Two sets of visitors today asked whether we had any ‘handkerchief’ trees at Mount Stewart, and I was delighted to be able to say that we had several, and that they were in full flower, or bract, at the moment. There is one on the main drive, one on the west side of the lake and another on Jubilee Terrace. Alternatively called ghost or dove trees these take a long time to mature and we are lucky that ours are so well established that every May we have a spectacular display of white bracts that hang from the branches like discarded hankies.
The garden information blackboard in the courtyard informed me today that our Snowdrop Tree was in bloom so I scurried off with camera in hand to get a photo for the Mount Stewart Flickr page. The sun was in the right place so I was able to get quite a nice shot with a bit of blue sky in the background. This little tree is sometime called the Silverbell Tree, a name which suits it just as well as Snowdrop, it was new to me but has been added to my faves list. You can find it on the left hand side of the Fountain Walk, halfway down towards the fountain.
As far as colour goes I think this year the azaleas at Tir N’an Og have excelled themselves, those pinks, oranges and purples blending in a technicolour riot. I noticed the lobster claw, also popular with visitors, has done well this year too, both on the hill and down in the Italian Garden. And the wisteria on the terrace has burst into bloom as well. The camera is red hot!