I’m just back from a busman’s holiday in the western USA where I was enjoying the late summer wildflowers and noticing the first hint of an autumnal tint in the top branches of the aspens.
Its a fact that when you work in the gardens at Mount Stewart you look for plants on your travels that you think Lady Edith may have fancied. I came across a few in the Boyce Thompson Arboretum in Arizona, a fabulous cacti collection where they use small agaves as border plants and clump together barrel cacti with great effect.
This Boojum, Fouquieria columnaris, or candle tree is on my wish list, how about a couple of these at Tir N’an Og? Its name is taken from Lewis Carroll’s poem, The Hunting of the Snark, and it can grow to a height of 70 feet producing creamy yellow flowers with a honey scent in summer and autumn.
Our own octopus plant, Schefflera actinophylla is being cooked in Alan’s nursery at the moment but I fancy this Octopus agave would draw equally admiring glances.
At Mount Stewart and the National Trust we have many things in common with America’s Best Idea, National Parks, especially when it comes to matters of conservation. A quote attributed to Chief Seattle goes, Take only Memories, Leave only Footprints, which sort of chimes in with our own motto, Forever For Everyone.
Here at Mount Stewart we hope visitors will take away lingering memories, stunning photographs, and that they and their families will leave only their footprints as a legacy of many happy visits.