This deciduous conifer is one of the best known examples of a living fossil, remaining unchanged for millions of years. It is grown for its attractive shape and the curious fan-shaped leaves which turn yellow in autumn. Female trees produce small plum-like fruits with rancid flesh, though the kernels are edible.The nut-like gametophytes found inside the seeds are a traditional Chinese food and are believed to have health benefits.
Ginkgos rarely suffer disease problems and are attacked by few insects, making this an excellent urban street tree.
tulipifera Tulip tree
Liriodendron tulipifera is an unusual tree grown for its curiously shaped leaves and stately shape. It's common name, tulip tree refers to the small, pale green tulip-shaped flowers which only appear on mature trees, usually over ten years old.
It is still a beautiful tree to grow as the saddle-shaped, glossy dark green leaves smell strongly of eucalyptus when crushed. In autumn, they turn brilliant yellows and reds, eventually falling to reveal the corky bark. Grow it as a specimen tree in slightly acidic, well-drained soil in full sun. It has been given an Award of Garden Merit (AGM), which is for plants of outstanding excellence.
This is a noble and superb plant from the mountains of the Far East with soft, heart-shaped leaves and the most beautiful large creamy-pink bell-shaped flowers in summer. The generously proprtioned blooms are held on knee-high stems, each one holding about a handful, which means it stands out easily among other plants in a mixed border.
'Little Maid' Red hot poker
Red hot pokers are not all red hot - some have cooler colours, and 'Little Maid' is one of these. The short, slender spikes of pale yellow and ivory flowers are much easier to place in a flower border than traditional tall red kinds. Appearing in late summer and autumn, the timing is just right for 'Little Maid' to team with phygelius, but plants also look superb with a carpet of purple Euphorbia dulcis 'Chameleon'. Plants are fairly small and are slow to spread, so are unlikely to need dividing for many years - they look best left to build up a large clump.
hyemale Dutch or scouring rush
A fast-growing horsetail that has unbranched stems with rough black ribs which slightly constrict the stem. As a marginal plant in a garden setting needs confining to prevent unwanted spreading. Plant in an aquatic basket lined with Hessian to restrict growth. As the stems remain green throughout the winter provides useful winter interest, and its slightly pre-historic look makes it a curiosity for the pond.
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"This garden reflects the power of natural landscapes to inspire and educate young people. The different themed zones hint at the learning opportunities offered by wider landscapes and the projects within it are testament to the value of bringing learning experiences to life.
"Visiting different areas of the garden, from the stumpery to the prairie, I hope people will be inspired to create similar spaces in their local area. Every young person needs the chance to experience the world outside the home and classroom - and this garden shows some of the many learning opportunities offered by nature, that can be harnessed for the good of all young people."