I can’t say enough good things about Batsford Arboretum. It is 64 acres of trees and plants on a hillside in the Cotswolds. It contains 2850 labelled specimens , there are 1,300 different species of trees shrubs and bamboos.
There is a emphasis on plants from the Far East but also from other areas of the world. Last year a Chinese tree flowered for the first time in Europe !
There are large numbers of magnolias, bamboos and acers. It holds the national collection of Japanese flowering cherries( this means they have at least 70% of species)
The wonderful handkerchief tree flowers in late spring and is worth a visit just to see that.
The garden has an incredible water feature built in Victorian times a natural stream down the hill with pools and rivulets and waterfalls. It looks so natural it’s amazing. It’s hard to think that teams of cart horses pulled 7 ton blocks of stone to Batsford to build this ‘wild garden’.
Yesterday I walked a circuit of the garden , I was here in spring with blossom and fritillaries and lots of magnolias. The visit in summer was just as wonderful.
This view is sitting at the top of the hill at the start of the water feature a roe deer walked past.
Here is a journey of plants through the Arboretum.
This huge leaved magnolia is yet to flower the leaves are thick and tough they lay under the tree like cardboard.
The light through these tough leaves is fantastic.
As well as the trees there are beautiful areas of planting like these recurved lillies which were about four foot tall.
At the base of the hillside I followed a stream in woodland full of shade with hostas and ferns.
This magnolia below was in flower and looked unreal as if made from sugar paste.
It is called Magnolia colossus. I continued through an area I hadn’t walked before , there were butterflies and bees in sunny areas of bachelors button and foxgloves. This path led to pool and a waterfall .
I love the seed spikes on the magnolias that have finished flowering they look prehistoric.
In the spring Batsford is full of tree blossom , I was not disappointed yesterday. This tree was all flower.
The next tree, a cherry plum was completely covered in fruit.
Further along this path now moving up the hillside one of my favourite trees, the black mulberry,we have a small one of these lovely trees in the garden. I once went mulberry picking with a big group of people on an ancient tree it was fantastic. The mulberries were delicious.
This next tree from China is amazing with long flowers that look like giant catkins.
It’s worth standing right underneath this tree to enjoy the incredible flowers.
From here I walked to the old sheep pool where sheep were cleaned which is now a swamp/ bog garden full of huge leave plants and surrounded by bamboos. Walking along the higher ridge on the hill you can look down onto the Manor House. There are huge pines and conifers , spruces and redwoods. Along the path there are a number of Indian horse chestnuts. The flowered are lovely.
This wollemi pine was in a group of recently planted trees the cones were fabulous.
I was now at the top of the hill looking down across the trees to countryside in the distance. All I could here were the birds.
This is at the start of the stream travelling down the hillside , there was an amazing Cornus shrub which made me want to plant one in the garden!
Walking back down with the waterway on my right it winds and falls with pools visited by thirsty blackbirds. The large pool is full of waterlilies.
As you drop down this path there are flowers either side it is really beautiful .
English Oaks tower over you as you descend .
This feathery white flower was a hit with bees, they were laden with pollen.
As you head back into the visitors centre have a cake, the restaurant is fantastic all home made I had hazelnut with pear and chocolate cake , brilliant.
I haven’t even shown the bamboos and acers there are so many things to see. I have a yearly pass which is £30 I think but great value. It’s £8.95 for adults to visit , definitely worth it. Find out more at batsarb.co.uk. I’ll be back !!