The garden, which is famed for its naturalistic style, lost several trees during the horrendous storm on Valentine’s night. A stunning Monterey pine and a wonderful eucalyptus were among the casualties. High wind snapped the pine in half, but the iconic eucalyptus simply fell over due to the saturated ground.
With two notable exceptions, the fallen trees have now been removed and Knoll’s owner, Neil Lucas is already beginning to look forward.
“It was a huge blow to lose so many trees in such a short time,” said Neil. “But in a garden it is hard to stay disappointed for very long. The primrose yellow flowers are already beginning to open across the magnificent dome of our rhododendron macabeanum in the Damp Garden, and the chocolate vine, akebia quinata will soon be covered in its distinctive chocolate-coloured flowers. And of course we still have some wonderful trees to enjoy including our young cork, quercus suber with its trademark textured bark. The equally fascinating spongy rufous bark of our giant redwood is also worth looking out for.”
Neil is hoping that two of the wind-damaged trees will still be able to feature in the garden. He plans to work with a local sculptor to create a magnificent bee house in the trunk of the pine, whilst the eucalyptus will be trimmed and tidied leaving a large part of the tree as it fell to see if it will re-grow and that re-growth can then be safely incorporated into the garden. “The fallen eucalyptus has presented us with a bit of a challenge,” said Neil. “The tree was a real stunner when it was upright, and it’s bark is amazing to see at such close quarters. It is a bit of an experiment, as we really do not know if it will survive long-term, but for such a stunning specimen it has to be worth a try.”
Knoll Gardens opens Tuesday to Saturday from 10am–5pm and Bank Holiday Mondays.