Summer highlights at Logan Botanic Garden

Summertime at Logan is the answer to every garden lover's dream. On a fine sunny day the exotic foliage of the tree ferns and cabbage palms reach into the blue sky. Surrounded by flowers of astonishing brilliance which 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. Exotic displays of fuchsias, salvias, gingers and many other Southern Hemisphere Exotics produce a stunning 'blaze of colour' across the Garden.

A view of the main pond at Logan

In this part of the world, most plants are pollinated by butterflies, birds and small mammals. These are attracted to primary colours, especially reds, and to certain flower shapes such as tubular or spiky. These include salvias, fuchsias, bottle brushes (Callistemon) and Metrosideros, all of which have 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 spectacular summering flowering plants, as shown below, is Gladiolus cardinalis from South Africa with its bright crimson flowers and speckled white blotches.

Gladiolus cardinalis on the terrace at Logan

The Ochagavia carnea, as seen below, which is native to Chile is also an eyecatching plant.

The focal point for the summer display is the Walled Garden Pond, presided over by the stunning 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. Tender perennials around the formal pond are displayed below.

It is the flower beds in the Walled Garden that provide a riot of summer colour. The scene is set with beds of salvias interplanted with yellow Calceolaria integrifolia and pinkish-mauve Antirrhinum australe. They are among around 5,000 plants that are raised by horticultural staff each year.

The wall behind the agapanthus, as shown above, is colourful in summer with the red and yellow lanterns of Abutilon megapotamicum from Brazil. There is also the vibrant red bottle brush (Callistemon rigidus) (below)  which is native to 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.


The Walled Garden Pond  (above)

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)