Surviving the harsh Yorkshire winter :: Bishop Burton College

Surviving the harsh Yorkshire winter

Looks can be deceiving and that is certainly the case with the Agapanthus plant: while it may appear a little light-weight, we found it to be much hardier than it first seems.

Looks can be deceiving and that is certainly the case with the Agapanthus plant: while it may appear a little light-weight, we found it to be much hardier than it first seems.

Bishop Burton College were referenced in The Telegraph Gardening section this week detailing 'How to grow' the African Lily, or the Agapanthus. Back in 2009-10, the College conducted trials for Gardening Which? magazine to see how they faired growing outside without winter protection.

We know a little bit about plants but nowhere near as much as our Head Gardener here at Bishop Burton College, Jane Bonney.

We caught up with her to find a bit more about this tough plant in our vast collection.

Jane Bonney, Head Gardener

Agapathus is a delightful plant in the garden with colours ranging from sky blue through to deep purple and of course white, which is due to lack of pigmentation. 

Despite looking exotic and delicate and being known as the African Lily, Agapathus are hardier than they appear and when the College conducted trials for Gardening Which? magazine in 2009/10 the plants survived even in this very harsh winter.

We have retained a lot of the stock from the trials and they are planted in our Walled Garden which is undergoing the final phase of a two year redevelopment project.  In particular they feature in our new monocot beds which demonstrate the broad range of plants which have narrow leaves, such as grasses, Hostas, Cordylines, Phormiums and a range of bulbs.  It is an exciting time in the garden now as things are beginning to come into bud and flower, but it is particularly exciting here as we have so many new features. 

The first Rhododendron on our new ericaceous beds came into flower this week, we are reshaping and replanting our herbaceous beds and will shortly be completing planting our new sensory garden and herb beds.   

The Award of Garden Merit Garden, Hedge Garden Laburnum Arch and a range of features developed last year are also maturing nicely and this spring and summer will see Bishop Burton Walled Garden looking better than ever before.

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