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Hillcrest Garden has some of the most beautiful established plants and trees I have seen in a private garden and I will definitely be including some of them in my own plot.

The "mouse plant", Arisarum Proscideum, will provide great ground cover as well as a great conversational piece.

When I visited, the star of the garden was the stunning Chilean Firebush, whose vibrant orange blooms could be seen for miles. I will be definitely be getting one of those!

The Handkerchief Tree was showing off its handkerchief-like bracts, and the reason it's also known as the Ghost Tree.

The bark of the Eucalyptus pauciflora (Snow Gum) makes it a must-have, if you have the room.

Their collection of Acers reminded me why they were my dad's favourites and it was lovely to see the more unusual trees, like the Persian ironwood, the Ginkgo Biloba and a Red oak.

And I was intrigued to learn about the "toffee tree" - the Cercidiphyllum japonicum, (Katsura), whose foliage smells like toffee in the early spring and autumn.

It all goes to show these often-overlooked beauties will tolerate, and even flourish in, our climate and conditions and it is worth considering them when planting in your own plot. Bev has even compiled a list of the more unusual trees for inspired visitors.

I would guess that at the end of May the spectacular Tulip tree will be in all its glory and it's worth a visit for that alone! Dogs on leads are welcomed, and there is partial wheelchair access too. And I haven't even mentioned the homemade cakes Find out more about Lynne at

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:May 20, 2017
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