for in the coming months

Outdoor Gardens

Enjoy the scents of winter in January, provided by Hammamelis x intermedia ‘Jelena’ and Daphne bholua ‘Jacqueline Postil’.

Rainforest Biome

Enjoy the flowers of Solandra maxima and the red powder-puff plant, Calliandra haematocephala, that adorn the rainforest in January, along with the purple Crinum beside the lily pool. 

Mediterranean Biome

Fiery hot chilli plants and ice cool winter Cyclamen provide an unexpected added dimension to the Med Biome this winter. Coaxed into winter flowering and fruiting (when many plants are taking their well earned winter rest) these displays are sure to be a delight to all the senses. Find out more about the displays and free talks on chillies this winter.

Magnificent red and gold candelabra-shaped flowers of Aloe ferox, will herald in the New Year in South Africa.