Throughout the year in the Gardens
Seasons in the Garden


The months of April and May are absolutely amazing in the Woodland Garden. The Camellias, Rhododendrons and Azaleas both species and hybrids take it in turn to flower throughout the season. They have handsome foliage and magnificent inflorescences. The Candelabra Primulas, red, pink, purple and glorious yellow provide a carpet of colour lining the winding paths.

Throughout both the formal walled garden and the informal woodland garden the elegant Magnolias with abundant large scented flowers make a dramatic show against bare branches.
Beautiful Clematis macropetala “Markham’s Pink” adorn a decorative arch leading into the kitchen garden where all vegetables, herbs and fruit are grown organically for guests who are staying in the house or visiting the garden tea rooms.
Narcissus lines the borders; these bold, cheerful golden heads of daffodils are the epitome of spring. Hellebores grow around the base of clipped Bay trees while Arum Lilies stand tall beside the stone Peacocks at the front of the house.


The ‘Olde English’ style herbaceous border is in full colour during the summer mouths. With the Melianthus major at one end and the delicate Japanese Anemones at the other the border is a delight. Old rambling Roses cover the curved garden wall from one end of the border to the other.

Dierama, the Angel’s fishing rods, with their arching stems of bell like summer flowers grow happily beside the Italian Loggia and pool which is alive with shoals of goldfish. There is a great collection of Myrtus at Kilmokea. These evergreen shrubs, some of which are 15 feet tall have glossy foliage, fragrant flowers and an attractive peeling cinnamon outer bark.
Roses, the most beautiful and romantic of flowers are grown in traditional formal beds and trained on pergolas, iron arches, garden walls and trees. The species Roses include Old garden roses, Hybrid Teas, Climbing, Rambler and Rugosa Roses. The Iris and Rose quater garden which is situated beside the Georgian Conservatory Tearooms provides a wonderful scent on a summers day.
A Daphne Sholua grows happily in the shade of the Ginkgo biloba adjacent to the restored rock garden, which is brimming with rare and tender alpines such as Parahebes, Lithospermum and Helianthemum. In this corner of the garden a stone dovecote has a pretty Jasminum mesnyi climbing up the wall. Its bright yellow flowers enjoy the afternoon sun.
The Drimys ‘winter’s bark’ with its large leaves has fragrant ivory flowers in loose umbels. Around the lake in the woodland garden Giant Gunnera thrive alongside purple and blue lacecap Hydrangea.


The formal garden at the front of the house is superb during the month of September. The plants in flower include the Dathura from southern USA with its orange and yellow 15″ trumpet flowers continue through to October. The 40′ tree from NZ, the Hoheria sexstylosa is covered in vanilla scented ivory blossoms. Hydrangeas both dome-shaped and lacecaps which surround the gravel forecourt range in colour from deep red to a magnificent white. Kniphofia, Red-hot pokers from Southern Africa enjoy the warmth of this microclimate. Myrtle Apiculata with its dark evergreen leaves is covered with small white blossoms.

Within the walled garden situated to the rear of the house, which is very sheltered, the Karingushoma Pinculata from China has beautiful small tubular yellow flowers behind this the Hyperican Rhuwellen is also in full flower. The Rumnia Californian tree poppy has large white flowers with long yellow stamens the foliage of which is of a grey/green colour. There are many Fuchsias. in flower the most beautiful of which is the Fuchsia Versicolour.

The airy pink South African Nerine Bowdenii provide a bright splash of colour to the rose beds either side of the heavy wooden door leading out of the walled garden.

There is a large collection of Acers in the woodland garden, which are all spectacular in the fall. The Palmatum “Japanese Maple” thrives in this frost-free climate the most precious of which is the “Shishio Improved”.


The Camellias begin to blossom on 1st December and they flower right the way through to May. The conspicuous flowers of white, pink and red are of the single, semi-double and double variety. These beautiful hardy shrubs of which there is a collection of over 30 species and varieties enjoy the acid soil of the woodland garden.

From the end of January the Rhododendrons start to flower. Their trusses of translucent flowers are delicate and have a variety of striking colours and breathtaking aromas. Both Species and Hybid Rhododendrons and Azaleas of the large, medium and dwarf variety are grown at Kilmokea. Special collection Rhodos from Patrick Forde’s expeditions to Yunnan, China were planted during the autumn of 1998.
The Pleris Japonica, Viburnum and Mahonia are all in flower in the Woodland garden. The Hellebores with their saucer shaped flowers of white, shades of green and purple grow well in moist soil.This photograph of the Magnolia campbellii is a magnificent sight as you drive up to the house.