Our fourth year since introducing planting trials at Parham, we are very excited about the main trial for this season which has seen us source and plant close to 130 different annual climbers that will grow over handmade obelisks using birch from the Estate.
The climbers give such vibrancy to summer displays and containers if you can get the soil right. If the soil is too rich, you may get too many leaves and not enough flowers, but our trial is sited on ground that has not had a compost layer added. This makes the plants hardier in the long run and delivers a much stronger flowering performance. The flowers will be at their peak from July to October.
Earlier this year you might have also noticed our Iris sibirica meadow. We planted these perennial Iris in an acre of garden amongst hazels and lilacs, under-planted with Camassia and daffodils. The gardening team felt that this was a great opportunity to use garden perennials in a meadow context. Meadow style planting can be tricky, but the team planted 1200 Iris sibirica en masse in the long grass and they bloomed as planned in May. The team planted 100 each of varieties including Dreaming Yellow, Flight of Butterflies, Mountain Lake and more.
The aim of the trials and the meadow is that we will be able to see which cultivar stands out for future refinements. In the meantime, we hope visitors enjoy the visual spectacle that the trials provide.