The East Rock Garden has undergone as dramatic a change since 2013 as any garden area. Prior to 2013 it was a dark zone dominated by a number of densely planted conifers providing little opportunity for new plants to establish.
The removal of the conifers (necessary as a result of storm damage) presented us with the opportunity to create something new and the ground was cleared and interesting shrubs such as Euonymus (E. alatus and hamiltonianus), Osmanthus (O. yunnanensis and armatus), Viburnum furcatum and Drymis lanceolate were introduced. A number of Cistus were added together with Ceanothus and an impressively-striped Acer tegmentosum ‘White Tigress’. The garden was beginning to take shape.
Once we had our structural plants in place, we continued to develop the garden and created a series of different plant combinations that meant the East Rock Garden would have a distinctly differing personality depending on the time of year.
In early Spring, there are Pulmonaria ‘Blue Ensign’, Brunnera ‘Jack Frost’ and hundreds of dark ‘Havran’ Tulips set off against a backdrop of dark earth and white star-shaped Magnolia stellata flowers and the faintest pink hue of a large Camellia japonica magnolifolia.
Late Spring into early summer sees the transition to a rather older-fashioned colour combination of yellow and pinky-purple provided by Syssirinchium striatum and Foxgloves (Digitalis purpurea and alba) respectively. It is easy to imagine this colour combination is in keeping with the 1930s, which is around the time this particular area of the garden was created, and forms a link to the past.
Mid-to late Summer witnesses the final move to a more contemporary combination of predominantly darker purple, white and unusually fresh green (for this time of year) provided by Verbena bonariensis and the flowers and ‘zingy’ green foliage of Nicotiana (sylvestris, langsdorffii and ‘Lime Green’).
We are pleased with our progress to date although there is more to be done, and The East Rock Garden continues to mature and develop. No doubt there will be further improvements to this part of the garden by the time you next visit us at Newby Hall.