Summer highlights at Logan Botanic Garden

Featured below the Tasmanian Creek with its mass plantings of Eucalyptus species and Dicksonia antarctica create an antipodean feel to the garden.

Tasmania at Logan

Summertime at Logan is the answer to every garden lover's dream. On a fine sunny day when the exotic foliage of the tree ferns and cabbage palms reaches into a blue sky and flowers of astonishing brilliance open in the shelter of its walls, it is hard to believe this is a Scottish garden and not somewhere in the Mediterranean.

The Garden's sub-tropical character is at its most exuberant from June to September with shrubberies of fuchsias, hebes and hydrangeas, and borders that achieve the customary 'blaze of colour' using mostly wild species rather than hybrids.

In this part of the world, most plants are pollinated by butterflies, birds and small mammfals which are attracted to primary colours, especially reds and to certain flower shapes such as tubular or spiky. These include salvias, fuchsias and bottle brushes (Callistemon) and Metrosideros which have predominantly red or pink flowers.

Also well-represented are daisies which open flat in bright sunshine and perhaps more than any other flower symbolise the joy of summertime warmth and light. Daisies from Africa and the Canary Islands beam their flowers of pastel shades toward the sun.

One of the most spectaular summering flowering plants is Gladiolus cardinalis from South Africa with its bright crimson flowers and speckled white blotches.

Gladiolus cardinalis on the terrace at Logan

The focal point for the summer display is the Water Garden, presided over the by rows of New Zealand cabbage palms. In June and July the older trees produce conspicuous panicles of heavily scented cream flowers. These are followed by pea-sized white berries.

It is the flower beds in the Walled Garden that provide a riot of summer colour. The scene is set with beds of Salvia interplanted with yellow Calceolaria integrifolia and pinkish-mauve Antirrhinum australe. They are among around 7,000 plants that are raised by horticultural staff each year.

A view of the main pond at Logan

The wall behind the agapanthus is colourful in summer with the red and yellow lanterns of Abutilon megapotamicum from Brazil, the red bottle brush (Callistemon rigidus) which is found wild in Australia and the large pink daisies of the so-called climbing gazania. Echium nervosum from the Canary Islands with its erect vibrant flower spikes acts as a haven for nectar searching bees. In later months this will be followed by Echium pininana with its giant rocket like blue spikes up to 20 feet in height.

Tender flowering shrubs grow in abundance at Logan and among the favourites are many interesting fuchsias and Eucryphia from South America and Australasia.

Logan also has a fine collection of New Zealand hebes and parahebes as well as daisy bushes.

Read more about Spring | Autumn and Winter  highlights at Logan

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The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is a charity (registration number SC007983)