The herbaceous beds at the eastern end of the Fairway illustrate the wealth of perennial species available to the gardener. The beds are spectacular throughout the summer and into the autumn, with magnificent displays of bold, dramatic plants.
These include the vast clouds of white flowers over crumpled leaves of Crambe cordifolia or the beautiful coral feathers of the Plume Poppy (Macleaya microcarpa). The glaucous foliage of this plant for the larger border also provides a cool foil to the fiery sprays Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ in summer. The elegant grass, Miscanthus sinensis ‘Gracillimus’, provides shimmering movement and provide texture, along with the plumes and feathery flowerheads of many other grasses. Late bursts of colour come from the violet-blue flowers of the Monkshood, Aconitum carmichaelii ‘Kelmscott’, and two perennial yellow sunflowers Helianthus salicifolius ‘Lemon Queen’ and Rudbeckia triloba and many Sedum and Salvia species.
The Herbaceous Beds are bordered on one side by an outstanding collection of the genus Viburnum, many of which are richly-scented. Careful selection from this excellent reference collection would provide scent and interest throughout the year, including the valuable evergreens such as Viburnum rhytidophyllum and V. tinus, the winter-flowering deciduous species Viburnum x bodnantense, and its parents, which provides vital cheer and scent in the darkest months. In spring, Viburnum x burkwoodii and its parents V. carlesii and V. utile, contribute great white snowballs of sweetly-scented flowers, followed by the early summer-flowering Viburnum plicatum and its opulent varieties.
On the other side of the Herbaceous Beds are collections of Ribes, Philadelphus and Hydrangea. The Hydrangea collection is underplanted with Bergenia, whose striking foliage and bright flowers contribute so much to winter and early spring plantings.