Sunday, 31 May 2015

May 30th Sheringham Park

Sheringham Park
Yesterday, I was at Sheringham Park with my parents to see the colourful display of rhododendron.
The park was designed by 19th centuary landscaper Humphry Repton, but he wasn't the one who planted the many varieties of rhododendron and azaleas here. You should thank the owner during the early 20th centuary, Henry Morris Upcher, for that. The park is now in the hands of the National Trust and the display is a major highlight of the year and attracts hundreds of visitors.

I am not a gardener or an expert on plants, but I do know that this is a display of foreign flowers. Originally from Asia, rhododendons were brought over to decorate estate gardens and have now spread across the UK. In Scotland, in particular, these plants are causing a real problem in the ancient Caledonian forests and have become quite invasive. In Sheringham Park, everything seems to be in control and is celebrated for the vibrant colours. There is even a tower to climb and appreciate the display more.

The variety of colour is breathtaking. Reds, yellows, lilacs, pinks, purples, oranges, whites, there seems to be almost every colour from a rainbow here! Looking closer at the individual flowers, I notice that the top petal of every variety of rhododendon, there is a patch of colour which was either a different shade or a completely different colour entirely. I wonder if this was the plant's method to attract pollenators like bees. With some plants, the five petals resembles a human figure with the patch as the figure's face.

Handkerchief Tree
Apart from the rhododendron, my dad (who is a keen gardener) wanted to find an unusual tree that he has heard about. After a bit of a search, we did eventually find it. The tree is indeed unusual. It appears like someone has tied rows of handkerchiefs to it, which is it is known as the Handkerchief tree. But these handkerchiefs are actually white flowers. This strange tree is native to China.

Handkerchief Tree Flower
There was also a nature garden with a wildlflower patch and a pond full of tadpoles. Beyond the rhododendrons was a large meadow covered in buttercups, a display that is just as wonderful to look at. After our walk, we had a picnic before leaving to watch the FA Cup final round one of my mum's friend's house, staying there until quite late, proventing me to write this post until now.

Bank Vole
Ragged Robin

Yellow Flag Iris
Song Thrush
Buttercup Meadow

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