The final outing of 2021 to Killerton House was blessed by a beautiful sunny autumn day. Twenty five of us enjoyed the house, park and garden originally laid out by John Veitch, plantsman and landscape designer for it’s owners the Acland family. Veitch was in the forefront of the great drive to find and import exotic trees and shrubs from around the globe, which is why Killerton is host to plants from six continents.
We saw the original mother-tree of Davidia the handkerchief tree brought back from China by Ernest ‘Chinese’ Wilson in 1900 and two of the tallest Giant Redwoods in the country imported from California by William Lobb but it was the strawberry-like fruit of Cornus kousa chinensis
and magnificent bark of the Camellia and Cork oak which caught the eye in the park.
Carpets of cyclamen beneath the trees lifted the spirits.
The well planted borders were bursting with colourful perennial flowers including not so common varieties of salvias and penstemons.
We benefited from several conversations with the NT garden guide and many of the plants were labelled – what a boon.
A spring visit will be on the cards.